In a time of unprecedented upheaval, business owners and entrepreneurs have a brand new toolkit for building their community through the exciting world of virtual events.
No one could have prepared for what 2020 has thrown at us so far. Between lockdowns, social distancing, travel bans and running a business during a global pandemic, it’s been one for the history books. But that old adage “pressure makes diamonds” does ring true – and new ways of conducting business have cropped up that are huge news for business owners (like you!).
The concept of virtual events aren’t new – the idea of conducting a seminar over the internet has been done for decades now. But the likes of Zoom entering the market has given a deserving spotlight to virtual events.
So while it may be harder to connect with your clients physically right now, it’s never been more straightforward to build a community around your brand digitally. This is largely due to the fact that the modern-day equivalent of webinars are far more sophisticated than their clunky predecessors, and have so much untapped capability in terms of engagement, data collection, and community building.
And the good news is, they’re accessible to almost every single digital business and entrepreneur! We’ve talked about the engagement and marketing tools which are all part and parcel of the modern-day virtual event in a previous blog post, which you can check out here
The rise of virtual events has also signalled to consumers the businesses that are open to innovation, and are agile in the current climate; businesses that are utilising this kind of technology signal to all current and potential clients that they’re on the bleeding edge of marketing and strategic innovation. Nice!
Before you leap into the world of virtual events, you have to fully understand what your business is – what does it stand for? How is it different from your competitors? But most importantly of all, what kind of people are you wanting to attract into your business community – your tribe?
Building a community around your brand is so much more than having an active client-base – it’s about engaging your clients in a way that’s meaningful to them and building loyalty.
Once you know who your clients and target clients are, you can work on bringing them together for a virtual event which meets their specific needs – and you’re on the way to building that active, passionate community.
So here’s the thing – you really need to be holding your own virtual events to connect with your consumers, and build that community. Here’s a list of five reasons why:
VIRTUAL EVENTS ARE COST EFFICIENT
If you’ve ever hosted an event, you’ll already know how quickly the costs stack up. Between the price associated with venue hireage, refreshments, AV gear, hospitality for speakers, programmes, flyers and booklets – it all gets incredibly pricey, incredibly quickly. Imagine a world where you can host events without all those physical overheads! It’s not just a reality – it’s a frankly smarter way of doing business right now.
VIRTUAL EVENTS CAN BE HELD MORE FREQUENTLY
And speaking of the cost efficiencies of virtual events – that means you can run them more frequently. Whether this is to bring more clients into your business, or to reconnect with your existing clients for added value, you can run more events to reach more clients (and potential clients) than ever before. It’s not just that it’s possible to hold more virtual events, it’s that you really should hold more virtual events – the opportunity to repeatedly engage your community in a dedicated, online space will help build loyalty to your brand. Further, the more (relevant) virtual events you hold, the higher the level of visibility for your business and brand.
VIRTUAL EVENTS ARE MORE ACCESSIBLE
Let’s talk attendees to your event. The barriers for accessibility have been well and truly broken down, opening up your virtual event to delegates from anywhere on earth. It has been estimated that virtual events are attended by up to 10 times more delegates than physical events. By removing the physical restrictions that traditional events have, you can open your brand up to an entire new segment of potential clients.
ACCESS TO HIGHER PROFILE SPEAKERS
Another positive impact on the ease of accessibility to virtual events, is your access to higher profile speakers. By lifting the geographical restrictions on your event and holding it virtually, that means that speakers can participate from anywhere on earth. If speakers are able to participate from the comfort of their own home, as opposed to travelling across the country (or even internationally), you’re far more likely to able to secure them for a speaking engagement at your event. So aim big!
FAST AND VALUABLE DATA
One of the single most valuable reasons why you need to be hosting your own virtual events, is that you get actionable data in real time. The benefit of running an event exclusively online, means that you have tangible data on participation and engagement, as well as the registration data that you get with traditional events. What this means is that everything about your virtual event is measurable and actionable – you can learn a lot about the ways that your clients (and future clients) consume new information, and what they find most interesting and applicable to their lives. And most importantly, this data means you can target your follow-up communication to best serve their needs and future needs.
All of this is well within your grasp! There’s a virtual event format to suit every single business and every single entrepreneur. DOWNLOAD the PDF Guide on The 6 Types of Virtual Events to generate revenue and grow your community.