What is FOMO? It’s the “fear of missing out” and it can help to drive your customers to attend your virtual event. This can be considered a preparation step to getting your customers and prospects into conversation until trade shows return.
FOMO isn’t just for real-life events anymore! This is NOT your father’s 2020. Try using one of these techniques next time you host a virtual event to make sure you have a packed, live audience who wouldn’t miss your event for the world!
20 TIPS IN 20 MINUTES (or 60 tips in 60 minutes)
The beauty of this little trick is that it’s timely and quick-paced, which is a draw for ANY online event. So much content; so little time. Everyone can hop on for some quick tips. Do you think anyone’s going to schedule ANOTHER call during this? Nope.
- Since it IS fast-paced, make it FEEL fast-paced. Keep it moving and keep up the energy.
- Consider having different presenters to keep it lively (i.e., five folks present four tips each).
- Honor your word. Keep it to 20 minutes. Seriously, don’t try to reel people in for longer.
GIVE AN INCENTIVE TO DRAW ATTENDEES
This is a simple yet effective tool to draw customers to your store. In this age COVID-19, we need to provide reasons for customers to get out of their comfort zone.
- Make it available to only those who stay for the virtual event
- Provide redeemable incentives that can increase in value by having them complete a survey online or maybe a referring a friend
- Offer a live demonstration at a few designated times that they can show up for in person if that’s appropriate.
LIVE PERFORMANCES WITH LIVE REQUESTS
Try this fun interactive element during a lunch break or a pre-show happy hour (the night before your event).
- It works like a dueling piano bar – guests request songs and the musicians try to play them on the spot.
- You don’t have to stick to music. You can try a trivia game, a quiz bowl, karaoke, or even an improv performance.
- Check around your area to see if there are local bands or acting troupes or school groups who specialize in live interactive performances.
DON’T RECORD YOUR EVENT
If you want to create FOMO, you have to guarantee that people actually are, you know, MISSING OUT.
- Recording your event removes the timeliness factor of it.
- Not recording your event gives the attendees a feeling of taking part in something special and one-of-a-kind.
- Consider only recording small pieces and releasing those as a tickler later on to boost your next event.
MEET AND GREET A CELEBRITY
The chances of you getting a celebrity to actually fly in to your event might be slim, but the chances of them ZOOMing might be high. This is where online actually supersedes in-person. Take advantage of it and find a person of interest to your audience – an athlete, a musician, a motivational speaker, etc. and give them to the spotlight.
- Because your event is contained and the celebrity is the center of attention, your audience will get more time with them than they would at an event where they might get a 10-second handshake/photo op.
- Your guest of honor can answer live questions from the audience as well as funny or thought-provoking questions you throw in there for variety.
- Consider limiting the audience size so that it feels more intimate and engaging. Everyone loves to feel like they are getting the rare opportunity ticket!
INVOLVE THE FAMILY
During the era of ZOOM, there are endless opportunities for embarrassment and interruption – kids bursting in the room, someone walking around behind the attendee half-dressed, and more. It’s stressful to attendees to be working from home but to have to have an office atmosphere around them. Why not just face the elephant in the room and let it be a free for all?
- Play a BINGO game where all the clues are distractions: an animal comes on screen, a child appears in the background, the doorbell rings, etc.
- Have a scavenger hunt that involves the whole family. The moderator calls out an item on the list (“something Christmas-y!” or “a t-shirt with a team name on it!”) and the kids race to see who can find it first.
- Send a themed “swag bag” to each participant ahead of the event filled with items related to the event. For example, a camping theme swag bag might have ingredients for s’mores, a flashlight, and waterproof matches. A Christmas theme might have an ornament-making kit or cooking-making ingredients plus a Spotify playlist of Christmas songs.
- These ideas can be as extravagant as you wish. You can award points or not. The idea is to create something fun for the whole family that gets everyone excited about your event.
MAKE IT FUN
Everyone enjoys someone who is enjoying themselves. It goes without saying that a great speaker who also has product/ industry expertise is important.
- Create excitement ahead of time by limiting “seats” and counting down how many are left.
- Make sure your presenters are top notch! They need to be funny, engaging, well-spoken, energetic but not spastic, and also really genuine.
- Have clearly defined goals as you create your content. What will your attendees learn? What will they walk away with? What’s the end game?
This article was inspired by "6 Ways to Create FOMO With Your Next Virtual Event" by Heather Bundgaard and first appeared at skyline.com