Many event marketers have been lunged into the virtual world for the time being in place of exhibiting face-to-face at trade shows and events. Although the concept might seem the same, your goals for exhibiting virtually versus exhibiting at a live trade show may be different. Your first question to ask is why are you organizing or exhibiting at a virtual event? What goals are staying the same as exhibiting at in-person trade shows, and what goals are going to be different?
Setting Your Event Goals
If your virtual strategy looks the exact same as your in-person events, then great – you likely already have a goal or two set. But, since online events are so new for most businesses, adjusting your goals to make them more achievable will help justify your virtual event presence. Here are examples of realistic goals to set for your event:
- Brand awareness. Looking to just simply stay on top of prospects and customer’s minds? Then aligning your virtual events with this goal is a good option for now!
- Relationship building or customer retention. This is a key reason why many businesses exhibit at in-person trade shows – so virtual trade shows may help you achieve this if you prepare correctly.
- High audience engagement. Maybe you aren’t necessarily looking to make a sale during your online event, but you want your audience to engage with your business and brand, so they come back when they are ready to buy – this is a realistic goal to have in an online space.
- Reaching a lead generation amount. If this is a goal you have in mind, make sure to set it accordingly! If you are not expecting as many leads from a virtual event, or you are expecting more – this will look different than your in-person exhibiting.
- Revenue generation – making a sale! Maybe you are launching a new product or service or heavily promoting an existing one. If your goal is to make one or multiple sales, read on to see how you can promote this to help accomplish this goal.
Promoting Your Virtual Event Presence
No matter what goals you set for your virtual event presence – they all come with planning and strong promotions – and in some cases, a budget. Here are a few ideas and tips on how to promote your virtual event:
- Email blasts. These allow your brand to be seen by many prospects thinking about joining your virtual event. You can personalize your templates to match the overall theme and messaging of your event.
- Reaching out to key prospects directly. While email blasts are a great way to spread the word about your event, reaching out directly will seem more personal – especially to those important key prospects and customers.
- Posting on social media. This will allow for a greater audience reach. Make sure to use event hashtags to get in front of those who are searching and clicking on them!
- Using targeted social ads. This promotional option requires a budget, so make sure you are using enticing graphics and tease how visiting your virtual booth will benefit the business or businesses that will be seeing your ad.
- Launch a new product or service. Many businesses launch new products for in-person trade shows. Doing this for your virtual event can help you achieve the goal of making a sale, or at least creating a solid lead generation to learn more about your product or service.
We understand that there are many new challenges and changes to your business following the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to make your virtual experience as easy as possible! Learn more about our virtual capabilities here – and reach out today if you want to get started on achieving your goals!