A lot has changed over the last 12 months.
The world has turned upside down from one day to another – online has ingrained itself even more in our everyday life. Dabbling in the virtual world of events last year by hosting pub quizzes or birthday parties, zoom and other platforms have become everyone’s best friend. Now, 1 year in everyone has adapted to this new(ish) digital world and virtual events are a staple in everyone’s calendar. From bumpy starts last year, virtual events are booming everywhere from virtual cocktail classes to festivals held online; with one goal – bringing us all together.
Of course, the experience of virtual events is different to an in-person event as it is harder to engage and excite attendees. However, the massive shift from offline to online has taken its course in the age of Covid-19 and it seems that many companies favour the shift to online and remote working. This could mean that virtual events are here to stay and become part of the new normal.
Virtual events open up massive new opportunities for brands to promote themselves but be aware that this will not happen automatically. Careful considerations and strategies are needed to make the best use of the spotlight. From gift boxes and branded backgrounds to exciting speakers; don’t be subtle and use your creativity to best promote your brand at virtual events.
Here are 6 of the most promising and impactful ways to promote your brand at virtual events:
- Branded Gift Boxes
- Invite A Speaker
- Branded Cocktail Garnishes
- Social Media
- Custom Virtual Background
Branded Gift Boxes
Everyone loves freebies and branded products have been proven successful for in-person events to increase brand recognition. Even though many events are happening online now, branded gift boxes should not be overlooked.
Send branded gift boxes to the team which contain promotional items such as branded snacks, branded items or cocktail shakers. This will form positive associations in the minds of the recipients and will stick around much longer than the event itself.
Don’t just do it for the sake of it though! Carefully consider what should be inside the gift boxes and don’t shove random bits in them. The content should reflect your business in a creative and clever approach. The goodie bags should showcase your company’s values or what you would like to emphasise with the event; whether this may be sustainability, innovation or creativity. Be sure to reflect that.
So, a branded gift box could be your secret weapon to connect with your audience and keep in their minds. Keep in mind that with the shift to virtual events more planning is needed as the boxes need to be shipped on time. Start early enough because you don’t want anyone to miss out.
Invite A Speaker
It’s much harder to keep your audience engaged and create excitement at virtual events. Inviting a management figure or even celebrity to talk about your brand. This can create excitement and spark your target audience interest. Don’t worry if you’re lacking funds to invite a celebrity; a cameo can already be effective.
Think about who to invite as a speaker. Ask yourself if they are relevant for your business or of interest to your audience. Make sure the speaker knows what they are doing and have to experience in online events as this requires other skills than in-person event speakers.
A cheaper option might be to use a service such as Cameo to have a celebrity record an intro for your event.
Branded Cocktail Garnishes
It’s nothing new that cocktails and brands go hand in hand; think James Bond and Martini or Sex and the City and Cosmopolitan. We can incorporate a virtual cocktail making class into your programme of events and have your guests shake up cocktails that are named after your product, service or brand will allow your business to create a more unique and personal experience and offer a ‘wow factor’.
Take things to the next level and use your creativity for branded cocktails; think about using your brand colours to create unique cocktails with a twist or use branded garnishes to represent your brand. This will not only create excitement for your audience, but they are likely to share images and messages on social media and every drink will boost your business.
Logos are another way to brand your cocktails. There are different ways to add them to your cocktail; think edible printing on sugar sheets, laser etching of ice, ice stamping, cattle branding for garnishes or stencilling.
Social Media can work in your favour to reach brand exposure during a virtual event. Don’t limit it to just the platform you are hosting the event, use other social media platforms and encourage your audience to interact with your posts, run polls and quizzes, use stories and share content.
It is likely that your audience will post on social media during the event; creating a hashtag for the event can help you to see what your audience is posting about your event which your brand can interact with. A social media wall is also a fancy way to embed real-time interactions on your event platform to achieve maximum results.
Make sure that there is a lot of shareable branded content during a virtual event that gets the audience excited and looks amazing on social media. This will create buzz prior and during the event.
Custom Virtual Background
To enhance brand visibility and get your message across, virtual bespoke backgrounds are an effective method to promote your business. This will also cover up your bland or outdated decor in a creative and fun way. The quickest and easiest method is to use your logo and colour palette but there are other ways too.
A bespoke virtual background can work great, but if there is a lot of movement you should consider using video-based backgrounds or slides to share your message. This could include full-motion videos or animations which represent your brand and showcase your products and services.
Sometimes gift boxes may not be appropriate or feasible for your virtual event; whether they are too expensive or time-intensive. Freebies can still be a great way to promote your brand and incentivise audience participation. Incentives should be easily associated with your brand and event-related. An example could be a product giveaway at a product launch.
Think competition-style giveaways through quizzes, prize draws or other competitions. Social media has become the go-to for such competitions as it increases brand exposure. Another clever solution is the gamification of virtual events, using digital rewards. To make it more inclusive and beat the cheaters, think about a points-to-rewards strategy where audience engagement will be rewarded throughout the virtual event.
Creativity and out of the box thinking on how to promote your brand during a virtual event will ultimately reward your business. You can decide how daring and extra you want to be as there are many different ways. Include all of ours tips in your next virtual event or only choose one; that’s totally up to you. If you are still unsure how to proceed, take inspiration from others or get in touch with us to figure out how to best promote your brand during a virtual event.