How to manage, market, and monetize your virtual event?
The event industry is disrupted after the COVID-19 outbreak. All the physical events have come to a halt. During these times when the whole world is coming alive virtually, event professionals are also making plans on how to pivot their events online. However, it’s not easy to make this switch from physical to virtual event planning in one go.
The event planners need a strategic approach to deal with this situation. Event planning had always been a crucial step for any kind of successful events, so here is a step by step guide to planning your next big virtual event.
The 3 M’s of virtual event planning-
All you need to do is follow these steps and your virtual event’s strategy is ready.
So let’s get started!
As an event planner, there are many things that you need to manage. In the case of physical in-person events, the overall event management is divided into onsite management and the management of its digital presence.
However, in virtual events, everything is confined to digital space. With more multi-tasking roles, your responsibilities also increase and you need a definite strategy for smooth management.
- Technology has a bigger role to play in the case of virtual events. There are so many tech solutions to make your virtual events more accessible like – event apps, event websites, event’s listing on discovery platforms. Apart from these, there’s also the event hosting solution and the challenge is to keep them all in sync.
- Multiple tools mean more data that need to be collected and processed in the right way , so that you can analyze it all from a single platform. This helps you get a holistic view of your overall event planning.
- Communication is completed via digital channels in virtual events. It can be broadcast or personalized messaging in a campaign. There is a need for a multi-channel approach to reach the potential leads on all the stages of a virtual event. The post-event process being important where feedback is required from the participants.
- Access levels are also a big challenge since there are so many different people from your team working for the virtual event. You need to define the role as per the role of your teammates. It may vary from tool to tool and also according to their roles and responsibilities.
How to deal with them?
- Try to keep your overall event management system on a single software. One solution that is inclusive of event planning, management, conferencing, and analytics of the same.
- There are many virtual event tools that come integrated with event apps, event websites, and event discovery platforms. They offer a single dashboard from where you can manage all your content, engagement, inquiry, and sales in realtime. It’s advisable to go ahead with such one-stop solutions.
Since now the whole world is online, people are fighting for the attention of their users which is limited to split seconds. On the plus side, now it is the right time to market your events to the participants and increase your reach as it is not limited. There are so many events trying to seek the attention of potential attendees so it’s important to reach via different channels and stay connected. The right marketing strategy is the only way to get an edge over your competition in the market which includes the right virtual event solution that fits your needs.
- The Internet is flooded with the presence of event-goers. The major challenge for you as an event planner is to reach out to the right attendees.
- Your event marketing shouldn’t just focus on impressions. It is necessary to target the attendees who are genuinely interested in the event so that they add value to the event.
- For a successful virtual event, it isn’t enough to have an event hosting tool. To get the best results, you need a holistic lead generation strategy.
How to deal with them?
- Go for a multi-channel marketing strategy that leverages different channels of marketing. For instance- go beyond web presence and reach out to the smartphones of event-goers via a white-label event app.
- There are event solutions that provide event planners with much-needed competitive intelligence. It clearly shows how a particular event ranks against similar or alternative events.
- Marketing for virtual events is totally digital. Thus, it is possible to track the metrics of the marketing campaign. This data-driven analytical approach makes marketing more effective.
- Unlike physical events, there’s no limitation regarding location in virtual events, making your event truly global with investment in the right event marketing solution.
Virtual events give you ample opportunities to monetize your events online. Ticketing and sponsors being the most common ones, there are various other ways you can monetize your virtual events.
A virtual event is no longer a sidekick to the physical events. It has a more central role to play, especially, after the outbreak of COVID-19. Event planners are now looking forward to various ways of monetizing virtual events.
- Many event planners are concerned about the drop in the revenue model as they plan to switch from physical event to a virtual event.
- It doesn’t seem possible for virtual events to match the scale of in-person events in terms of overall revenue. Sponsors won’t be paying as much as they do for the physical events.
How to deal with them?
- Profit margins will improve in virtual events as the cost of organizing them is significantly low. As an event planner, you need to play on this strength of virtual events.
- Virtual events are confined in the digital ecosystem, making it is much easier for event planners to track the audience. You can get data of almost every interaction that participants have within the event ecosystem. From registration to feedback, there are so many touchpoints in a virtual event viz email, banner, notification, etc. All these touchpoints provide you with a strong case for attracting sponsors and advertisers.
- You can go for a virtual event tool customized according to the event needs. These tools help you track and charge for impressions, clicks, and the number of meetings done.
The ability to create successful events combined with the new-age technology is what makes virtual events an ideal fit in these times. As an event professional use your experience and be creative when you are launching your virtual event.
The changes that we see during the COVID-19 outbreak are going to stay with us for long but the opportunity presents itself in the grimmest circumstances and that is the silver lining. Even in the post-COVID era, virtual and physical events will stand side by side to provide a hybrid event experience. The virtual event is your asset for the present which will help you reap the benefits of the future. If you are looking forward to utilise this opportunity of virtual event planning, you may connect with our event experts for professional guidance.