At live events, you have a captive audience. Conference logistics keep attendees engaged, and moving along, from sessions to the exhibit hall, back to sessions, etc. But how do you keep users engaged during a virtual conference?
They may log in to watch some sessions, or visit the virtual exhibit hall – but distractions are inevitable. How do you get them back, once they’ve logged off your virtual platform?
And, how much communication is too much? Should you send out two versions of a daily email newsletter, AM or PM, or only one? What other tools are available to you? Other than using email, how can you remind attendees about upcoming sessions and encourage them to visit the virtual exhibit hall?
The conference schedule may dictate when you send email communications, and the number per day.
- Send out a morning email, approximately 60-90 minutes before the programming begins, to remind attendees about the day’s events.
- An afternoon or evening email can serve a few different purposes:
- Remind attendees about afternoon sessions and the virtual exhibit hall.
- If sessions have been recorded, promote on-demand viewing, so attendees can watch as time allows.
- Thank attendees for participating in the days event, thank the sponsors/exhibitors and promote tomorrow’s sessions.
Email newsletters will also generate non-dues revenue. (Ask us about how we’ll publish a free email newsletter for your next conference – we’ll generate the content, sell the advertising and manage distribution.)
Not every attendee uses the same platforms, so communications should be tailored to each platform. You don’t want to miss out on those who do not use Twitter. And it’s not just the organization that can help promote an event on social media:
- Encourage speakers to be active on their accounts.
- Create a committee of social media ambassadors.
- Provide content for your exhibitors and sponsors to share too.
It will be important to constantly monitor social media accounts. Retweeting posts will get you more exposure; and you will want to address any concerning posts, i.e. difficulty with the virtual platform, etc.
Notification options will vary from platform to platform, and some attendees may opt out, while others may find them useful. And this could be another source of non-dues revenue, possibly something that you offer top-tier sponsors.