According to Virtual Edge's Doyle, there are several ways that marketers can change their message to push attendees from virtual events to in-person shows the following year. “Tease people with what they're not getting. Get them excited about the live experience,” he said.
Here are some tips from Doyle on how to convince virtual attendees to visit the in-person show:
?Limit access. Don't put your whole event online. Showing people your best content, such as keynote speakers or sessions on hot industry topics, is a good idea, he said, but only give snippets or short summaries. Also, make people register to gain access. By forcing virtual attendees to register, you can get their information, track what they look at and adapt the marketing message specifically to their needs.
?Tell people what they're not seeing. Because the interpersonal aspect of live events is missing online, reminding people what they're missing is a good way to convince them to attend live in following years. Highlight “Live Only” aspects of the event and provide video clips that capture activities like parties or cocktail hours.
?Show that face-to-face isn't just about content. People don't always go to events for the content. In many cases, they are hoping to develop new business. Demonstrate to virtual attendees that people they want to meet are attending the event in person. Do this by displaying a list of attendees or by featuring live interviews with people on the event floor online.
?Measure, measure and measure again. Virtual offers great measurement tools. Use them to market the live event. Follow what attendees are looking at, modify live event marketing to their specific needs and track whether they chose to attend live or virtually in following years. M