As virtual conferences become the norm, how can you ensure that yours doesn’t get lost in the shuffle?
Hosting online events demands the same time, effort, and precision that in-person events do, but as the competition for attention intensifies, you need to find creative ways to stand out from the crowd. Did you know that there are specific advertising strategies you can use to effectively get the word out about your online conference?
Read on to learn how to promote virtual events in ways that encourage attendees to sign up, tune in, and take part.
Wow ’em with your event page. This landing page is the place where people go to learn about your event, so it needs to be enticing. Think appealing video clips of event speakers, eye-catching graphics, and professional images. Make it a one-stop-shop for pertinent information. You can keep visitors from wandering away from your page by including all of the critical details, such as:
- Session overview
- Date and time
- Speaker bios
- Registration links
- Secure payment options
Nail down your target audience. Who is your event intended to attract? CEOs? New members? Sales executives? You will probably find that you want to reach several audience segments, so you’ll need to develop personas for each one to help define their motivations and attitudes. Some segments may be delighted that your organization now has a virtual event that they can attend from the comfort of their own home. Others might be more ‘old school’ and have suspicions or objections to participating in an online conference. Whatever their attitudes may be, everyone who registers will expect that the time and money they invest will provide a positive and valuable attendee experience.
Tap into the power of the ‘sneak peek’. We’ve all seen movie trailers that got us excited about an upcoming motion picture, and you can accomplish the same thing with short previews of your event. Pique interest by sharing highlights of what’s to come during the session and interview snippets of your speakers. But don’t let the cat out of the bag all at once. Keep these previews brief, interesting, and spaced a few days apart leading up to the event so that people will keep coming back to your site.
Leverage social media. Promoting your virtual conference across all of your social media accounts is a smart exercise. For example, you could create a hashtag for your event and plaster it on Twitter and every other social media platform. Make your hashtag simple and easy to remember, and keep an eye out for unofficial hashtags that may be catching on among your followers. Facebook Events is free, easy to share and even keeps track of your RSVPs. Post engaging video content and pictures on Instagram. There are dozens of clever ways you can tap into the potential that social media brings to event promotion.
Get your sponsors involved in spreading the word. The more the news about your conference gets out, the greater the benefit to everyone who has a stake in its success. When your sponsors, partners, and other ambassadors promote your virtual event, it markets your program exponentially. Ask these supporters to tell their contacts about your online session. Make it easy for them by providing links to related content you’ve published, as well as sharing any relevant materials such as invitations, announcements, logos, graphics, and the event hashtag.
Continue to create a buzz. During your online event, post sound bites from presenters, short videos, notable quotes from speakers, screenshots of sessions, retweet or share posts from attendees using your hashtag, and more—the possibilities are endless. Having these assets is important so you can use them again to promote the event in the future. And even when the conference is over, you should still be working to get people talking about it. It will be invaluable for next year’s session because that kind of word-of-mouth advertising is priceless.
Successfully promoting your virtual conference requires time, finesse, and tenacity, but you stand to reap big rewards for your efforts. The experts at IBC are here to help you maximize the return on your online event investment. Please contact our knowledgeable professionals today to get started.
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.