In a word, March 2020 was unexpected. As a (then) Field Marketing Manager, I was accustomed to travelling two or three times every month to represent Introhive at our various trade shows and events. But suddenly, I was confined to my one-bedroom apartment, researching all-things digital marketing.
At the same time, I felt both disheartened at the sudden lack of in-person events and emboldened to help pivot our lead generation campaigns to fully virtual.
Everything was changing – and changing fast – in my role.. Take logistics. While I used to spend hours packing our trade show booth, printing labels and one-pagers, shipping swag to show sites, running to FedEx for boxes and supplies, and mailing all of our items, my agenda today looks completely different!
In this virtual setup, my time is more often spent developing and managing a detailed campaign that consists of building registration pages, creating swag, managing graphic design, drafting social media posts, collaborating with the SDR team on their invite strategy, and the like.
In sum, I went from wearing one hat to wearing all the hats. And in the past year, I have learned a lot about taking events virtual. Here are my best tips for making your next virtual event a success:
- Always plan as far ahead as humanly possible. Give yourself at least 6-8 weeks to publish your landing page, draft the social media copy, debrief the sales organization, and fully prepare your speakers.
- Don’t be afraid to think outside the box – at this point in time, no one wants to sit in on another dry webinar. They want experiences, advice, human connection and a sense of normalcy in their WFH workday. What would you want to participate in?
- Partners are your best friend! Most organizations are working to drive a successful virtual event strategy – so why not join forces? Find those partners who will share the investment, whether that be time or financial or both, and together you will drive a more successful event.
- Swag never hurts – sending event swag still works in the virtual setting! Just make sure you’re not sending it to an empty office. Sending platforms like Sendoso are building an address confirmation into the process so your prospects can safely send their swag where they want to receive it.
- Don’t be afraid to fail fast. Not every event is going to be perfect. Try your new ideas, document successes and challenges, and use those insights to inform your next round. In this way, if you fail, you are better armed to find success with the next test.
Lastly, for all of my marketing professionals out there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel – in-person events will be back before we know it (some are already scheduled for Fall 2021!) Whether or not you already had digital experience, you are now more than equipped to run both styles of events, which will be incredibly valuable as most event strategies take on a hybrid in-person/virtual experience in the future.
Did you really think I was going to wrap without highlighting an upcoming event? Be sure to register for our International Women’s Day event on March 4th.