It’s been quite the year. COVID-19 has changed everything from the way we interact, how we learn, where we can go, and definitely, the way businesses run. Small businesses have faced the biggest hurdles in having to close their doors and navigate the digital world.
The massive digital transformation that has taken place this past year due to the pandemic is truly astonishing. But, it’s predicted that this ‘online era’ won’t be going anywhere, even long after the pandemic is over and restrictions are lifted. We highly suggest utilizing digital platforms as soon as possible so they can positively impact your business!
Most importantly, your company should start holding virtual events if you haven’t already. Virtual events began to grow before the pandemic due to their incredible benefits, and we predict they will be around long after! So, if you want to see your business succeed in the digital world, begin holding online events (and contact us to really get your business ahead!).
Why You Should Host Virtual Events
In a world that now relies on technology and digital interactions, there is no better time to host a virtual event and utilize your online platforms. In the past, people strayed away from attending online events due to their lack of technological knowledge. Nowadays, many know how to use video chat systems easily, so why not utilize this digital shift!
Even if your business has never held events in person or doesn’t seem like the type of business that would organize events, it is time you start to reap the benefits! You will ultimately gain new customers and interact closely with your existing ones while informing, educating, and building trust with them. What business would turn that opportunity down?
One of the most beneficial aspects of holding an online event is the global presence. Attendees can be anywhere in the world, allowing for a wider reach. Location and travel are out of the question, allowing your company to expand its audience globally! Not to mention, it’s extremely convenient, costly, flexible, and saves time.
Focus on face-to-face interaction during these times as people need it right now – it’s a crucial business move! People want to know there is a person behind a company, one that is there to answer any questions, providing information and authentic human connection. We, as humans, crave social interaction, which could be the missing piece in your marketing strategy right now. So, with that being said, let’s get into some of the types of virtual events your business can host. Hopefully, these can help you get started!
Types of Virtual Events
Webinars are one of the best marketing tools for generating new leads and keeping current customers engaged. Webinars are personal and informative online events that focus on either your business/product directly (a product how-to, a new service/product roll-out, etc.), or a topic that is related to your business (advice, how-to’s, or any other educational and fun tips about your market).
Webinars are the perfect type of event for new or existing customers to get to know you, your business, and your products/services on a personal level. These can sometimes work better than ads can due to all the content saturation nowadays (read last week’s blog on the topic here). We highly recommend starting with webinars!
Provide the public with online courses and tutorials. You are probably knowledgeable in your field if you started a business, so why not share your knowledge with the world! The great thing about classes and tutorials is that you can hold them weekly, drilling your brand into your attendee’s heads every week without them feeling like you’re hounding them. This is because they get something out of these classes, giving them more of an incentive to trust your business and your products/services. We advise you to hold classes for free at the start as an incentive for people to attend and to gain traction.
Digital Corporate Events
Corporate events don’t always have to be for big, professional businesses. Even your small business can hold fun online corporate events, getting people involved with your company. The best part about turning corporate events digital is that it saves a lot of money! You don’t have to rent an event space or purchase any of the extra components that come along with holding in-person events. However, we suggest making them exciting by sending each attendee a coupon to a restaurant or food delivery service (cause let’s be real, most of the time people mainly attend events for the food – don’t take that away from them!).
Come up with a theme for your event, organize fun games (trivia is always entertaining), and provide food, as we mentioned above. Another tip is to create smaller chatroom spaces within your virtual event for small groups of people to talk and interact away from the main online event space. This one will make it feel more personal and get people talking. It’s the perfect time to discuss your company and brand with people. Networking, baby!
Lastly, try a virtual interview or question and answer styled event. This is a great way for people to understand what your business is all about and who you are – it’s all about personalization. The great thing about these types of events is that people don’t necessarily have to sign up or attend. You can hold a live stream where you answer questions in real-time without interacting with an audience. Live streams are perfect for the people who want to watch your events but don’t want to participate (you have to think of the introverts – we exist too!). No matter how this type of event is presented, it’s a great idea to get your audience involved. Ask your followers if they have questions beforehand using social media or ask them during the event.
We get it – you might feel your business is too small for this type of virtual event. We then suggest you try to get a guest speaker! You can interview them, and they can answer questions instead. This guest speaker doesn’t have to be anyone famous (but if you can get someone popular who can leverage your brand, then by all means, what are you waiting for?!), they can be someone who is an expert in your industry. Think authors, CEOs, influencers, speakers, or anyone who can bring value and traffic to your event.
Promoting Your Event
Promoting your online event is a key factor to its success. Here are a few options!
- One great way to get the word out is by quickly throwing it into every piece of content you are sharing, including blog posts, videos, social media posts, podcasts, etc. Make sure you utilize Instagram and Facebook stories to get the engagement rates you are looking for with this kind of promotion.
- Contact your existing customers directly. Sending out an Eblast to inform current customers about your event can be a great place to start. Make sure you ask for emails when users sign up for your event so you can contact them about future ones you are holding. The more you organize online events, the more contact information you will receive!
- Create a landing page specifically for your event. This way, when you advertise, you can send traffic directly to this page. Including visuals, graphics, and fun details will attract viewers to attend!
- If your business sells or ships products, attach a note or advertisement for your event on the packaging. Or, if you want to try and get new, potential customers to attend your event, send out sample products with your event ad attached. This is a great way to get the word out to a vast amount of people.
- Sometimes the best way to inform people of an event is the good old-fashioned word of mouth tactic! Tell your friends and family to tell their friends and family or attend other virtual events to meet people and get the word out.
Attend Virtual Events Yourself
We know what you might be thinking. – you have held virtual events in the past, and you haven’t been able to get enough traction or a wide enough reach no matter how much you promote. Our advice is to attend virtual events yourself to not only scope out the competition to see what they are doing right (advice they’re giving, how they promote, how they present information, their interaction with the attendees, etc.), but to network! You will have access to the people who are willing to attend virtual events, so why not interact with them at these virtual events and get the word out about your business. In order to succeed in the digital and real-world, you have to conduct research, so consider this your research! Even just attending one a month is a good place to start.
Contact UV Designs
In 2021, virtual events can help skyrocket your business. We are now living in a digital market, so there’s no better time to start hosting events and using your online platforms to boost your business. Don’t wait to hold in-person events – the time is now!
Need help with your digital transformation? Contact UV Designs today! We help your business capitalize and succeed in the digital world, delivering a world-class experience for you and your clients.