So you want to host a virtual event. From small events like one-person webinars to all-day conferences with 20 speakers–your virtual event deserves leverage and the maximum amount of attendees.
Lining up speakers and organizing an event is a lot of work. And if you put in a lot of effort, of course, you want a lot of attendees to be part of your awesome virtual event. There are other events occurring that compete with your event, so you need to stand out.
In this post, we will explore both paid and organic strategies to boost attendees for your next virtual conference.
Allocating Enough Time
When you are working on your virtual event timeline, it’s crucial to allocate enough time for you to promote your event and for attendees to plan for it.
For a large event like an all-day virtual conference, budget 6 weeks from ideation to launch day. If it’s a smaller event like a single webinar, plan 4 weeks ahead of time.
Leverage Your Speakers
Great speakers will power your virtual conference. Secure these thought leaders before you start promoting your event so that you can leverage them.
Headshots of your speakers on your landing page and marketing materials will make your target consumers want to sign up for your event.
Additionally, your speakers are a powerful asset in getting attendees. Help them share the details of your event on social and email. When you write the copy for the influencers, it makes it super easy for them to share your event.
When marketing your event, you get a very small amount of time to convey a lot of information.
Create a landing page for your event and feature headshots of your top speakers, logos to brands participating and of course, the details of the event laid out cohesively.
Determine what questions and pain points your conference can serve. Flip the pain points on their heads and utilize this information for marketing verbiage.
When marketing your event, use messaging that makes your target audience feel like they need to register right away. Messages like “the price will increase tomorrow” or “there are a limited amount of spots left” will create a sense of urgency.
The Power of Email
Our brands that have hosted virtual events have had more success with email marketing more than any other strategy to promote a virtual event.
In fact, 76% of marketers report that email is the single most effective way to drive event registrations.
Tap into your own network and invite them to your event. Explore email blasts from like-minded brands. Email blasts can be a dedicated email or a space in their online newsletter.
We recommend that you use 75% of your virtual event promotion budget on email.
Your Social Media Strategy
Second to email, social media promotion is an important asset to your virtual event marketing plan.
Post organically on your social media channels about your event. Start promoting as soon as your speakers are lined up and post on each channel every other day leading up to your event. Analyze which posts are the most successful and put some budget behind them. It is also smart to track the effectiveness of the speaker-generated posts and consider putting money to boost those as the third-party social proof is what your target consumers want.
Gamify the Process
Contests are fun and you can leverage gamification to drive virtual event registrations.
Consider doing a contest for both your speakers and your attendees to see who can get the most signups. Offer the winner a $250 Amazon gift card. This will be worth the power of authentic content.
Consider the Cost
It’s tempting to charge attendees to sign up for your virtual event. However, if your goal is lead gen, you should make your event free to attend. A free event means more leads so take that into consideration.
If you are hosting an event to make revenue, be mindful of the cost to attend. Look to like-minded events and get a pulse on the industry standard in terms of what it costs to attend similar events.
If you want to offset the cost of your virtual event, consider charging vendors and sponsors.
Have you hosted a virtual event? We’d love to hear how you boosted registrations in the comments below!