The pandemic and lockdown brought in-person meetings and events to a standstill. But it has also simultaneously opened up a whole new world of online events aka virtual or digital events. For entrepreneurs, coaches, course creators and anyone who runs an online business or is planning to shift to a digital platform, the world of virtual events is a huge untapped opportunity with endless possibilities. They are the future and are here to stay!
According to a survey by Wild Apricot, in 2019, 42% of surveyed organizations chose to plan virtual events and in 2020, that number has doubled to a whopping 84%.
Here is why you should host digital events
TIME COMMITMENT – Unlike in-person events which require a lot of infrastructure and set up or virtual summits, which are usually 1 – 5 days long, 6 – 8 hours a day and need months of planning, you can create high converting and engaging digital events that are just 60 – 90 mins in length with just 3 – 4 weeks of planning.
BUILD A COMMUNITY – Digital events can help you create a network of potential clients, cheerleaders and ambassadors, to engage and nurture. It’s also a fantastic way to connect with your new or existing audience as well as provide them with the opportunity to connect with each other. If you produce consistent and high quality events, they will continue to participate, purchase your products or services and also likely share your events with their network.
AFFORDABLE – Hosting a digital event is akin to digital marketing your brand without the $. They are simple to execute, cost effective and will not break the bank. Unlike in-person events which require renting a venue, chairs, providing catering, and in some cases security and a clean up crew, virtual events can be hosted and promoted for free or for a very minimal amount. And without these constraints, you can dedicate your time and energy to producing a stellar event.
CREATE BRAND AWARENESS – An online event is an easy and strategic way to get your product, service or business in front of your potential clients. It also gives you the opportunity to add a face to your brand which helps build trust and credibility with your audience.
REACH A GLOBAL AND LARGER AUDIENCE – In-person events are much more time consuming for your audience. Since people don’t have to travel, your virtual event will attract leads who may normally not attend your in-person events. And because your audience doesn’t have to be in your city, or time zone, this opens up your event to attendees across the world who you wouldn’t typically be able to reach.
GROW YOUR E-MAIL LIST – The beauty of using digital events to grow your e-mail list is that you can grow it at every stage of your event.The best way to grow your list is by making sure signing up for your event easy to find, and attendees share their name and e-mail address in return for attending your event. By offering an event that aligned with your business and an incentive for joining, your list will be full of potential customers that are ready to hear about your events.
SALES – You can monetize your events either by charging a fee to attend or by converting your attendees into paying customers by creating an irresistible offer for a product or service at the end of the event. Also you will have a brand new email list of followers eager to learn more about your topic as well as consume the content you have to offer them. You can leverage this warm email list to launch a new product or service to them in subsequent e-mails.