Elevating Your Virtual Event With Gratitude

By Brendan Kamm, Co-Founder & CEO of Thnks

It is no secret that cutting through the digital noise is becoming increasingly difficult as we continue to become more and more virtual as a workforce. Remote work is more pervasive than ever, with the majority of work related events developing into virtual encounters. Because of this, companies are doubling down on digital outlets in an effort to build meaningful professional relationships. In this shift, email blasts, social media initiatives, and traditional marketing efforts are becoming oversaturated when it comes to reaching clients and prospects- causing digital noise to be louder than ever. Corporate events have suffered the most in the new work-from-home model. With relationships being the bread and butter for sales and marketing professionals, how do we effectively build these relationships without a physical presence?

Leveraging the power of gratitude as a strategic marketing tactic for webinars and virtual events is extremely valuable to ensure a strong ROI for your business. As professionals, we must lean into digital tools to effectively reach people- without sacrificing authenticity. For example, try including appreciation while interacting with attendees to ensure they feel valued and involved throughout your event. A little gratitude can go a long way in keeping people engaged with your virtual events – and hopefully keep them coming back for more.

The key to building stronger relationships in the virtual event environment is personalization. Through personalization, you can express gratitude to your audience in a more genuine way. It’s the little gestures that are specifically tailored to your audience, (where they are, what they are doing, what interests them) that show them that you know them, and you value them. Below are some suggestions on how to incorporate relationship building gratitude into your virtual events from start to finish.

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Before: Generating Awareness For Your Virtual Event

Before hosting or sponsoring a virtual event, building excitement and awareness should be step one in your marketing strategy. The most important piece to any event is the guest list. Sending out mass emails and invites isn’t necessarily the best way to invite prospects. By personalizing and creating customized lists based on potential customers, contacts in your team’s pipeline, and existing clients will help you target them with the right messaging and approach to get them to your event. This shows that you took the time to personally invite them and appreciate their consideration – with the end result being that they will be more likely to RSVP.

During: Enhancing The Online Experience

Considering that remote work is becoming a more regular practice for many companies, your attendees may be preoccupied with other things during your virtual event, or have other responsibilities to handle. Captivating your audience is key here. Be sure to teach them something, incorporate a game or giveaway, and make people feel appreciated for their participation. A few examples to show your gratitude are sending their favorite lunch (via delivery service), a coffee card to a cafe near them, or simply just doing what you can to facilitate networking during the event. This could be breakout sessions for certain groups, or simply allowing everyone a chance to speak while logged in to your event. People want to meet new people to expand business opportunities, therefore it is critical your event expresses this value.

After: Reinforcing Relationships Post Event

After any event, you must further your connections with meaningful follow-ups. An email blast post event may seem like the easiest and quickest option, but this alone is not necessarily going to further relationships that were initiated. Look back at any notes you took or things that stood out to you about certain teams that you may want to pursue further; then send personalized and genuine messages or thank yous to those participants. Time is more valuable than ever in a highly virtual work environment, therefore spending the extra time to personalize gratitude is also extremely valuable. Companies and individuals need to go the extra mile to make an impression. People like to be pleasantly surprised, and they will remember you for it. Another great way to continue engaging your audience is to ask for feedback on the event. This will help your events team make adjustments and create better engagement in the future. Also, never forget to thank your team for their hard work in creating meaningful and engaging events.

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