07 May Taking your Event Virtual
Recent circumstances have led to cancellations of many beloved events in the crafting world, causing a trickle-down effect in lost revenues for the event host, community teachers, speakers, and of course, smaller vendors. But what if you could avoid canceling altogether and instead use a myriad of virtual tools to create a virtual experience? Here are some of our ideas on how to make that happen.
- Become a digital resource. If you can’t find a way around canceling, turn your event website into a resource of information for everyone involved. Include information and links so that attendees and followers who have money to spend can find their favorite teachers, speakers, and vendors and patronize their shops. Check out what Amy Singer of Knitty Magazine has done to share digital resources for many festivals!
- Host a virtual marketplace. Perhaps your larger event can’t go on, but there are lots of options to host a virtual marketplace. Promote teachers and vendors across your social media accounts. Work with them to promote live video (from your feed or theirs) to share their offerings. Hold Facebook Live virtual shop tours or live sales events and use a tool like CommentSold to create a seamless shopping experience. Check out what Maryland Sheep & Wool is doing to go virtual.
- Host a fully virtual event. Check out what event planners like Vogue Live are doing in hosting virtual events. Using conferencing tools like Zoom and their already existing registration platform, Vogue has pulled together class offerings, keynotes, knit nights and other virtual events, as well as a full virtual marketplace (giving vendors an hour of “air time” to share their products). This is a great opportunity to draw in new audiences who can now attend your event without travel expenses!
Develop a Comprehensive Social Media Campaign
Any event needs promotion, and your virtual event (no matter how you choose to hold it) needs a comprehensive social media campaign. Notify your followers that the event is coming, and encourage them to join your mailing list to be “in the know” about registration deadlines and offerings. Make sure that your message gets shared across all social channels consistently and frequently, and each post includes links as available to registration, vendors, teachers, etc. Sprinkle images throughout your feeds about teachers, classes, keynotes, participating vendors and their offerings, enticing people to join the event. In addition to using images, experiment with Facebook and Instagram Live sharing snippets of what will be offered.
If you’re interested in taking your event virtual or working with us to create a social media plan for advertising your virtual event, contact us today. We’ll help you keep your crafty business moving forward!