Let’s face it, the COVID-19 pandemic has been very hard on small businesses. However, this is not the time to slow down on gaining new leads and revenue streams. Many businesses have found creative ways to survive and thrive during these tough times. If we’ve learned one thing, it’s that now is the perfect opportunity to focus on transformation and reposition your strategy.
Virtual conferences have been a popular method to generate new leads and revenue streams online. They had been gaining steam pre-pandemic, but the complete halt on in person events forced many to turn to virtual options whether they were ready or not! During the pandemic, our company helped many of our clients launch these virtual events as well as hosted our own. Advertising these events on LinkedIn and other platforms has gained a lot more traction with so many people stuck in the house and eager to learn.
Online events are a great replacement for in-person conferences and trade shows where typically there would be a large number of speakers, learning opportunities, networking, and engagement. While in-person events were put on hold, many were then put online. There are always pros and cons to online events as they are not a direct swap or clear replacement for an in-person conference. However, there is a huge opportunity to use them to your advantage until we can all gather again safely.
The beauty of virtual events is the ability to round up thought leaders and gather them in a “virtual room”. This eliminates the conflicts of travel, time, overhead and expense to get to the event. Your live seminar could even include up to 10-30 speakers - which could typically be hard to achieve with an in-person event.
The best part? You are able to provide amazing content that you can then sell access to and monetize. Many companies are seizing this new revenue stream by getting sponsors and selling the content now and putting in place mechanisms for ongoing subscription models.
Looking for some tangible tips to get started?
7 steps to hosting a virtual conference:
- Pick a topic
Choose a topic you are knowledgeable and interested in - position yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
- Find speakers
This is your opportunity to round up those "dream" speakers you've always wanted at your events. Don't hesitate to reach out, you never know what could happen!
- Record content
Gather up pre-recorded content from each speaker. These then comes together to create your virtual event.
- Build out platform
Prepare your videos to go live all at a specific time.
- Deploy sales and marketing funnels
This is the journey your potential customers go through on their way to a purchase.
- Launch event
Now for the fun part, you get to watch the views and positive feedback pour in!
- Promote evergreen content
You're finished! Now have content for months, if not years to come depending on what you're discussing. Need more information on converting macro-content to micro? Check out out blog "Repurposing Marketing Content."
Virtual conferences are just one type of virtual event you can host to bring in new leads and revenue streams. Ready to expand your horizons and learn more? We have several more detailed blogs that dive into the specific execution tactics for virtual conferences. Check out our blogs "Webinars", "Virtual Summits", and "Live Streaming" to get started.
Want to learn more about how businesses are transforming online during COVID-19 to generate new leads and revenue streams online?
Download our newest webinar “Top 3 Ways for a Small Business to Pivot and Thrive Online” using the form below and also keep up to date with the rest of the additions to our webinar series!