How to attract virtual event attendees - A virtual conference guide - Ifairs
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How to attract virtual event attendees – A virtual conference guide


One of the biggest tasks of event organizers is attracting virtual event attendees for their event. An event with no attendees or a very low number below what’s expected is a tell-tale sign of a failed event. 

Virtual events succeed with the right virtual platform.

As an event planner, attracting attendees should be one of your primary concerns. But how do you do it and satisfy your sponsors, exhibitors and ultimately yourself? Gathering the attention of people is not always easy, and this is why we have compiled this comprehensive guide for you.

Benefits of attracting more attendees

This is one of the golden questions to ask yourself while preparing any live event: what are the benefits? Seeing as the virtual event market is headed for massive growth, it is imperative that you get on the wave as soon as possible. 

Your reach potential while hosting a virtual event is massive. You’ll be able to garner the attention of people all over the world and this is without any of the costs that a regular, physical event would entail. 

Having more people show up to your event means more visibility. People talk, people share, and that ultimately leads to more engagement with your mission, service or product. The more the merrier.

A point that ties into this very well is the increase in revenue. The more people who are aware of your products, the more you will sell. This naturally increases revenue. It can also garner the interest of potential partners that can take you even higher.

And finally, the more people that show up, the more data you are able to collect about your products. You’ll be able to see what interests people, how they engage with it and so on. This allows you to innovate and develop on a much larger and accurate scale.

Before the virtual event - find your target audience

You will not be able to attract anyone to your online trade shows, online conference, or online event in general, if you don’t have a target audience. How can you attract someone you don’t know? Avoid one of the common event management mistakes by taking this into account.

Overall, we can talk about three different groups of people you want to appeal to: your company’s target audience, current clients, and new audiences.

Your company’s target audience is the group of people you want to have regular contact with. You want them to engage with your product and become your customers. In a sense, they are your main audience. 

A virtual and hybrid event requires a target audience.

Your clients are already existing customers whom you want to deepen ties with. Often, these people are already fully onboard with your company, and you won’t need to work hard to keep these attendees engaged.

New audiences are new groups of people you previously have not focused on or tapped into. However, they may benefit from your products or services, and there is your hook to give them a great event experience.

Time to do some research

When you have selected your target group(s) it is time to get your hands dirty with some research. Now you know the people you want to attract, you have to figure out how to attract them and keep them engaged. Proper market research is the key to that.

Firstly, you should try and establish what data you already can draw upon. If you have conducted previous market campaigns, or have data on already-existing customers, use it and optimize your strategy. Every time you do it, the better it gets. 

A virtual event needs to have proper research behind it.

When it comes to target audiences that you have never focussed on before, you most likely have no data at hand. How do you go about this? Well, first off, you can try out making qualified guesses. You might have an idea about the languages they speak, what their average age is, and where in the world they are located.

While guesses can be moderately accurate, you probably shouldn’t base all your research on this. You should merely use it to point you in the right direction. 

If you have partners that have engaged with the group you want to tap into, they might be willing to share their data. You can also use Google Adsense if you’re savvy with keywords.

Learn as much as possible about those you want to attract, it is sure to boost the turnout.

Familiarize yourself with your target audience

Knowing who your target audience is is of course important. But what is also important is getting to know them more deeply. We want to explore their habits, figure out what they like etc.

A very important thing to know is where your target audience likes to consume content. This will allow you to direct your advertising efforts to the right places where it will be effective. This could be anything from the social media they use, podcasts and newspapers they trust, or maybe even a YouTuber they watch. 

We again turn to the topic of keywords. Any group has an attachment to several specific keywords. What are those? Well, we don’t know. But there are tools that can tell us. Ahrefs is a great tool to use if you’re on the hunt for keywords that trend in users that spend time on specific sites. Note them down and use them yourself. 

Another benefit of knowing these keywords is that you can start writing blog posts, news articles or any other type of publication. Thanks to the keywords and general SEO magic, they will do well online and garner attention. This also applies for content you host on your virtual event platform. 

Creating a marketing battle plan for your virtual event

Hopefully, you should now be able to actually get started with the marketing aspect of your virtual events or virtual conferences. 

There are a number of things here you should consider, as being precise is important here. First impressions matter, so you have to get it right the first time. 

Firstly, make sure you’re fully aware of what your core value is. This has to be promoted clearly so your attendees are fully aware of what they will get out of the event. An example could be a baking conglomerate deciding to go with something like: “An event to promote ecological food products” because they want to tap into an environmentally concerned group. 


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