The coronavirus pandemic has caused many corporations and associations to make tough decisions about their conferences and events. As an event marketer supporting our mergers and acquisitions association client, M&A Source, there was an entire strategy in place to promote its spring in-person conference.
Instead of canceling the entire event, we quickly found a way to provide value to the organization and its members, pivoting to a series of live, open-to-all webinars – launching the first one within just 24 hours.
How We Did It
- Market and make it easy. Once the webinar was set up and ready, we promoted it heavily using paid and organic social media and email marketing. The sign-up form was simple and provided all the information that the attendee needed to participate. By the time the webinar started, less than 24 hours from concept, 23% of the association’s membership had signed up.
Because we opened up the keynote session to anyone – not just conference registrants – the webinar became a tool by which the association could collect leads. We created emotional buy-in from the audience to get them to register for this new offering and succeeded by:
- Having a clear vision and goals to guide the virtual event
- Crafting well-written messages that convert readers
- Delivering a format that answers “what’s in it for me?” from the attendee point-of-view
- Creating a simple, streamlined sign-up process
Webinar participants became prospective members for M&A Source and are now more inclined to attend upcoming webinars and learning opportunities.
This format has been so quickly embraced by members and prospective members that the M&A Source is offering a webinar each week instead of its traditional schedule of one per month. Demand is so high that we are seeing average attendance at twice the rate of previous offerings.