If you host virtual events, you know that there’s no turning back. In fact, 93% of organizations plan to invest in virtual events moving forward, says the Post-Covid-19 Event Outlook Report.
The benefits of taking your events online are vast, from reaching a global audience to expanding your market. They “increase convenience, the efficiency of presentation, and effectiveness,” says Alignable member Scott Korbin from Korbin Realty Inc.
But as a small business owner, how do you host virtual events that grow your business?
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3 Ways to Host Virtual Events That Convert
Below, you’ll find the top three things you need to know about virtual events based on advice from thousands of event professionals on Alignable.
1. Use and Master Reliable Tech
To master the virtual event, you need to master the technology. So start out by:
Picking a virtual events platform: Choose a reliable, user-friendly platform, suggests Jeri Verspoli from Hour of Power Speed Networking.
But what is the best platform for a virtual event? It depends on your needs, audience, tech-savviness, and budget. Here are a few to consider.
You can also host virtual events right on Alignable! Join a group to get started and take advantage of in-app event hosting, reminders, RSVPs, tracking, and more.
Making sure you have great audio. “Nothing kills an online presentation faster than audio that breaks up or that can’t be heard,” says John Weisenberger from Chain Reactions Marketing.
Nothing kills an online presentation faster than audio that breaks up or that can’t be heard.
Not sure where to start?
No matter what you use, practice so you know the tech like the back of your hand.
2. Create a Personal Experience
To take a standard event to a standout one, show your audience that you know who they are and what they want, explains Sunil Bhaskaran, the founder of Global Business Mastermind.
To personalize any event:
- Ask for feedback on key speakers, invites, length, breakout groups, and more.
- Send personalized invites, reminders, and follow-up.
- Follow-up after your event with surveys, blogs, social media posts, and further event invitations that speak to the needs of your attendees.
Your ultimate goal should be to “build strong relationships,” says Alina Fridman from Ladies Take the Lead Media.
3. Have a Clear Purpose and Value-Add
Thirty-two percent of businesses that chose not to run a virtual event in 2020 did so because they didn’t think they could provide value in a virtual environment. But online environments are valuable—you just need to communicate it.
To provide value:
- Get to know your audience through 3-6 weeks of promotion via social media, email, personalized invitations, phone calls, and more. Use data from your outreach to drive value specific to your audience.
- Choose a specific topic that is compelling to a highly selective audience.
- Put the needs of your attendees first. “It’s best to give first for the sake of business,” says Dr. Marcia Ann Mims Coppertino from Coppertino and Associates Consulting Group.
In short, you need a clear idea of what your event is about, who it’s for, and why you’re doing it.
Hosting Virtual Events Can Grow Your Business
Virtual connection is more important than ever
Now that you know what you need to host a standout event, keep these things in mind:
- Virtual events can work for any business: Any size business can benefit from throwing online events. They can be formal or informal, large virtual conferences or intimate roundtables. As long as you’re creating value for your audience, you’re in good shape.
- Don’t think of virtual events as a direct selling tool. Instead, think about how you can share knowledge, teach something, or solve a specific problem for your audience. Building both trust and relationships will lead to opportunities.
- There are many types of virtual events so don’t get stuck thinking you need to do it one particular way. Instead, think about creating fun virtual events that drive audience engagement.
“Virtual connection is more important than ever,” points out Dan Weber, the CEO of Peak Pathways LLC. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to build those connections and grow your business at the same time.
Have you hosted a virtual networking event or another type of event? What virtual event ideas do you have? Let us know in the comments.
Want to get started online networking but consider yourself an introvert? Join the Networking for Introverts Group on Alignable to get ideas, share tips, and find support from other business owners reports Alignable.