What we learnt from our first VIRTUAL event

We have just finished our first virtual event. I never thought we'd actually be saying this, but it was a phenomenal experience. 

It was incredibly well attended. It was very last minute and very pieced together, but I just wanted to share some of the insights that we took from it, because traditionally, all of our events have been physical events, so quite large B2C or B2B events where people come down and they interact with the exhibitors or the presenters, and they're maybe trying foods or sampling wines, or able to interact with people in the flesh. But this particular event was all online.

The space was actually in the baby and pregnancy space. So the people in this audience have quite a high demand in terms of the questions they have and a limited time frame as they are going to have a baby soon. 

So this event was fascinating, because it was literally put together in four days. It was super reactive. 

The event was meant to go ahead, but due to Coronavirus it was canceled, but within four days time the event organizers said, "Look, we want to go virtual. We want to do this anyway." 

So what we noticed is we actually had a really great captive audience, because in this space, the baby space, there's still a really high demand and high need. 

People have big questions about their pregnancy. They've got big questions about, especially now, exercise and pregnancy for example. So actually this space lent itself to a virtual event really well.

The other thing we noticed was that demand and engagement was super high. We saw that the people who actually attended the event, it was really actually pretty significant, almost in line with our expectations of how many people were going to attend the event in person as well. So people were watching the videos, consuming the content, interacting with the speakers. We even had exhibitors and a page where people could go and purchase products that was monetised. So the signals there were really, really promising.

The topic lent itself to a virtual event really well. People were really engaged, which was interesting. The other interesting part was costs for advertising were pretty reasonable as well. We ran a limited digital campaign for it. But because a lot of advertisers have actually pulled their marketing budgets at the moment, there was actually some pretty cheap traffic to get a hold of as well.

Overall the takeaways for us

  1. There are a huge number of people online right now that are hungry for high quality information.
  2. An event where there was consistent demand as the audience was going to have a baby.
  3. If your event lends itself to an online audience then it may be worth running a virtual event for your audience too, although this won’t work in every instance

So it was kind of a nice little trifecta. Really encouraging signs. You know, I think with a little bit more planning and a little bit more consideration, a little bit more strategic direction, that this could be something that could fill a void in the short term. The topic has to be right. It's probably not the right fit for every event, where you need to actually go and experience, say, the taste of something, but where it's a bit more informational and there is a really strong demand for that knowledge, then it can lend itself to the event space quite well.

Virtual events... 

We learnt a lot. Excited to do another one. Excited to see what other events might lend itself to this space that we hadn't thought of yet, and excited to start to get a little more sophisticated in the strategic direction and the followups with this as well.

The other interesting thing that came off the back of this, because we'd built a relationship with our audience off the back of the live event, we've now been able to maintain some of that momentum in terms of the emails or the social or the blogs that are going out, which we're creating from the content that we had from the event anyway.

Fascinating stuff. Interesting times. Have an amazing day and chat soon.

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