In the last two years, virtual events have become all the rage. Businesses that were already participating or hosting them were ahead of the curve and some who weren’t quickly learned. With schedules filling back up, we don’t see the need for virtual events to disappear. Instead, you can make it a normal alternative that allows everyone to participate from anywhere. Sounds like a great idea, right? We have a few ideas on how you can create and host a virtual event, market your business, and even bring in some extra income!
How to Create a Virtual Event
There are a few things you need to consider before giving the ‘full steam ahead’ directive and entering the planning stage for your virtual event – the why, who, what, and where.
Usually, business decisions are made with a goal in mind and the decision to have a virtual event should be no different. How does a virtual event fit into your business plan? Why do you want to host one? Once you figure that out, then you can set your goal for the event. Whether it’s to increase your student count by 10, sell 20% of the inventory you ordered, or have 30 new sign-ups for your weekly newsletter – that’s up to you to decide! Make sure your goal is measurable and attainable.
Virtual events are all about your audience. Sit down and think about who your target audience is for this specific event. It can be the same as your business target audience or vary, depending on what your ‘why’ is.
Your audience should be specific. For example, parents who have kids under the age of four who need swim lessons or middle schoolers who are interested in cheerleading but have no previous experience. By narrowing down your audience, you can tailor your event specifically to them.
Once you have your audience figured out, you need to figure out what kind of event will be best for them. Here at Jackrabbit, we have found that our audience responds best to things like virtual conferences, online demos, and social livestreams (such as our Friday Five feature).
Your virtual event doesn’t have to be a grand event that takes weeks of planning. It can be something as quick as hopping on a social media livestream to give an update and answer questions or hosting a session to show off new gear for students. A few other fun ideas include:
- Virtual open house
- Virtual games – scavenger hunts, charades, etc.
- Ask Me Anythings (AMA’s) – These are a great way for current and prospective students and families to get to know you and your staff
- Virtual training for other coaches
The last thing to consider is your virtual event location and there are tons of options out there, you only need to look. When considering virtual event platforms, keep things like the event size, your audience, customization, and pricing in mind. Some of the best free platforms are:
- Google Meet
Other virtual platforms that include options for things like audience polls, workshops, and analytics may be worth considering.
How to Get the Most Out of a Virtual Event
Promote! Promote! Promote! Or at least, that’s what we think you should do. Promotion will look different for every business. You can use email, social media, push notifications from your app, or flyer handouts. There are a ton of ways to get the word out. Check out our 9 Ways to Market Your Business blog for more ideas.
Your promotional materials must be actionable. Consumers should be able to figure out their next step whether it is filling out a sign-up form, calling you to ask a question, or marking a date down in their calendar.
Overall, virtual events are a great way for you to get the word out about your business, get to know your current students and families, and meet prospective students and families. You may even learn a thing or two about those you serve.
Virtual events don’t have to be overwhelming – if you follow our recommendations, it should give you a head start on planning and maybe even give some ideas for future events!
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