With a public online event, the visibility can be better and companies can reach a new audience. With the Social Medias algorithm, some ads and e-mailings, hundreds and even thousands of people can follow an event they find interesting.
How to organize this kind of event? Before March 2020, companies sometimes organized hybrid events to invite people far away but the main idea of an event was to gather everyone in the same place to create a link between people. Due to the sanitary crisis, companies had to become creative to gather their own staff as well to keep the link with their clients, to reach leads and contacts. The area of the virtual event has started.
In the event, venue and hospitality industries, each brand created a virtual event to show that it is possible to organize this kind of event in their place with a sanitary protocol respected and how they can help you realizing it. However, after almost one year, most of companies know how to organize it. Furthermore, to be fully honest, people are not a really fan anymore of virtual corporate events. They miss social interactions, but for the Sales team this is now the only way to gather their clients. The main question is how to attract people? How to make them register for your event?
Hybrid conferences: A combination of physical and digital
Eric Boschman s’invite dans votre salon
Thon Hotels Brussels team organized their first virtual event with Eric Boschman: Eric Boschman s’invite dans votre salon (in English: Eric Boschman in your living room). This was a virtual tasting show. Eric Boschman is a well-known food and beverage specialist on radio and TV in Belgium. They decided to invite him because he was the wine specialist at the Stanhope Hotel Brussels’ opening. He had even his name in the fake elevator library at Stanhope Hotel.
During this tasting event, Eric Boschman and the Marketing responsible in Brussels tried the Thon Belgian beer: the Thonner’ke (made only for Thon Hotels Brussels in a small brewery), a Norwegian salmon smoked in Belgium and many other products. Through these products, they talk about Thon Hotels, Belgium and Norway.
For the technical part, they worked with their usual supplier. They know the hotel, and they have built the Studio at Thon Hotel EU. They took care of the live stream, the video and sound.
The event’s idea and organization
To attract their customers, the first event idea was to speak about Belgian and Norwegian food and beverages. Thon Hotels Brussels is located in Belgium but it is a Norwegian chain so both cultures are important in their hotels. The second idea was to bring some fun to their customers, nothing serious but just some entertainment after a home-office day. The goal is speaking of the brand without having a sales speech. Nowadays, as people are staying home all day long, companies need to focus on keeping the link with the customers. The last idea was to show the studio at Thon Hotel EU and how virtual events could be organized in Thon Hotels in Brussels.
As the main goal was to invite their customers, the main key was the communication. They sent e-mailings to the correct audience, created a public event on Facebook, made some Social Media post, spread the invitation through colleagues, friends and families. To involve even more the customers, they sent the 25 first subscribers a box with all the food and beverages tasted during the show. The idea was to send a gift and to encourage people to subscribe and of course to be more visible. During this kind of event, the chat is always very important to answer live to questions and to speak with participants.
The real success of this event was the visibility on Social Media and the messages the Sales team received before and after the tasting show. What is better to re-connect with clients?