Are you, like many businesses throughout the U.S. (and the rest of the world) working hard to move events online? Do you want to get people excited about connecting with you virtually?
With the right online event platform, you can easily organize a virtual conference, meeting or exhibition. However, explaining the benefits of these kinds of events or convincing people to attend them isn’t always easy.
If you’re in this boat right now and need help explaining what makes your online platform great, you’ve come to the right place.
Listed below are eight of the best ways that you can encourage attendees to use your online events platform and drive more signups for your next virtual event.
1. Consider attendees’ challenges
When you’re trying to promote anything, including an online event, it’s important to start by thinking about what the attendees’ challenges are. This allows you to step into their shoes and help them to find solutions (which, in turn, increases the likelihood that they’ll be interested in signing up for your event).
What kind of obstacles are your attendees facing? Do they have concerns about event accessibility? Are they worried about whether or not the quality of the event (entertainment, engagement, networking options, etc.) will be the same online as it is in-person?
Once you understand what concerns your target audience has, you can start tailoring your message to put them at ease.
For example, let’s say you know that the folks who are thinking about attending are worried about networking opportunities. Once you know this, you can talk to them about how the hosting platform you use offers a variety of features that can match them with other attendees who have similar interests or goals as they do.
2. Collect reviews and testimonials
Social proof is a powerful tool. If you need help swaying attendees who are on the fence and encouraging them to attend your online event, showing glowing reviews and success stories from past attendees can make a big difference.
Go back to some of the other virtual events you’ve hosted in the past. What have people had to say about them?
Can you reach out to past attendees, if you haven’t already, and ask them to write a review for your event? Can you ask them to talk about what they liked about the virtual or hybrid event or whether they would consider attending again?
By collecting reviews and testimonials to share with your target audience, you can show them that others have had a positive experience and that they can, too, even with the event being hosted online instead of face-to-face.
3. Show off your platform's features
Make sure you’re doing a good job of showcasing all of the features that your virtual event platform offers.
What separates it from other event hosting software? What can it do for the attendees? How will it solve their problems, improve the quality of their event, and help them to see the kind of results they’re hoping for?
It’s important to talk up the highlights of your platform if you want to increase sign-ups and get people to attend your event. In the case of Brella, for example, it’s easy for you and your event attendees to stay informed, conduct meetings, host live streams, and more. It even offers time-zone support and AI-powered matchmaking for more efficient and productive networking.
If you do a good job of talking up the platform, focusing specifically on the features that are most likely to address attendees’ qualms, there’s a good chance they’ll be more willing to give it and your event a try.
4. Gather data from past events
While you’re collecting testimonials from past event attendees and platform users, take a look at the data from previous events you’ve hosted virtually, too.
What kind of turnout did you see? Did the majority of people who RSVP'd actually show up? How many leads did your attendees get? Collect as much data as you can and use that to back up the power of a well-planned and professionally hosted online event.
Some people are more convinced by numbers than other persuasion tactics. If you have attendees who fall into this group, showing them the data can sweeten the deal and encourage them to place their trust in your event and your platform.
5. Embrace social media
Make sure you’re posting about your event on social media on a regular basis. Make it a point to follow people who are part of your target audience, too, and engage with their posts. Don't just like, but leave your thoughts as a comment and share a post when it really resonates with you.
The following are some other, more specific strategies that you can use when promoting your event on social media:
- Create an event-specific hashtag and use it on all of your posts
- Create a Facebook Event page and invite attendees to RSVP
- Recruit guest speakers and other attendees and ask them to spread the word and get people excited
Be sure to start early, too. It’ll be much harder to talk up your online event if you don’t start promoting it until the week before.
6. Send emails
In addition to social media marketing, make sure you’re using email marketing to promote your virtual event, too. Stay in touch with the folks who are already on your email list and connect with them on a regular basis.
This gives you a chance to let them know about the event and the hosting platform you’re using and helps you to stay at the forefront of their minds. Email marketing also allows for more direct access, too, and means you aren't relying solely on social media algorithms for visibility (they can be fickle).
7. Make engaging video content
Video marketing is a fun, engaging, and effective way to showcase the different features of your platform and illustrate the benefits for your audience.
You can film and produce your own videos or work with a videography team to boost the production value and create a video that is sure to have a positive impact.
Here are some types of videos worth including in your event marketing campaign:
- Ticket launch celebration
- A pre-event announcement with details (date, time, hosting platform, etc.)
- Recap of last year’s event
- Video testimonials from past attendees
8. Leverage your brand
If you’ve been hosting events for a while, there’s a good chance that people know who you are and how good your events are.
Make sure you use this knowledge to your advantage. Leverage your brand and your strong reputation while promoting your event and encouraging sign-ups.
Start by sharing your story and reminding people of the kind of events you’ve hosted in the past, as well as the challenges you’ve overcome to ensure you've put together a night (or day) to remember.
When you remind your audience of what you're capable of, they’ll be more inclined to trust you and attend your event, even though it looks a bit different this year.
Start promoting your online events platform today
Promoting your online event platform can be tricky at first, especially when you’re trying to plan an event for attendees who are hesitant about virtual participation. If you keep this list of tips in mind, though, you’ll have a much easier time driving signups.
Do you need a solid and effective platform to host your virtual events? Do you want to see for yourself what Brella can do for you and your event attendees? and we'll arrange a live demo with you and your team.