Bring Your Brand to Life Virtually
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt in-person events, it’s no surprise that many brands and businesses are continuing to transition to online experiences as part of their 2021 strategy.
The last 12-months has seen a shift in how we engage and support our clients and we’re continuing to work closely with them to push boundaries in creating both engaging and measurable virtual and hybrid events.
As we know, you can’t simply replicate an in-person event – but why would you want to? Your brand deserves a unique approach in connecting you with your audience as well as maximising your success.
We’ve put together our five top tips to support you to bring your brand to life virtually…
1. The Power of Branding
Events are one of the most powerful tools for increasing brand awareness, as they offer unlimited opportunities for creating touch-points between attendees and your brand. Virtual event design may work differently from on-site event design, but the visual elements are just as important.
For your attendees to feel truly part of your event experience and brand, a generic-looking platform with your event’s logo in the corner just won’t do. You need to create that unique look and feel for your event that will wow attendees the moment they first visit your virtual event platform, encourage new behaviours and keep them wanting more throughout the online event.
We have a variety of platforms available from Swapcard through to bespoke registration and website packages, that engage attendees and provide you with clear return on investment.
2.Consistency is Key
Once you’ve established your all-important event theme and messaging, it’s vital to be consistent in your approach to all marketing materials including your event platform, digital content, presentations, video and all internal and external messaging – your theme and identity should also echo your values and company culture.
This can also include following through with your messaging across elements that incentivise such as digital swag, activity boxes or gifting that encourages attendees to network via interactive polls, live music and entertainment features, as well as 121 video calls and group chats depending on your chosen virtual platform. You need to inspire attendees to make the powerful connections that conferences or brand events can offer.
We’ve recently added Swapcard to our virtual platform portfolio, which offers clients the benefits of 121 video calls and group chats…perfect for matching attendees with like-minded connections, mixing it up and encouraging new ones or providing that all important audience with the face of the business or senior management team members for Q&A…whilst our custom-made websites can integrate platforms such as Hopin, Sli.do, V-Fairs, Bizzabo and Everwall and more.
There are many ways to effectively monetise an online event and to continue working with sponsors. Some of these include traditional digital sponsorship opportunities that you may already have used across your in-person events, and others may require a little more creativity.
Not only can you feature sponsors on your custom-made website or virtual platform, you also have the option of inserting clickable banner ads and downloadable content which guarantees prime visibility, plus instant chat features that can connect attendees with sponsors.
During your live stream when transitioning between slides, speakers, or even sessions, add branded slides with logos as well as short teaser ads and bumpers – and if the sponsor is also a speaker, why not include a headshot and contact.
A huge advantage of digital sponsorships is that they are optimised for analytics. Recording attendee data is essential for proving ROI and data on any necessary improvements – plus just think of the exposure your brand will receive in turn through your partnerships.
4. Let’s Get Social
The benefit of having a super-engaged audience is that a common side effect is great social media exposure – but you also need to focus on the pre-event engagement to build that buzz! One client proved the power of social media is at your fingertips when they trended 8th on Twitter across their event.
Social media should always be incorporated into your event and marketing strategy. It’s one of the most powerful tools. Create your branded hashtag incorporating your event name, theme or message and use this – everywhere.
Your audience, sponsors and partners alike will use this hashtag when posting something related to your event either in the run-up, during or after and because virtual events go hand in hand with data, you can track this hashtag and run analyses as well as running social contests throughout your event to boost engagement across your channels.
Using platforms such as Everwall if you have a custom-made website will allow people to ask questions through Twitter. This will give your event hashtag a lot of exposure. Equally, platforms such as Swapcard will allow attendees, sponsors and speakers to add their social handles to their profiles for added networking boost.
You can also use Instagram stories to tease and link directly to registration pages or further event information on your virtual event platform or website – the possibilities are endless.
5.Live Streaming and Engagement
Your live stream and any pre-recorded video content is the heart of your virtual event, so your brand should be in the spotlight here – but how do you keep attendees engaged throughout?
Regularly providing your audience with things to do. For your audience to be engaged, you need to do something unique and surprising. such as providing interactive elements so that your audience feels involved and in your virtual event and connected to other attendees.
This can include live and pre-event polling, entertainment such as sketch artists to take meeting notes in a super creative and visual way, or through breakout sessions that give your audience the option to select what will be presented within these – for workshops and smaller virtual sessions, this is a unique way to make things more relevant to your audience.
Whatever your objectives, you needn’t think you don’t have options…our team are brimming with ideas and solutions for your next conference, brand event, sales kick-off or award ceremony. Let’s talk.