Using Virtual Events to Grow Your Business

Articles Event Marketing Small Business

Although we are slowly and cautiously taking steps to reopen businesses and places of social gathering, there is still a weariness to congregate in large groups.  The live events you may have planned to market your brand are in limbo until the Coronavirus is under control.

virtual meeting photo

So when can go we back to planning live events again?  No one can confidently predict that right now. In the mean time, how will you reach your target audience and gather leads to grow your business?  How will you market your business in addition to your email marketing and social media presence? Event marketing has been the go to for business owners for getting warm leads in the room. Getting face to face with your target audience can produce almost 80% more leads than email marketing or social media alone. But since live marketing events are off the table, we are now looking more closely at virtual marketing events.

Live vs. Virtual Events

What’s the difference between a virtual marketing event and a live marketing event?  Except for the obvious, there are a few major differences.  A live marketing event can be used to promote most industries.  The most common marketing events for business owners are conferences, workshops and product launches.  A live event will work for each type of event. 

In contrast, virtual events may work well for conferences, workshops, and product launches if the industry is already well known.  A virtual summit that targets the natural or organic beauty industry would work, but not a product launch for in home robot butlers. People want to be able to feel, touch, taste and smell a product in an unproven industry before they buy.  Virtual events won’t allow people to use their senses to evaluate your product.

Second, live events allow you to personally engage with your target audience.  They travel to your event because they are actively looking for what you’re selling.  Meaning they come to your event as warm leads, listen to you and talk to you about your product or service. If you are a good closer, you can leave your event with quite a few new clients.

Virtual events can expose hundreds of people to your business. Not all of them will be warm leads.  Most virtual events are free to register, so some may not show up or some may be too distracted to listen.  You will have to work harder in your follow up to turn them in to customers. The good news is, there is typically more people attending a virtual event translating to more people seeing your brand and turning to customers.

What Types of Businesses Are Best

Virtual summits are great for businesses like speakers, authors, non-profit organizations, podcasters, service providers, and B2B business. They can also work well for consultants, coaches, real estate agents, and travel agents just to name a few.  If you are trying to gain a foothold in your industry or niche, it won’t hurt to try a virtual event while waiting for event venues to reopen. The key to successful virtual events is to choose a topic that speaks to the demand in your industry.

Benefits of Virtual Events

Virtual events will allow you to reach potential customers from all over the world.  There is no limit to the number of attendees in your virtual conference. You can have hundreds or thousands of people attend and the additional cost per person is nominal to none.  

Virtual events provides you with multiple revenue streams.  In general, basic access to the event is free.  However, you can generate revenue from post event access passes, affiliate commissions, sponsorships, or direct sale or your product or service.  You can also incentivize your attendees to market your event for you and multiply your list of potential customers.

Thirdly, you can plan and execute a virtual event in as little as 90 days.  It takes 90 days to pick your topic, get speakers, sponsors, promote and execute your event.  And once you have recorded the content, it’s always available to generate income.

If you were thinking about marketing your business via a live event, I would highly recommend a virtual summit or conference instead. The success of your virtual summit will depend on the topic you choose and the speakers participating in your event.  As long as you have a computer and a great internet connection, you can host your virtual event.

Jamel Shuford
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