Host virtual event

Boost Your Marketing & Sales with Virtual Events

Virtual events are a great way to build your brand, generate leads, gain new customers and generate more income. How much will it cost you? You can organize and host one on a small budget with significant impact!

Done with heart and consistency, hosting virtual events can take your small business to the next level. You will be seen as an expert or a reliable brand people can engage with.

The result? More revenue, brand awareness, increased leads… whatever your goal is.

However, the most important benefit you can derive is the opportunity to build trust, the bridge upon which all other communications, transactions, and relationships will ride. Allow me to share a few tips on how you can go about this.

Hosting a Virtual Event

Design an online event around an idea or concept your audience will find useful. It could be a Q and A session, a seminar providing specialist information, or a training session.

You don’t even have to be the one delivering the content at the event. You or a member of your team could interview a local or international expert in a field your audience would be happy to learn from and engage with.

The one rule here is that you must provide genuinely useful experience to them.

Here are a few key things to note:

  • The timing of the event could be one hour or 1.5 hours. But make it as short as you can manage.
  • Choose a time your audience would most convenient. You could run a pre-event poll to determine the day and time they would find most suitable.

What You need to Host an Online Event

Here is what you need to plan and host your virtual event:

1. An online event app or platform

Zoom seems to be the most popular virtual events platform. Other options to consider include Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Facebook Live.

I’ve been privileged to be on the organizing team of a series of webinars and virtual events using Zoom. Please note that you would need a Pro subscription to go beyond the 40-minute limit for Zoom meetings.

2. Publicity

Start with your current contacts. I hope you already have email and phone contacts of customers and prospects. Consider the following channels, too:

+ Social Media: Go the DIY route or have someone design a great events flyer to share on all your social media platforms.

You should publish the flyer and other marketing copy as posts on your social media, website, blog, and newsletter.

+ Paid Ads: Boosting these posts on social media or placing PPC ads on Google and LinkedIn, for instance, could also help spread the news.

+ SMS: Don’t forget bulk SMS is also another channel you can use for pushing out information about your upcoming event.

I advise against buying emails and phone numbers if your aim is to build trust with these people. That’s defeated if you spam them in the first place. If you don’t have a contacts list, start with your social circle, your friends, family, colleagues, former colleagues, and so on. Ask them to spread the message.

Ensure the event participants register to attend the event. This is a way to build up your contacts list. At the minimum, anyone who registers to attend the event even if they don’t actually attend shows that they are interested in your product or service. Keep their contact details because they are likely customers in the future.

3. People You Need to Make the Virtual Event Work

As you plan towards the event, please ensure you have at least one other person who will assist you pre-event and during the event.

For instance, you may need someone to help pass information to attendees during the event or to sort out technical issues while you are busy presenting or interviewing the guest.

If you will have guests or experts presenting, sync with them before the event. Have a practice session, no matter how short it is. It’s better to simulate what to expect so he or she understands your expectations and also has a great experience at the event.

Your Virtual Events Checklist

Use this checklist to help track all you need to do to plan and stage your next virtual event:

  1. Decide your target audience and their needs
  2. Create the event’s topic, date and time
  3. Choose a virtual event platform, e.g., Zoom. Set it up and prepare the event registration link
  4. Develop marketing copy for the event
  5. Prepare an event script or program
  6. Publicize event
  7. Rehearse, with your event assistant and guest speaker(s)
  8. Important! Do test runs. Check internet connectivity, help any other presenter sort this out, too
  9. Hold live event
  10. Inform participants about your brand or offering
  11. Collect post-event feedback from participants
  12. Important! Do send a post-event Thank You/Follow-up message

And there you have it. Hosting virtual events is one of the most dynamic ways you can use to improve your marketing and sales as a small business. Whether as physical or virtual events, hosting online events provides you the opportunity to bring people together, customers and prospects, in one space where you are able to engage with them, teach them, answer questions, and address any concerns.

The result? More revenue, brand awareness, increased leads… whatever your goal is.

One more thing…

You should make the audio and video recordings of the event available to both participants and absentees. Plus, you can also turn the transcripts into blog posts, website and newsletter announcements, and even intros for your next virtual events to further strengthen your marketing. Can you think of other possibilities?

Need help with any aspect of planning and hosting your next virtual event? Just send me a message and let me work with you to make it happen.