6 Major Mistakes to Avoid at your Virtual Event

Countless companies depend on yearly trade shows as a powerful way to extend their reach and generate fresh leads. However, with 2020 trade shows either postponed or canceled, virtual trade shows are taking center stage. If you’re interested in planning a virtual event for your company, set your show up for success by avoiding these six common pitfalls:

Don’t wait too long to start planning



Take time to determine the goals for your virtual show and decide which tools you want to implement. If you’re hosting a webinar, would you like to include a virtual exhibit? Are you going to incorporate PowerPoint slides? Will your event include sponsors? How do you want to gather information from attendees? What’s your plan for following up with leads once your event is over?

Once you have all the details in place, rehearse! Walk through your show beforehand in the same way you would walk through an in-person show, double-checking even the smallest details to minimize stress during your live event. Try to anticipate any issues that might arise and how you would navigate them to minimize disruption during your event and keep your attendees engaged.

Don’t host sessions that are too long



If your virtual event format can be broken down into sections, keep them short. Resist the temptation to create long segments of content and instead, split content up into bite-sized 20-minute segments, or shorter. This will help you hold your attendees’ attention and keep them coming back for more – especially crucial if you’re hosting a multi-day event.

Don’t bore your audience with unengaging PowerPoint slides



If your virtual event involves PowerPoint slides, keep them simple and engaging. Break up text with images and bullet points. Make sure each slide is comprehensive and provides valuable information. Minimize the number of slides you use and maintain your focus on creating an interactive and enriching guest experience. Need a benchmark? Consider implementing the 20-20 rule: Create 20 slides where each slide lasts 20 seconds.

Don’t prioritize sales over value



The best way to attract people to your virtual event is by giving them a sneak peek of the value you’re going to be offering them and then making good on that promise. An early sales pitch can easily turn off prospects. Relevant, valuable content, on the other hand, is more likely to keep prospects engaged throughout your entire event. In this way, when you pitch your sale, prospects already understand how your product or service can make their lives better. Even if your prospects don’t make a purchase at the end of your event, the value you provide will warm them up for a future purchase and you will grow your reputation as an industry leader.

Don’t neglect to follow up with attendees



The goal when hosting a virtual event is to fill your funnel with warm leads. And post-event marketing is just as important as pre-event marketing. Follow up with attendees who shared their information with you at your event...and don’t wait too long to do it! As the adage goes, strike while the iron is hot. Make that connection – a good, old-fashioned phone call is a great way to do this – and ask your leads what they thought of your event, if they have any questions for you about your product or service and if there’s anything additional you can help them with. Following up with prospects is another way to communicate value and grow your reputation while at the same time, moving prospects towards a sale.

Another way to follow up with leads is to send out a survey to event participants asking for feedback and including a box they can check if they’d like you to reach out to them with more information.

Also, remember to post a link to your event on your social channels so people who were unable to attend your event can still benefit from your content. Participants can revisit your content and pick up details they missed at the live event as well. And remember to add a link to your virtual trade show on your website for even more reach!

If you’d like to learn more about how Showcraft can help you host your virtual event, give us a call at 800.886.0634. Let’s start the conversation!

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