5 Lessons for Marketing Virtual Events
In case you thought 2020 was a dream, consider the case of davies + dixon, one of the event industry’s premier digital marketing firms. Since the pandemic took hold in this country, the Seattle-based company has spent more than 400 hours supporting virtual event programming, reaching more than 30,000 attendees.
Co-Founder Kelsey Dixon, an avid traveler, knows the in-person gatherings are coming back strong. She is also sure her organization, along with many others, is hardly through with digital programming. To wit, davies + dixon recently completed a white paper looking ahead to the future of virtual events. A major point not to be lost is that now is a time to take stock of what was learned in the past 16 months, for those lessons will be critical in whatever shakes out when a new reality sets in.
Here are some of the ways event planners and organizers can be ready.
Goodbye Plane Delays; Hello Late Arrivals
On one hand, there’s no need to nag attendees to book flights and hotel rooms to attend a computer-based session. It’s reasonable to assume that would make life easier. The downside is the crunch time is going to be busy. “Potential attendees feel less urgency in reserving their spot early,” the firm explains in its research. In fact, they found a majority of attendees don’t register until the last week or final few days, making it difficult to gauge numbers.
Hit the Record Button
There is going to be a balance between asking attendees to watch programming live and expectations that the material will be on-demand. Right now, it’s difficult to fight that trend, so davies + dixon suggests recording and making the show available within 48 hours post-event.
Send links, messaging and other notes to attendees starting with 48 hours left on the countdown clock. Follow-up 24 hours later. If your event is scheduled for multiple days, send recaps each evening. Oh, and if you can’t or won’t record the event, this is the time to say so.
How often does a virtual education session feel like a glorified webinar? Don’t fall back into old habits. Davies + dixon loves virtual photo booths and at-home deliveries (food, flowers, etc.).
Stay Active on Social Media
The firm admits to being biased in this regard, as it falls into its wheelhouse. Start with creating unique hashtags, live-post during the event and pin an item that clearly gets your message across.