There are plenty of benefits of having an event wholly or partly online. Some of them are specific to events and others are more generic. One important advantage of ‘online’ is the speed, reach and scale of what is achievable. These benefits allow us to launch an event online and generate a large audience from nothing is a short period of time.
Using social media, we can invite people to attend, to speak, interact, be engaged, encouraged, learn, teach and more, and we can do all of that at the click of a button.
When a user sees an advert or invitation for a event which must be attended in person, that user is unlikely to engage if the event isn’t local, if they can’t attend due to time constraints, or for a whole plethora of other reasons. When it’s online, the sell is actually easier and is potentially to anyone. It’s easy to see how word might spread and buzz can be generated. Potential audience members might share/tweet/post about the event on any of their channels and inevitably reach an appropriate audience. That’s the power of social.
There are a few tips and tricks, make sure the buzz is in the right place, for example. Use social media network appropriate for your audience and use #hashtags to make sure everyone is talking about you in the same place. It’s also important to actually engage with your audience before, during and after the event. Users also like to feel like they’re getting some value, even prior to the event so it’s often useful to give away valuable information or data which they might then want to share.
Depending on the nature of the event, it might also be possible to use influencers. These don’t necessarily need to be the trendy millennials that we at first imagine. Specific industries might have different types of influencers or knowledge experts who might draw a crowd. It’s often possible to test your hypothesis on these.
The irony is that the online #buzz actually promotes the offline event, if there is one.