9 Best Practices for Taking Your In-Person Event Virtual

by Julie Foley Second Street

Keep your virtual event open to the public

This will increase your audience exposure and reach for your winners and finalists. Make sure to have a landing page for the on-demand video of the event available on your site year-round.

Take a freemium approach to your event

Design your virtual event to be free for anyone to watch, but also have an upgrade option for a premium virtual event experience. This could include breakout rooms with your celebrity host, networking breakouts with local business owners, or even a watch party kit. The premium option is how you can recoup consumer revenue for your virtual event.

Utilize Event Sign-Ups

Event Sign-Ups are an easy way to invite your audience to register for your virtual event. These provide a fantastic chance to learn about registrants, grow your email database, and drive sponsorship revenue.

Create a virtual swag bag

The virtual swag bag is a landing page on your website that consists of exclusive offers from your winners. Include livestream info, social media hashtags, and link to your online winners’ directory. Make sure to link to the virtual swag bag from the live broadcast as well as the on-demand video.

5280 Top of the Town Virtual Event gift bag

Take advantage of in-house talent as hosts

Take advantage of your fantastic in-house talent and have them host the show! They already have a relationship with your audience and a unique presence associated with your brand.

Create a winners’ directory

A winners’ directory is a public listing of the winning businesses with information such as contact info, hours, and specials offers. Also include a link to your on-demand broadcast and virtual swag bag. Plus, be sure to check this out for everything you need to know about selling the Winners’ Phase.

Run a watch-party sweepstakes

Run a sweepstakes with a watch-party kit as the prize to promote your event. Not only will this educate your audience on your event but it will also promote your watch-party kits! A sweepstakes is also another prime opportunity to highlight your event sponsor.

WRAL Sweepstakes for Bridal Show

Sell watch-party kits

Watch-party kits are a prime opportunity to create a great experience for your audience while making up consumer revenue that you would have received from ticket sales. Produce a limited number of these and make them available to purchase online.

These kits should include a printed event program detailing the winners, social media hashtags, and instructions for accessing the video. Add in coupons and offers from your winners and finalists as well as sponsored merch like tote bags, t-shirts, or keychains. You can kick it up a notch by including the ingredients to make the signature event cocktail or a limited-time coupon for take-out from a local restaurant!

Produce commercials for winners during broadcast

With this new structure, you have new opportunities to generate advertiser revenue. Include an upgraded offer in your winners’ packages for produced commercials that air during the broadcast. You may also want to create pre-produced spots for sponsors as well a pre-roll package from last year’s in-person event to show before the event.

Virtual events are a huge opportunity for your local media company to reach more people than an in-person event ever could. And, if you utilize these best practices, that large audience means more exposure for your advertisers and a huge boost of excitement for your next in-person event!

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