So you decided to put on a virtual event to engage with prospects and customers. Awesome, great idea!
The only thing is… there’s been a huge increase in companies turning virtual and hosting their events online. How is your event going to stand out against the others? And how are you supposed to engage your virtual event attendees in an increasing digital world?
In a word – gifting.
Gifting is a great way to activate behavior from your attendees because it demonstrates that a level of thought and care was put into the outreach.
But not all gifting is created equal, and just sending your attendees an Amazon gift card for their time is not going to foster the kind of affinity for your brand that is becoming necessary in an ever-increasing digital landscape.
Here’s how you can execute a gifting strategy that will keep your virtual event registrants engaged before, during, and after the event.
Once someone has registered:
Make your confirmation email personal, helpful, and authentic to engage with your attendees.
Now is the time to introduce a theme across your attendees that only they know about. Will your virtual event be a pajama party? Will pets be encouraged to join? Adding a theme to your virtual event can get your attendees excited to tune in and can then allow you to keep them engaged by sending a gift that pertains to that theme.
If we’re going with the pajama theme, send every registrant some slippers or an eye cover to attendees to give them something to look forward to for the day of your event.
If we’re going with the pet theme, send every registrant a collar for their furry friend.
And if someone doesn’t have a pet or doesn’t want slippers or an eye cover?
During the event itself:
Don’t forget about your theme! Take a moment before the sessions start, or in between sessions to see if everyone’s taken advantage it.
You can try to drive participation by offering up a prize to the best pajama outfit or the cutest pet.
When you’re not able to activate your participants in person, make sure to do your best to be engaging, thoughtful, and honestly, fun.
Ask for audience participation to make sure you’re engaging your event attendees in a way that makes them feel like part of your community.
After the event is over:
One of the biggest areas of opportunity for hosts of virtual events is the after-event follow up. Don’t just send the recording of the event and the slides afterward; really try and delight the people who graciously tuned into your content.
Thank them by sending them a gift. Make that gift personal to who they are, rather than mass sending the same gift to everyone, use this as an opportunity to take your virtual event attendee from digital face to human relationship.
When it comes down to it, bringing more physical activations to your digital events is going to help engage your event attendees in an increasingly virtual world.