As more and more restrictions are lifted, we find ourselves trying to navigate a world that is similar to the time before the pandemic hit in 2020. Though we are getting a taste of ‘normal’ again, many things have not and most likely will not return to the way they once were.
The ability to gather together again is on most people’s minds, but not everyone is keen to join in on group outings. In some cases, there is still a need for events to take the virtual route, or at least adopt the hybrid model.
In a world now plagued by ‘Zoom fatigue,’ it’s vital that event marketers consider various ways to promote their event and attract an interested audience.
Read on for eight tips to help you increase virtual and hybrid event registrations.
Set and understand your goals from the start
Though this first tip might seem like a no-brainer, it’s important that you have a clear sense of what exactly you want to achieve before starting any planning. By setting and understanding your goals for each stage of your event early on in the planning process, you will be able to develop a strategy that sets expectations and will be kept on track to meet those goals.
Plan your hybrid event marketing strategy with a focus on virtual first
While many are excited to attend in person events once again, having a virtual component to your event is still important when looking to have a successful turnout among attendees. Offering a virtual component will allow for you to attract an even larger guest list – a lot of which may be attending your events for the first-time. Ensure to focus on appealing opportunities for virtual attendees first so that online guests don’t feel neglected in a hybrid setting.
Have different expectations for different types of event attendees
With hybrid events, it is inevitable that in person and virtual attendees will have different experiences. It is important to set expectations for each group by considering what each of their needs are. The choice itself to attend an event in person or virtually should give you a glimpse into what activations that individual will respond to. Those attending in person most likely favour face-to-face interaction and are looking for live experiences with speakers, products, and more. Virtual attendees may lean more towards prioritizing their safety and budget.
Use the hybrid format as part of the attraction
Many people have taken a liking to hybrid events over the last few years – they have been giving a sense of flexibility and choice when they register. When planning your event, use this to your advantage! Be sure to promote and advertise your event as a hybrid one, and make your registration flexible so guests can feel confident RSVPing, even if they may change their mind.
Encourage event partners and attendees to promote the event on their end
Having event exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, and attendees share the event on their social channels, allows you to reach various audiences and attract more attendees. Each party’s audience is already interested and invested in them, so sharing the details of your event across to their network is sure to garner more registrations. Make it easy for them – share pre-made social assets with vendors so that all they need to do is post!
Utilize exclusive extras for both audiences
As previously mentioned, virtual and in-person attendees are going to have unique experiences at the event, so ensure they receive unique benefits too. In-person attendees may be able to participate in on-site opportunities, while virtual guests may receive exclusive access to behind the scenes content.
Prioritize and integrate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies
Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential in all practices, and there’s no exception when it comes to planning your event. Whether it’s assembling a diverse speaker roster, choosing a venue that is accessible, or creating name badges with pronouns, ensuring that your guests feel included and represented is crucial in attracting that audience and building a relationship with them.
Highlight hybrid elements through social media and email marketing
One of the best things you can do to promote your event is utilizing social media and email marketing. Social media efforts can assist in reaching and attracting a remote audience, and email marketing can help target what each audience segment receives, catering to their interests and needs specifically. Using influencer marketing to help promote your event is another effective route to take. Again, utilize your speakers and exhibitors – host social account takeovers to help cross-promote and reach a wider audience.
FAULHABER provides full-service event design, management and production. Searching for best-in-class event marketing in Canada? Contact us today to learn how we can work together to bring your events to life.