Five Ways to Increase Attendance at Virtual Events
By, Joni Rampolla, MBA, RDN, LDN, The GIANT Company
If you “plan an event, they will come.” I’m not the only one that has found this is not true. We must work to grow our audience and keep them coming back. Here are some actionable suggestions for boosting attendance at virtual events.
1. Provide Exceptional Content
We are great at sharing our knowledge, but do not forget what your audience needs. What is their motivation for attending? Encourage audience participation. Ask questions, distribute polls, or encourage engagement with other participants or a guest speaker. Consider surveying your audience quarterly to assess their learning interests, their preferred format, time of day, or class length. An engaged participant is likely to return for more!
2. Stay Consistent with Your Brand
Staying on brand with your content means creating a consistent look, feel, message, tone, and voice that mirrors your marketing department. Can a customer guess your grocery brand when viewing your presentation without you directly saying it? Messaging that is in alignment with your brand builds trust with your customers.
3. Social Media Engagement
Post teasers on social media. If your brand is not posting your content, evaluate if you can post it on your personal site. This heightens awareness to attract new customers. My dietitian colleagues started a LinkedIn campaign where we posted on our personal accounts and tagged our company. It got us so much attention that we now have reels on our company’s social media.
4. Take Initiative with Your Brand
Sometimes, support comes when you ask for it, rather than waiting to be asked. For example, my team asked if we could have a spot in the weekly flyer, make a video that gets sent out to customers in an email, and award loyalty points to those who attended class. It may not happen or may not happen in your preferred timeline, but persistence and patience are key.
5. Spread the Word
People need to know your virtual event exists. Create a flyer and distribute it at community events and to business partners. Ask partners to share with their community. Can you put flyers at cash registers or in pickup orders?
Virtual events are here to stay. Take a nugget of information from here to keep you reengaging and building your virtual audience.
Disclaimer: Before implementing any of the ideas listed above, please work with your respective organizations to gain permission.