A key benefit of virtual events is that they offer the potential for a much larger audience.
Attendees aren’t limited by logistical, financial, or other travel restrictions. This advantage is likely to continue to play a major part in event planning long after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. How can your organization capitalize on the increased scale that virtual events offer? In this article, we’ll share six clever strategies to boost attendance for your online conferences, exhibits, and seminars.
Develop a robust promotional plan.
Like all events, virtual events rely on powerful communications to generate interest. Strive to let potential guests hear about your symposium or conference at least seven times to attract the largest audience. Start by announcing that your event is going virtual. Then, create promotional communications that include persuasive storytelling and highlights of key event components to drive engagement. Let guests know what they have to look forward to and the many ways your event will be special. Step up your communications during the week of the event and remind guests of how and when to join.
Keep it front and center on your website.
If driving event attendance is a major priority for your organization, make sure it’s visible on your website. All too often, companies keep important activities buried within their website, limiting visibility. You might also consider adding overlaid pop-up boxes promoting the event on your most popular web pages to garner even more attention.
Showcase a descriptive itinerary.
Share with potential registrants the different sessions, speakers, and topics that will be featured at your event. By showcasing the event itinerary in an appealing visual format, it helps people better understand what the session is about and how it might benefit them. It can also bolster enthusiasm for the content you’ll be providing and assist registrants in planning their time accordingly.
Make it personal.
A golden rule of fundraising is that people tend to give to those they know and trust. That same standard applies to event participation, because people are far more likely to attend when they receive a personal invitation from a colleague. Encourage your staff and board members to use their connections and social media channels to invite others to your online event.
Use your RSVP as a marketing tool.
Although RSVPs are practical in nature, don’t be afraid to turn them into something more. Instead, embed your RSVPs into impressive landing pages that your audience wants to engage with. Do your best to wow recipients. How can you best represent your brand? What would make your audience excited to click ‘yes’ and be present at your event? By hosting your RSVP form on a page that offers real value, attendees will also be more likely to share it on their social media platforms, turning it into a magnet for leads.
Send calendar invites.
In today’s virtual world, people rely on their digital calendars more than ever before. Be sure to include an ‘add to calendar’ widget to your email communications and RSVP confirmations. That will enable attendees to easily add the event details to their calendars and readily access the information needed to tune in.
There are many ways to get creative in promoting this new online event model.
The key is to make it authentic to your work and interesting to your audience. With the right orchestration, virtual events have the potential to outperform in-person events in many ways.
Well-executed virtual events are a smart way to keep your members invested in your organization. For more than 20 years, associations of all types and sizes have turned to IBC for robust digital member engagement solutions. To discuss strategies for your organization, please contact us today.
About IBC: At IBC, we have a deep understanding of the critical business needs and processes specific to associations, non-profits, and unions. We ‘get’ your culture, your goals, and what drives you, too. Focused exclusively on and dedicated to delivering the most effective AMS, LMS, and Virtual Event Solutions for our clients, we’re well-versed in identifying and applying the integration techniques that will save you time and money. Since 2001, our cutting-edge products, unparalleled responsiveness, and award-winning services have helped organizations like yours increase their operational and financial performance by leveraging best practices and proven solutions. For more information about IBC, please visit the website at www.ibconcepts.com or call 443.603.0215.