As we head toward the end of November, it's time to look ahead to early 2021 – specifically, conferences, tradeshows, sales meetings and other events that typically fill calendars at the start of a new year. Since so many of them will be moving to virtual formats, we wanted to break down the basics – and also provide some ideas about how promo products can make them better.
Pick A Platform
Can't have an online event without an online hosting platform. A quick Google search turns up lots of options, but the most important thing is choosing one that allows you to provide the same value as an in-person event. That means offering valuable information mixed with a little fun to keep people engaged, all presented in a seamless, user-friendly way.
And don't forget about those networking opportunities – some platforms offer "speed-dating" sessions to help create the connections that are such a big part of traditional conferences.
Provide A Little Incentive
Awesome gifts (think retail brands) to incentivize early registration can be the difference between "I'm thinking about it" and "I'm in!" There are a couple ways to approach it:
1. Offer an exclusive gift to everyone who signs up by a certain date.
2. Give the gift only to the first 100 (or whatever number you choose) people who register.
Premium Gift Ideas
Make It Feel 'Official'
Moderators and presenters are at home, so stylish branded apparel is crucial to reinforcing your event's identity. Along with the event host's logo, sponsors will appreciate the extra visibility too.
(Pro tip: Imprint the shoulder or collar for maximum on-camera logo visibility. Trimark offers these as standard locations on a lot of styles, so it doesn't cost you extra.)
Styles For Virtual Events
Create Some Social #Buzz
People love posting pics of their cool new swag, so sending participants an awesome swag bag can take brand impressions for hosts and sponsors to a whole new level.
Mix and match Leed's and Trimark items, and we'll bundle them together for free! Then we'll deliver the entire thing straight to people's doorsteps, with free drop shipments up to 100 locations.
You take care of the event #hashtag, we'll take care of the swag.
Set Up A Pop-Up Shop
Fun fact: Virtual events can actually boost merch sales! You can not only open it up to more attendees (no space limitations!), but you can offer greater merch selection, too, since there's no need to carry inventory. All you need is an online shop.
OK, we should clarify. Since people are at home and can be easily distracted, it's extra important to keep them engaged with fun contests and cool prizes.
Last But Not Least
Have fun! Interesting presenters, creative presentations and, like we said, a contest or two. And be sure to take the conversation outside the conference with an event #hashtag, and tell everyone to post pics and comments on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Want to give customers a quick primer on virtual events? Download these tips in PDF form so you can share via email.