During the Covid-19 pandemic in-person marketing events were non-existent for many months and only now are starting to come back on a limited basis. The pivot to virtual or digital events was often successful and will likely remain a key strategy regardless of public health issues.
Let’s take a look at how remote events work best. Here at MassLive Media we needed to make the same change. Every year, our parent company Advance Local hosts a Mentoring Monday live networking event. With in-person events not possible, Advance Local pivoted this well known, highly anticipated event to a digital format.
HOW WE DO IT
The original Mentoring Monday event consisted of speed networking, roundtable discussions, a keynote presentation, and an opportunity for everyone to mix and mingle. Using virtual event technology, the spirit of the event remained intact. Attendees were still able to connect in a meaningful way, while the virtual format removed any geographic or travel limitations on attendance. It also helped facilitate an out-of-market keynote speaker. In its own way, these virtual events allowed Advance Local to branch out from our traditional, location-based restrictions.
In hosting your own virtual event, communication with attendees is critical. Your pre-event marketing should clearly explain what your attendees can expect. Technology always presents a learning curve. In response, we hosted tutorial videos and technology check sessions in advance of the event and the virtual event floor was also opened early, so any technology issues could be solved early.
While these extra steps and add some work to the marketer’s plate, it allows for the event to start smoothly. This, in turn, will create a more comfortable networking environment for all involved.
The new virtual Mentoring Mondays actually made the experience better for some, as the technology allowed for new connections and experiences. One guest left feedback saying, “nothing was missed online, I felt like I was there”.
If a digital event is in your future, make sure to regularly check in throughout the planning process to ensure that the goals and spirit of the event are not changing too much due to the format. If it’s just not possible to achieve the desired result without being live and in-person, then don’t force it to be remote. Using event marketing to drive deeper engagement with audiences should remain the core. Digital events can help drive this engagement and further develop the relationship your business has with consumers but be mindful of the value of your scripted agenda vs. the loss of spontaneous engagement, which happens much more significantly in person.
To learn more about event marketing with the pandemic and to get information on how these changes can affect you and your business, visit masslivemedia.com. To schedule a call with us to see how we can help you, please contact us today!