Driving attendees to a virtual event requires savvy promotion. As much as some of us tell ourselves otherwise, it’s not as simple as sending out a meeting invite and having everyone show up in your Zoom waiting room.
Dr. Trenese L. McNealy has made the pivot to online events look easy. As a life coach, Trenese harnesses the power of guided peer support to provide moms with strategies that help them maintain a healthy work-life balance. She’s something of an expert at this: During her full-time doctorate program in business administration, Trenese was also a full-time mom, wife and homemaker—with a 4.0 GPA. Since then, she’s added author, entrepreneur, and life coach to her resume.
Trenese has expanded her outreach with virtual events. This year, she started a five-part online Lunch and Learn series connecting her audience with influencer moms who share tips on a wide range of topics including entrepreneurship, parenting, and wellness.
“We know that every life balancing strategy is not going to work for everyone. But if you hear what other people are doing, you can try those strategies and see what works best for you.”
The same advice applies to marketing. Here are Trenese’s nine tips for promoting your next virtual event—try them and see what works for you.
Creatively incorporate the elements of a physical event virtually
This is an opportunity to let your imagination take over. Create a virtual red carpet by inviting celebs to share pictures of themselves in hair, makeup, and haute couture. Use apps to install a virtual photo booth or conduct randomized prize draws. Trenese includes live musical entertainment, inspiring speakers, and keynote Q&A sessions at her events.
Draw in your crowd with an incentive
It’s not news that people love freebies. At her Mommies and Mimosas Mother’s Day luncheon, Trenese conducts a best dressed contest which gives moms a reason to indulge their glamour craving and gives one lucky winner a $500 prize. All attendees go home with a digital swag bag.
Use color, layout, and fonts to create a visual brand
Trigger engagement with a highly recognizable flyer that becomes synonymous with your event. Trenese recommends PosterMyWall because the templates are professionally designed, are customizable, and can be re-sized to any platform with just one click.
“I’m not spending money on a graphic designer to create marketing materials because PosterMyWall has it all there. I just go in, select a design, input my information, add my images, and send it out to my network,” she says.
Make it easy
Don’t make your potential attendees work too hard to get the details of your event. Trenese says to be sure to include the four W’s – who, what, where, and when – on all of your collateral.
Even more important, always provide a registration link so that people can sign up for your event as soon as they decide to attend.
Create a professional presence
Besides using professionally designed PosterMyWall templates, Trenese asks her featured speakers and performers to provide professional headshots.
“Professional images really get the best responses,” Trenese says.
For branding, Trenese always includes her website and logo on every design.
Promote repeatedly on multiple platforms
According to the marketing “Rule of Seven,” people have to see a promotion at least seven times before they respond to a call to action. Trenese recommends posting on social media two-three times per day.
She also reaches subscribers via weekly emails and she cross-promotes on no less than six social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. “This is where PosterMyWall’s one-click re-size feature comes in handy,” Trenese says.
Ask others to share event details with their networks
Don’t be afraid to ask participants and supporters to help promote your event. You’ll find speakers and performers are happy to share professional looking graphics – after all, they have a vested interest in a high turnout. And your supporters will always have your back, right?
Master the technology
There’s no faster way to lose your audience than through technology problems – literally. Preparation is the key to hosting a seamless virtual event.
Avoid hunting and pecking for A/V controls by practicing ahead of time. Big events may even require Wi-Fi upgrades. It’s worth the investment – you don’t want to leave a lasting, unprofessional impression.
Host a tiered event
Broaden your attendee base by offering something for everyone. Folks who are on a tight budget are looking for free events. Folks who want something more exclusive enjoy a VIP event. Trenese combines the two to appeal to both audiences. Her Mommies and Mimosas Mother’s Day luncheon on Facebook Live starts with a free general admission segment that segues into a paid VIP event.
Part mom, part entrepreneur, and part glamour girl, Trenese gets that working moms lead multi-faceted lives. Her virtual events help women reach their goals without losing themselves. A message that is reaching an ever-widening audience, thanks to her promotional expertise.