15 Tips to Profit From Virtual Events
5. Get an early start.
"You have to be ahead of the curve when you're marketing the show, and … have your [conference] agenda set up … at least two months ahead of time," advises Ginger Szala, group publisher/editorial director, Futures Magazine. "Make sure that you have a multi-integrated media marketing plan, which includes ads in your magazine if you have a print product, as well as getting lots of media partners to be able to push the word out. Start as early as you can."
Educating Your Exhibitors
Let's face it: A virtual event's financial success rests largely on the event producer's ability to sell it to advertisers. The vast majority of today's virtual events are free to qualified attendees, and if the attendees come, exhibitors should follow. A virtual show with no exhibitors and sponsors is like, well, a physical show with no exhibitors and sponsors, and will make for one ugly bottom line. But the real challenge is familiarizing a potential exhibitor or sponsor with an unfamiliar product. Here are a few tips to help educate those folks.
6. Designate an internal "champion" of your virtual events.
Miller, who spearheads all of WATT's virtual events, says, "You have to have a champion on the inside from the sales and marketing end. … Our publishers are swamped with the … day-to-day necessity of the business environment we're in … so, instead, we look at the publishers and sales reps as lead generators. … We train them on what the [virtual show] is … and they have enough ammunition to get some buzz going with exhibitors. Once they get the hooks set, they schedule a demonstration with me. I personally handle every client."
7. Poll potential customers on their interest.
"I always encourage my clients, if they are just getting into this space, to talk to their best advertisers," says Klombers. "Get their feedback as to whether or not this is something that they will be interested in participating in."