Five Tips to Flawlessly Execute Virtual Events and Activations
For the foreseeable future, large gatherings like trade shows, concerts, markets, and presentations are ill-advised. According to Forbes, as of mid-March, over 52 million events were already canceled or postponed. Others are shifting to virtual trade shows, presentations, and other online events. If you’d already planned and budgeted your 2020 marketing campaign, it’s time to make the necessary changes and plan online brand activations and virtual events. How do you pull off these virtual marketing plans? Use these five tips to help you create a memorable marketing campaign.
Think About What the Audience Wants to Experience
As a business owner or marketing department lead, it’s easy to think about the company and budgetary concerns. You need to change focus. If you were new to your product or service, what questions would you have? What would make your brand stand out? You need to put yourself in the consumers’ shoes. Think about what they would want to experience and how would they want that to happen. You don’t have to bring your brand to people at sampling booths, expositions, or pop-ups. Virtual settings can have just as much impact.
You have to arrange a virtual event or plan to match your company’s brand or product. Say you specialize in butcher block counters, a home improvement show would have been the ideal event for your brand. Look for others who are interested in holding an online home improvement trade show. You’ll each set up a virtual booth and use live streaming for demonstrations and to answer consumer questions. An honest approach with a lively, humorous MC is going to impress consumers. Say you own a restaurant, you can switch to video lessons teaching people how to make some of your signature dishes. Offer cooking tips and tricks, answer questions in comments, and invite consumers to send you photos of their final dishes.
Remember That Less is More
People do not want to sit down to a virtual marketing event that lasts hours. Make sure your virtual marketing campaign is the right length. If you usually would be part of a weekend-long concert, scale down to the actual amount of time you’re taking the stage at that concert. If you had a booth at a trade show, narrow your videos and live presentations to the amount of time most of the attendees actually spend at your booth. As tempting as it may be to take extra time and show more about your company, quick teasers are going to keep consumers coming back to learn more.
Find the Right Venue
Pick the right venue for your virtual event. If you’re live streaming, you need a quiet room where background noise won’t cause interruptions or cause disturbances that distract you. A sound-proof room is ideal for podcasts. If you’re showing people what you can do, you might want to live-stream from your place of work and show people how you create the product you’re selling. Keep it light and entertaining if that’s your approach. Do not overwhelm your consumers with too much information.
If you want a professional video, be prepared to rent studio space with high-quality equipment and green screens. For a restaurant owner who wants to do a series of videos, a large, professional kitchen may be good enough. If not, you’ll need to move it to the restaurant’s kitchen, and you’ll want it clean and organized with everything that’s required in terms of ingredients, utensils, and pans.
Prep, Plan, and Practice
Prepare and plan your virtual marketing event or program. Write everything down and make sure you don’t forget any steps. You want a timeline that covers the opening, information you’re presenting, timing on each piece of information, and closing statements. Once you have this nailed down, practice it alone, practice it with the other key members of your team, and practice it again with a sample audience of family, friends, and employees. If they offer guidance, have questions, or need clarification, go over each component of your virtual activation or event and fix what seemed wrong or missing.
You need to practice often. First, it helps you learn the material. Second, it enables you to test the equipment like cameras, microphones, and computers repeatedly to make sure they’re all working fluidly. You don’t want to skip these tests and find the sound isn’t working when you start a live conference or video stream. If others on your team tell you it will be fine, practice anyway. It never hurts to do several test runs, but it can hurt if the event arrives and you spend the first half of your virtual event trying to fix things. People will get bored and leave.
Don’t Skimp on Your Event Team
Hire the right team to pull off the event you’re planning. Your marketing team may not be enough. If you have a message to get across and need a script, the graphic designer on your team isn’t going to be an expert in writing scripts. Your marketing manager may not have a clue about using video cameras and sound systems, you need a sound engineer and skilled videographer. Your administrative assistant may not have the experience answering social media questions during a live streaming event. Hire a social media marketing expert for that aspect of your event. It may require additional staff for the event, but it’s worth it if you want a flawless virtual event.
Don’t be ashamed to admit that virtual marketing is over your head. For decades, people have handled their marketing events using traditional techniques. The switch to virtual marketing may be overwhelming, but it’s important when coronavirus is making everyone change old habits and try new things. Your marketing campaigns are all part of it. If you need help, reach out and ask an expert.
Let an award-winning experiential marketing agency help you plan and execute memorable virtual events and brand activations. You may not be familiar with the new approaches that help businesses connect with consumers, but Factory 360 excels at them. We can help you plan a live streaming event, AR, VR, or MR reality marketing campaign, and social media strategies. Email us with your questions or to discuss your marketing plans.