February 3, 2021 7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
If before, within your marketing strategy , one of the actions that you carried out sporadically was the organization of events related to your business, now everything that involves mass meetings is ruled out for one reason: COVID-19 .
Although the digital transformation of events already began its course long before the pandemic, many entrepreneurs still preferred to organize face-to-face events (some combined it with streaming). And only a small percentage took the risk of launching an online event.
Both are an ideal tool for networking , attracting potential customers and gaining visibility. But it is true that the digital event has established itself as a great opportunity because it is more accessible and can reach a greater number of people. And therefore the benefits are greater. So why not make good use of technology to organize digital events and boost your business?
Why is the digital transformation of events important?
When before a face-to-face event was held, many people who were in another city or country could not attend an event of their interest because of the distance. He had to travel many kilometers and that was also a high cost.
On the other hand, if the event is digital , those limitations disappear completely. Anyone interested, from any region or country, can participate without having to travel, thanks to technology and, mainly, the Internet.
On the other hand, events can be free to enter, have a symbolic cost or a higher price, depending on the number of speakers that attend and the valuable resources that are shared. The price of the tickets will also depend on your objective, if you want to attract new customers, retain those you already had, promote a new product, etc.
What I mean by all this is that creating digital events offers you many more advantages than one in person because you get more reach and, more importantly, it helps you create lasting relationships in the medium and long term with your audience. And this is the most valuable asset of your company: your customers!
How is a digital event characterized?
These are the potential characteristics of a digital event and reasons why you should choose to do events in this modality:
- People from anywhere on the planet can attend.
- There is no limit of attendees (in a face-to-face one, yes, since it depends on the place where it is held).
- Less expenses, you save costs of renting the place, catering, rental of equipment (projectors, microphones, speakers …), among others.
- The possibility of recording the talks and offering the replay as a gift.
- There are no limits to creativity and innovation in digital events. You can offer a better user experience by gamifying your event, integrating virtual reality and, ultimately, making users participate, encouraging them to interact.
- It is easily measurable: total registrations, attendees, engagement in networks, etc.
What does it take to turn a physical event into an online event?
I have organized many digital events (yes, even when very few in the online world dared) and taking stock from my first online event to my last, I have realized what has worked for me and what has not.
Therefore, I want to give you some tips when it comes to digitizing an event so that it succeeds and does not go into oblivion like many events that are held.
1. Choose a powerful platform to broadcast your sessions
If you’re short on budget, you can use live streaming tools like YouTube Live or Facebook Live. But you will give a more serious image using more powerful software.
One that I really like is WerbinarJam, with this program you can create webinar rooms for your event talks; where the assistants will enter with password.
It works in a very intuitive way, integrates live chat and gives you the option to send surveys to make the sessions more interactive. In addition, you can record the sessions to send the replay later.
2. Divide your event into different days
Before promoting it, think carefully about how many days you are going to divide the sessions and what time the live sessions will have.
Important: not all sessions have to be live, you can organize one a day. The talks of the other speakers can be recorded.
3. Select the speakers in advance and agree with them on the topic
This seems obvious, but there is a lot of work behind it. Choosing the right experts and topics will be one of the key elements to be successful at the event.
Leave the topic to be discussed, the resources to be used (presentations, videos, materials …) well tied. Organize it well in a spreadsheet so that topics are not repeated, be innovative and creative, and try not to bore the audience.
4. Lean on email marketing before, during and after the event
Email marketing is one of my favorite tools. It is the channel with which I communicate with my audience, either to inform them of something, to show my gratitude for their unconditional support or to transmit some important news.
So I send emails to my database before the event to announce the date of the event and encourage them to sign up. During the event, I also send emails to remind them of the direct ones. And finally, after the event, you can also send another thank you email or a survey to find out how satisfied the attendees are and get an idea of what to improve for the future.
5. Invest in digital advertising to promote your event
Investing in Facebook and Instagram Ads is essential to reach more reach and reach more people. Thanks to the segmentation of the public you will be able to reach your ideal client and you will be able to attract them to your event.
6. Look for influencers who give you visibility
Lean on influencers in your sector, but do not choose only those who have thousands of followers on Instagram; Also look at influencers who are aligned with your brand values.
Even the speakers themselves can help you share your event, running raffles and contests on their social networks.
7. Involve attendees
I have left the latter for last, but for me it is one of the most valuable: making your assistants feel important. Their opinions count, so keep them involved at all times.
For example, in live chats, use chat to ask them questions or create simple multiple choice games so that they choose the correct answer.
Gamification is another element that you can apply in your events so that your attendees have fun, interact and be active. You can also encourage them during the live sessions to share photos or videos by stories on Instagram using a previously chosen hashtag, tagging you. One way to motivate them is to offer them gifts in exchange for this action.
Are you ready to launch your digital event? What action or strategy is most difficult for you to develop?