Boost Your Virtual Event By Taking These Actions Before, During, and After
July 17, 2020
There’s no evidence to suggest Marketoonist Tom Fishburne was referring to events when he said “the best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing,” but he easily could have been, and therein lies their promise.
According to Bizzabo, of all marketing channels, marketers believe events to be the single-most effective. It’s not hard to see why. Their real-time, often interactive essence rings truer to life than many other attempts to engage and educate. The topics are typically driven by the audience’s interests – otherwise who would attend? – so attendees show up expecting to absorb information in an interactive environment.
With our evolving world of work, more companies are leveraging virtual events to build brand awareness, stay connected with their audiences, and continue to build their community. Others are taking their in-person events online, and in doing so, are seeing to it that their valuable content finds its rightful owners. There are plenty of virtual event ideas one could try.
With LinkedIn, you’ll find the ecosystem and features to help make your event a success. And there are actions you can take to make your event even more successful. Make the most of your LinkedIn Event by taking the following actions before, during, and after your event.
What to Do Before Your LinkedIn Event
A good first step is to review our activation guide. It includes many tips and pointers on how to host an event on LinkedIn.
Whenever you’re ready, go ahead and create your LinkedIn Event. This generates a unique URL for your event, which you can then email to a target list of attendees or share via most traditional marketing channels. Just as in-person events have targeted ad campaigns and drip campaigns aiming to drive potential attendees to a registration landing page, you can guide potential attendees to your event URL.
You’ll want to share the event URL with your Page followers, and consider using organic post targeting to ensure it’s only being served to those in the event’s target audience. You can select who sees your invitation post by targeting based on language, location, function, seniority, industry, and company size. Then, broaden your reach beyond your Page’s followers by encouraging your Page Admins to invite any of their first-degree profile connections who might want to attend. Of course, encourage attendees to share it with relevant members in their network, as word of mouth is one of the most powerful vehicles for discovery of events.
If your goal is to boost registration beyond your network and email database, consider promoting your event to the professional audience you want to reach using targeted ads on LinkedIn. A good option for event promotion is the Single Image Ad, which appear in members’ feeds. As a best practice, we recommend adding your unique LinkedIn URL as the “destination URL” because this allows prospects to learn about your event without needing to leave LinkedIn. It’s also a good idea to run your ads at least seven days before the event.
Your event’s Page has its own feed. By posting to it, you can kick-start conversations, generate demand for the content you’ll be sharing, and drive pre-event buzz. Examples of effective pre-event posts include questions, polls, teaser videos, and important updates to event details or agenda. As an Admin, you can recommend up to two posts in the event feed every seven days, meaning all attendees will be notified of the post. This is a powerful driver of attention to your most important messages, both pre and post-event.
Later this year, you’ll be able to add a pre-filled registration form to frictionlessly capture event registrations on LinkedIn and also collect accurate information from your attendees.
What to Do During Your LinkedIn Event
You’ll likely want to broadcast much of your virtual event in real-time with LinkedIn Live. Check out our best practices playbook for advice on live streaming. If you have multiple sessions, you’ll be able to stream into the event up to four times per day, generating a separate notification to your attendees for each new broadcast. Note that this can only be done when you’re using LinkedIn Live as your streaming platform.
Keep your event’s engagement and buzz going by sharing highlights to the event feed throughout the event. Quotes, images, statistics, and FAQs are all good candidates for sharing.
Also keep in mind the primary reason audiences show up for virtual events: real-time engagement. So if you’re broadcasting live during your event, be sure to have someone moderate the stream. The moderator’s responsibilities typically include relaying questions to the host, responding to comments in stream, and managing any inappropriate comments (if need be). Because it’s easier to manage comments from the Page Admin view, the best way to do this is to have a colleague with Page Admin access pull up your Page on a separate device.
Pro tip: Have your moderator pull up the stream and respond to questions using the LinkedIn app on their mobile device. This allows the Admin to respond on behalf of the Page, rather than from their member profile.
What to Do After Your LinkedIn Event
Don’t call it a day just yet! Keep your momentum going by driving post-event engagement. You could ask for your attendees’ thoughts regarding key topics shared during the event, share a survey, post a poll asking what they need more info on, or compile the most important takeaways into one convenient highlight reel, which attendees could then share with their networks. You could also compile the most frequently asked questions that came through in the Event feed and turn it into a helpful blog post.
Speaking of highlights, consider downloading your broadcast video from your third-party tool so you can slice it up into bite-sized chunks that are easy for your audience to consume and share. You’ll definitely want to upload these videos to your Page, too, so your visitors can watch them at any time from the new Video tab.
Facilitate connections among your community by encouraging attendees to engage with each other. Build your own community by recommending that attendees follow your Page or Group on LinkedIn. And don't forget that you have the ability to recommend a post up to two times per week! Use this power wisely.
On that note, the best way to stay apprised of what’s new with LinkedIn Events and LinkedIn Live is to subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog and join our Pages Admin Group. Between these two places, you’ll always have the latest information about new features and best practices when it comes to your organic community on LinkedIn.
For more advice on how to make your LinkedIn Event a success, plus inspiring ideas and examples to follow, check out the LinkedIn Events Activation Playbook.