We’re now almost 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Many meeting organizers had hoped that 2021 would be known as the year that live events returned. But there’s still a few too many hurdles to overcome…thus we are seeing conference organizers now planning a second virtual conference.
After a “hurry up and learn” mentality in 2020, we are now getting the opportunity to take a step back and see what worked, and what didn’t. And we can learn from others too…there’s a much more “in this together” feeling. We all want to see everyone succeed.
Attendees are often drawn to a conference because of the opportunity to learn. And with virtual platforms, your potential audience has expanded ten-fold. But you can’t just hit play and stream sessions out to the world. Organizers must consider different session formats, the importance of Q&A sessions and best practices for speakers.
Extend the Event’s Value: One benefit of virtual events is that attendees can learn on their own time. There doesn’t have to be a rigid schedule to follow. Nothing to do on a Saturday night? Make it possible for them to log in and watch a few sessions.
- Turn it into a 365 event. Publish a post-conference highlights issue, in either print or digital format, to remind both attendees and non-attendees about what’s still available on the platform.
- Offer opportunities for attendee re-targeting. Create a digital publication series focused on the different session tracks, and sell one exclusive advertising placement in each publication. Exhibitors LOVE exclusivity and the opportunity to generate leads.
Exhibitors Seek Leads!
It’s no secret…exhibitors are leery of virtual exhibit halls. Many report little to no leads…leading them to question the ROI? How can you raise awareness about your exhibitors?
- No totebags? Replace the tote-bag with poly-bagged publication mailed directly to attendees’ homes and offices. Organizers get a unique marketing piece focused on educational content, and advertisers get direct access to their target markets.
- Print or digital exhibitor guides: Create a digital publication series focused on the different themes, and sell one exclusive advertising placement in each publication. Exhibitors LOVE exclusivity and the opportunity to generate leads
- On-demand industry symposia: Promote in post-conference highlights issue to extend the shelf life. And again, offer the opportunity for inserts