For years now, events have been the go-to strategy for most businesses to improve their lead generation, engineer a sales pipeline, build brand awareness, and enhance their customer loyalty. Six out of 10 leaders believe that event marketing is the most effective marketing tool in their marketing mix.
Picture any in-person event you may have attended in the past and you will immediately remember the beautiful venue, the sponsorship videos, exhibits, coupons and other offers, interesting workshops, speeches, and the networking, of course.
After 2020, all of this moved to virtual event platform, but in 2022, it seems like the hybrid model (combining in-person and virtual elements) will be the mainstay for businesses.
However, what is the best way to make this happen?
We have not one but six ways in which you can blend in-person and virtual events. However, before we get started, remember that you must know the goal of your event. Only then will you be able to gauge the real need and effectiveness of blending virtual elements. It makes sense only if the blending of your in-person and virtual events is in alignment with your goals.
1. Stream your events
From music festivals and product launches to weddings and birthday parties, streaming events have become one of the easiest ways to promote an event to virtual audiences in different corners of the world. If your content is good and has always been, rest assured that people everywhere will attend. And that is the reason why big conferences like Salesforce’s Dreamforce have attendance rates that continue to soar.
2. Use good hybrid event technology
There are several hybrid event platform in the market now but you need to choose one that works with your strategy and goals. If that needs some research, account for it and get started early.
To make things easier for you, ensure that the platform has a single registration portal. Working with two separate lists is time-consuming and unnecessary.
In fact, a single page for all your audiences will serve as a good starting point to make them feel connected through the same event agenda, games, and interactions.
3. Engage with your audiences
Every event is an experience and while the in-person attendees are usually touted to feel it better, there is plenty of room for engagement even on virtual platforms like Almond Virtex, Airmeet, vFairs. What you need is to communicate with your service provider and together create opportunities in the form of chats, quizzes, interesting games, and so on.
4. Use social media extensively
If you are wondering how to use social media to advertise a virtual event, then we have news for you. You need to learn, fast. Nearly eight out of 10 attendees are on social media and you can leverage it not just to promote but also to foster that connection between your in-person and virtual attendees like we spoke earlier.
5. Use the same promotional material
A great way to bring engagement up is by distributing similar promotional content before your event and using it to ask questions, create polls and general conversation with your attendees. It could be in the form of blogs, pamphlets, videos, etc.
6. Continue after your event
Once the event is done, you must continue to hold conversations that engage both types of audiences. The event itself is a common factor and how you leverage it to attract your audiences matters. Share your event in the form of post-event snippets, audio, podcasts, blogs, and encourage your attendees to participate in dialogue.
Just like everything else, event marketing too, has changed. All you need is a little flexibility and innovation to catch up and make the most of it.