For the last several months, I’m sure we’ve all noticed the increasing amount of virtual events and meetups. While some companies and brands host virtual events (special events, tradeshows & conferences) to gain their footing as the world pivots, smaller virtual meetings are likely at the request of employers. And the more casual meetups via Hangouts, Zoom, and FaceTime have been a fun way to connect with family and friends.
Whether you are a lifestyle company, startup software outfit, or an influencer, there are several ways to use virtual events and meetups to connect with and grow your audience. Below are three tips on how to best leverage virtual events for business growth.
Virtual Events & Meetups for Business Growth
Build Momentum Before Launch – Prior to your virtual event, spend some time building momentum through all of your social channels. The key to success is making sure your message is uniquely crafted for each social audience – the demographic of your Facebook audience is likely different from those who follow you on Snapchat or Twitter. Craft meaningful messages that outline who the event is for and why they should attend.
Instead of the traditional promotional post, take the time to conduct social media surveys and contest to gain interest. You can also create a special landing page for the event and give out free resources and other digital goods to those who sign up to attend.
Be Personable & Encourage Participation – Whether you’re chatting with several friends during a Zoom call or hanging out with them via FaceTime, nothing says, “I care” like genuinely listening to what someone else has to say. Don’t dominate the meetup, it’s not all about you. Be sure to let others speak- encourage participation if you have to!
Businesses can also benefit from this by inviting virtual guests to connect during or after the event. The connecting doesn’t necessarily need to be in reference to business. Think about creating a sort of “after hours” spot for your virtual event where participants can meet and network with each other on social. This way, you end up adding value to all your guests and attendees. Also, your audience is more likely to connect with your brand via social because of the enjoyable experience associated with your event.
A Gesture of Kindness – You know the saying, “Kindness always wins.” This is true – whether you see the direct results of your gesture or not. Identify ways you can go above and beyond to be helpful to those who support you. Whether it’s your client, customer, or someone in your social media audience, make sure to show your appreciation.
One idea would be to send a customized gif via social media to those who attended your event. Yeah, I’m aware it takes work and time but remember out of all the events people could have attended they support yours. Do something nice. And, if you’re really pressed for time – consider an old-fashioned phone call. Or, for the more modern folks – a text message. Come up with creative ways to give a shout out to those who show up for you. It’s a great way to show how much you care.
Leveraging virtual meetings can be a great way to grow and maintain meaningful connections with your customers, audience, and friends. As we adapt to this new way of meeting and connecting, we must also take into account the way we engage and interact virtually. Showing genuine interest in your audience, offering value and understanding is the way to go.