Here we are, experiencing that joyful afterglow of a really successful event.
We not only had 100% attendance, but we also got some great feedback. So, we’ve decided to share the way we approach these virtual events, what we’ve learned, and some examples from the event itself.
It all started from what we like to call ‘The zoom box effect’. Where you’re held hostage to these long video calls but you’re not getting any real value from it. You want to build your network, your community, to hang out (even if there are no actual events to go to), but just like everyone else, you’re getting a little overwhelmed with all the zoom meetups.
Our book club started with a bang💣. We had such an enthusiastic response, but five episodes in and we’d have people saying they can’t make it, or they haven’t read the book yet. Or they’d come online to meet the author without reading the book first. And we know that reading the book takes time, and it’s added pressure. Most of us are pretty sick 🤮 of being on Zoom. So, we decided to up the entertainment quotient of our events.
Here’s 3 ways to up your event EQ:
- Create an experience
If you’re just a talking head, your audience is going to lose focus and start trying to multitask. You need to bring in that value and fun. Sometimes you can do this through the actual activity itself, or it could be the choice of the person for the activity. But the experiential experience, the interaction is key.
- Keep it short and no-sell
Don’t host a 45-minute webinar where the first or last 15 minutes is a self-indulgent introduction or a hard sell. Nobody has time for that. Keep it interactive and quick. Try to entertain while informing and educating.
- Infuse entertainment in everything
We set the tone right from the start, so our audience knows we’re going to be a little loose, it’s going to be interactive, there’s going to be humour. They know they can talk to each other and have fun. And true to theme, we brought in a guest who really showcases and uses entertainment in her digital content, production, and distribution, and does it really well. And we knew this would resonate with our audience.
The big reveal: A case study
It started from wanting to bring our book club people together by doing something completely different. So, we asked Andrea Buckett, a food expert and chef frequently featured on TV, to join us for a virtual cooking club.
And who doesn’t want to stop what they’re doing and make dessert?
Andrea suggested making strawberry shortcake using fresh Ontario strawberries. We loved this idea, it’s seasonal and timely and all kinds of yum! The plan was to make this event about interacting, networking, creating entertainment and leaving our guests with something tangible – something that goes beyond the moment. A type of extended gratification (and not just the shortcake they’d be eating).
Listen to the podcast to learn:
🍓 Why you shouldn’t over-police
🍓 How to add to the entertainment factor with your bloopers and missteps
🍓 The Holy Grail of connections – How loosening up has helped Andrea Buckett resonate with people more than ever
🍓 That emailers can be used to communicate, and entertain!
Another word on emailers 🦉
Our goal was to be enthusiastic without being pushy, and still remind people about the event. So, once our people were all signed up, and that was a sequence in itself, we gave them the calendar and zoom link, the recipe, and what they needed to prepare ahead of time.
Another time it was leaning into what we preach and really just throwing out a random funny email that of course reminds them about the event. This became a whole story about how a strawberry isn’t a berry. The seeds are on the outside, so technically it’s a member of the rose family and no, not the Schitt’s Creek one. This one 🌹🌹🌹.
This little factoid blew my mind. The email is a monologue of me (Susan) trying to figure out why we ended up calling it a berry when it’s actually part of the rose family. I went deep into it, pretending I was Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown trying to solve this puzzle.
It was silly and ridiculous, but a great example of how emailers can provide a mix of real information and fun. Without being overwhelming, because I know some of these frameworks to get people to attend an event can be a bit much. It’s too many. Holy 💩💩. A daily email and then 50 on the day of so, and this might work for some people, but that’s not us. Even if you are just giving your audience a shopping list, use those fun visuals but also push yourself a bit, maybe find a theme. I’m still stuck in the Schitt’s Creek phrase (see what I did there 😊).
If you want to learn how to increase your attendance, take the sell out of it. Interact with your audience, whether it’s drawing something, eating something or drinking something. And remember to lighten up and laugh at yourself if something goes wrong. People will laugh with you.
For more, 🎧 listen to the episode 🎧.
And if you’d like to contact Andrea Buckett, you can find her on @AndreaBuckettcooks or visit her website.
If you’d like to chat more about your marketing concerns (or any of your content!), please give us a shout at C+P Digital – we would love to help!
Plus, if you’re losing sleep over a particular marketing/business related problem or if you would like to suggest a guest on the 4AM Report, let us know.
You can find us on Apple Podcasts – subscribe to us – you won’t regret it!
And as always, sweet dreams😴…well, hopefully!