–Charlotte Tucker | EU Startups
With in-person events postponed for the foreseeable future across Europe and the world over, startups and scaleups are looking for other ways to network, promote their business and learn from experts.
A few weeks ago we did a survey with 30 of the top event organisers in Europe (like VivaTech, TOA, The Next Web, and Slush) to find out what they predict for the rest of the year. Around 60% said they’re not expecting in-person events to be on again until Q3-Q4 of 2020, with the remaining 40% are holding out until Q1-Q2 of 2021 or later. With even the big event players of Europe not planning to resume their conferences for the next 6-8 months, it’s clear that the only way for startups to build their contacts, promote their brand and take part in expert discussions is online, at least for the time being.
With lots of online events planned for the coming months, it makes sense to sign up one or two members of your startups team to attend the most relevant remote events. But have you thought about creating your own online event? Although planning online events takes time and effort, it could be the right move for your startup to boost brand visibility and customer engagement.
From an expert webinar, to a product demonstration, if you decide to go ahead with your online events, we have some tips to help you get going.
1. What do you want to get out of it?
Before you do anything else, figure out why you’re holding this event. If you’re stuck, first define whether you’re targeting your current customers as part of an engagement strategy, or whether this is a lead generation activity to pick up new customers, or both. What specific outcomes are you looking for? Write down a list of KPIs (key performance indicators), like 10% of attendees buying a product, or a 5% increase in social media followers.
2. Define, and then re-define, your audience
Your target audience will determine everything else about your event, from content focus, to timing. If you haven’t already done a profile of what your typical customer looks like, you could also think about aspects like age, location, gender, interests, profession, goals, etc. Overall you should be left with a few typical ‘profiles’ that you’re aiming to target.
3. Webinar, behind-the-scenes tour, or product demo?
There are dozens of event formats out there, from webinar, how-to, tutorials, class, interview, behind-the-scenes tour, social media live stream, each has its own benefits. Some are more professional, whilst others are more dynamic and innovative – it depends on who you’re targeted the event at.
4. Verbalise what you’re offering
Using the target audiences from the previous step, think about what each will get out of your event. For example, an early-stage local startup could learn about the failures and successes of scaleups who already expanded abroad. Once you have the main ideas, it’s time to jazz it up a bit and make it sound attractive. Use an online thesaurus to find snappier synonyms and write them down in a brainstorm/word tree. You can re-use this when you contact speakers and design your marketing materials.
5. What’s 13:00 CET in UTC time?
Considering the profile of your audience, are they more likely to join an online event during a weekday or a weekend, in the morning or afternoon, during lunchtime or after work? Are different target audiences based in different time zones? Maybe you could organise an event that both falls over lunchtime and after work in two time zones. Finally, define how long the introduction, main section and Q&A sessions should last. Keep this information aside for the next step!
6. Nab some expert speakers
To attend your event, even if it’s free, your attendees will be giving up their precious time. To make your event worth it, try to pack in as much relevant expertise and knowledge as possible. One way to do this is to invite experts in the topic to weigh in with their two cents. When you approach potential speakers, be honest about what they’ll get out of the event (e.g. visibility in front of X amount of people, from a certain audience, as well post-event social media postings to your X number of followers). Lock them down with your snappy messaging, a specific date/time proposal and suggest a deadline for getting back to you.
7. Don’t stress about the Tech
You don’t want to be worrying about your speaker’s microphone being on mute in the middle of your event. Pick an easy-to-use platform that takes practical aspects into consideration, including: length of free session, technical support, simple login for attendees, screen sharing/powerpoint capabilities, multiple speakers, number of attendees, etc. Check out our article ‘10 digital tools to help you host your next online event’ for some ideas.
8. Promote, promote, promote
Using your snappy messaging ideas, it’s time to create some cool promotional materials. First things first, think where they hang outs online and whether it makes more sense to manage sign-ups through an established platform like Eventbrite, a landing page on your website, or through social media event pages like Facebook or LinkedIn’s event functionalities. For your social media postings, newsletter mentions and email reminders, create images using free websites like Canva, and then draft a calendar of promotional actions.
9. Practice makes perfect
The week before your event, organise a 30-minute call and practice run with your speakers to make sure they can connect to the platform, have a quiet space to speak and a strong internet connection. You can also use this time to go over any last minute questions and check that their presentation loads properly. For your confirmed attendees, send out a reminder email, including time, date (with calendar integration) and link to log in (with brief instructions).
10. The big day
A few hours before the event starts, send out a final reminder email to your attendees. Log on to the platform 20 minutes early so you have time to give your speakers the right administrative permissions. During the event, don’t forget to hit record, make sure to mute all attendees and remind your audience to get their questions ready for the Q&A.
Was it all worth it?
After the event, it’s time to relax! Draw up a final email for your attendees with the event recording, and upload it to YouTube, website or social media channels. Most importantly, measure the impact of the event next to the KPIs you set up in the first step – was it worth the time you invested? If it was, apply all you learnt to the next one.
Meditation For Mind-Control
Nigeria’s Former Jonathan Tells African Leaders To Put Humanity First
Joke Falaju, Abuja Bags African Heritage awardFormer President Goodluck Jonathan has urged African leaders privilege to hold public offices to become servants of the people, and not turn themselves into the “bosses of the people”.Jonathan stated this while receiving the African Democracy and Peace Icon…
7th Edition Connected Banking Summit East Africa – Innovation & Excellence Awards 2023 Concludes
POSTED ON MARCH 28, 2023 BY AFRICA BUSINESS The Summit brought together the best and brightest minds in the banking, financial services, fintechs and techfin sectors. The event, which took place on 7th March 2023, featured insightful speakers, award-winning companies, and top-notch sponsors. Attendees were treated to a range…
2020 Awards | Social Media For Social Good Award Announces 100 Micro & Macro Social Media Influencers For Good
Social Media For Social Good Award Announces 100 Micro & Macro Social Media Influencers For Good and Set To Award 25 Of Them On The 13th Of June 2020. The most anticipated list of Nigerians using social media for social good which is curated by…
Ergonomic Furniture Dealer Formfunc Studio Awarded SA’s First 6-Star Green Star Award
-African Independent The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has awarded Cape Town-based Formfunc Studio, a leading ergonomic furniture supplier, a 6-star Green Star rating following the recent fit-out of their office, showroom and DC in Johannesburg. The project, led by specialist sustainability and…
The Risk And Reward Of ChatGPT In Cybersecurity
Juan is an experienced CTO with a demonstrated history of working in the computer and network security industry. He is an information technology professional skilled in SAP and Oracle applications, computer forensics, vulnerabilities research, IPS/IDS and information security. Unless you’ve been on a retreat in…
Explained – History Of Money From Fiat To Crypto
What is money? Money as a concept has been a cornerstone of human civilization and economic development. To start with the latter, money is a method of storing value and worth, and it also functions as a medium of exchange that allows individuals to exchange…
Studies Show That Nigerian Crypto Foreign Investment Is At A Record Low
Foreign direct investment in Nigeria fell by 33% last year due to a severe shortage of dollars, which discouraged crypto companies from expanding into the country. The largest economy in Africa has a foreign investment problem despite exponential growth in crypto adoption. The National Bureau…
Growing The Bitcoin Development Ecosystem In Africa
– Abubakar Nur Khalil | Bitcoin Magazine Bitcoin development in Africa, with a proper regulatory environment, could equally accelerate the continent and the technology. In this piece, we’ll be analyzing the current state of the Bitcoin developer ecosystem in Africa, ways to improve it and…