5 Ways Your Small Business Can Participate in Virtual & Hybrid Conferences
Any business that generates its revenue from selling to leads needs to find cost-effective ways to get its business into the field of vision for its potential clients. Sure, you can spend a whole tonne of cash on advertising on social media and google however, that can be, especially in a competitive industry, can be super expensive.
One way that you can generate a number of leads, is to participate in events, either as an exhibitor or as a presenter but again, that can be costly, when you have to rent a booth, decorate a booth, potentially fly staff to other countries, hotels and so on.
It can become very expensive however now that hybrid and virtual events are commonplace you can participate in events for little to no cost, and you can still generate large numbers of leads and sales all from the comfort of your home or office.
So in this post, we’re going to talk about 5 ways your business can participate in virtual conferences and events.
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Become a speaker or presenter
This is the easiest and the hardest way a business can engage with people on virtual events. Easy as its low cost, lower effort to present and with so many events being virtual now, easier to get booked into something interesting, that may get good attendance.
It’s harder because you need to make sure you have a good lighting and sound setup, as well as practice at presenting to a camera and of course, do the legwork to get booked as a presenter on an event that you don’t control.
You also need to be sure that you have a subject that you can engage an audience with, as well as match with the offering that you have as a business.
A simple way to get speaking engagements is to just add an update to your LinkedIn profile stating, that you’re open to speaking engagements for events. You can even do a short video that will show that you have the equipment and skills to present well on camera, this will make it easier for event managers to see you would be a good fit.
Sponsor an event or stage
Sponsoring virtual events is not as expensive, or more like it’s less costly than sponsoring an event that has physical properties. It also doesn’t require you to have a large booth and other items for people who come to your virtual booth space
One of the best ways you can sponsor virtual conferences is by buying adverts on them. This can be in the virtual stage area, or with virtual panels, and is a cost-effective way to engage people that attend these events.
Another option for you if you want to do more than just buy an advert on virtual conferences is sponsoring the entire event by paying all of their bills – this will include expenses like travel costs, food and so on.
This option is a little more costly, but you will get the virtual conference all to yourself and can have it streamed for your marketing purposes
You’ll need to talk to the event owner beforehand in order to see if they’re going down this route themselves or want an outside sponsor that’s willing to pay their bills.
If the platform permits you can have your logo front and centre during a presentation or session, and if you organise well, you can have the presenters or hosts talk about your brand or offer during the presentation.
There are some platforms that will allow you to show interstitial video ads during a presentation as well, so if you have a short video this could be played at any time.
Be a virtual exhibitor at an event
Virtual exhibitors are becoming more and more popular with virtual conferences, in fact, if you look at some of the major virtual events on social media platforms like Facebook or youtube, they have a virtual area for people to showcase their products.
So being an exhibitor is not as expensive because there’s no need to rent booths, buy food/drinks, travel or pay huge fees for printing and merchandise costs. Additionally, you can have more sales staff manning a booth for longer as it’s something you can do online, in shifts.
However, there are some difficulties, because you need to ensure your virtual exhibit stands out amongst the other virtual exhibitors. This means you need to make sure that if the platform permits, you have great looking graphics, embedded videos, downloadable content and catchy text that sells your product or service well.
You also may want to include some kind of giveaway in order to entice people into visiting your page in the event to engage with you and your content. The easiest option will be to have some sort of PDF that can be downloaded, or if the platform allows, having a call to action on the lead gen form, that will let the viewers know that they will get some merch sent to them if they submit a form.
Host your own virtual or hybrid event
Holding virtual events is an inexpensive way for businesses to generate leads and sales. You can do this by hosting your own virtual conference, or even a more informal virtual event with panel discussions that bring in people from all over the world, without having any of the costs associated with holding a physical event
The downside of doing something like this is that you not only have to ensure that the technology is well suited to your outcomes, and that you have some technical people available to manage the stream, but that you also plan the event and its topic well.
Planning will include making sure there is an excellent marketing campaign in the lead-up to the event, and that the topic and guests are going to present well and have interesting conversations with your audience.
You will also need to ensure that you collect all the information you need from your guests and follow up with them in an interesting and engaging way as well.
Find low-cost events to attend and network.. hard.
The more virtual and hybrid events that you attend and engage with the audience, the more that you will get your personal brand out into the world. Having insightful and interesting conversations with people is a great way to build a network that isn’t directly related to you and your close contacts.
There are lots of events all the time, and now that you have no costs and geography issues you can attend many events from your desk.
This gives you endless ways to network and connects with other users, and the more you attend events that match your niche, the more that you will find others with similar business interests that you can potentially sell to.
These are just five ways that you can leverage the power of virtual events to engage an audience. If you want more tips on how to create a successful event or need help with your own, talk to our team at Bettercast today! We work closely with brands and influencers in order to make sure that their goals for their event are met through strategic planning and execution. With over 10 years of experience creating hybrid events, we’ve seen it all – so don’t be shy about asking us anything! Let’s chat soon.