Networking events have been a key component for law firms for years. And there’s good reason: face-to-face events allow you to connect with clients and prospects on a human level. Not only does this allow you to better understand the people you do business with, but those people also form a greater connection to you and your firm.
However, not everyone is back on-board with face-to-face events and even for those who are, they are being extremely selective about which ones they attend. The fact of the matter is, the way we market events to our clients will continue to evolve as the world around us does.
To help ease clients back into events, consider hybrid events that utilise both face-to-face options and digital options for a more convenient experience. Keep in mind, digital events can be just as powerful as their physical counterparts—and when done correctly, even more so.
Without the physical constraints to your event, you can invite more people and dedicate resources that would have gone to set up, food, location, etc. to making your virtual event unforgettable.
Additionally, you can gather highly-valuable data from digital events. Not just how long they watched a specific video, but what sort of questions they asked, what links they clicked, and you can even survey them to discover what topics they’re interested in learning more about.
Another upside to all events suddenly being thrust into the digital space? Because everyone is experiencing similar abrupt changes, digital events are the new normal. That means people won’t have the same reticence to joining a digital event they might have felt previously.
There’s also more empathy and understanding when events don’t quite go as planned. Being interrupted by pets or children is part of sheltering at home and people understand.
For any event you planned to host, there’s a digital alternative. When you start thinking about how to replicate your events online, ask yourself how those events can improve by moving online and you’ll see there are plenty of avenues to increase the effectiveness of your events.
When you move a conference online, you’ll have to bring in all the elements of your conference such as giveaways, brochures, seminars, vendors, and more. That doesn’t have to be intimidating.
Giveaways can be hosted online, allowing you to hand out any of the branded items you might have planned to hand out in person. Similarly, you can turn any grab bags into direct mail campaigns and still earn the exposure you would’ve gotten with an in-person event. You can include any brochures and printouts you’ve already created in the direct mail piece; if you haven’t created any printouts yet, offer them as downloads as a part of your digital presentation.
Offering gated and even non-gated downloads allow you to gather more data about your attendees and discover what topics get the most engagement.
Webinars can replace various types of events like conferences as well as a lunch-and-learn style event. Whether you want to host a webcam-based panel or a one speaker presentation, you can format a webinar to fit. You can share your screen or give attendees the option to download your slides; that way your attendees have the information they need without losing the impact of having your speaker—or multiple speakers—digitally present.
Another aspect of your digital event you’ll need to consider is whether you’ll host it live. In addition to hosting a live event, you can pre-record a webcam-based presentation to offer the same type of atmosphere without the added stress of being live on camera. That way you can have a little more control over the presentation, and adapt more easily if someone’s pet wanders into the room.
Something else to consider: If you were planning to offer food to draw in a crowd, you might be able to gift attendees a coupon for a meal delivery system. That way you still provide lunch, just in a new way. This is one example of how you can rethink digital events to adapt to the current landscape. Meal delivery services support local businesses and let you provide a delicious treat. It’s a win-win for all involved.
A key aspect that draws people to physical events is the chance to network with others in the industry as well as vendors. However, you can replicate this experience online as well. Consider creating an online forum that facilitates connection between your attendees, your employees, and even other organisations you’ve partnered with.
If you’re looking for a simple avenue to create an online community, consider Vuture’s Alumni feature. It allows your network to connect and interface in a way that serves their purposes while also strengthening their attachment to your firm. You become a go-to resource for everyone who’s involved with your firm.
Get creative when you consider how you can move events online. One avenue to consider is how you can partner with local organizations to create digital events around topics relevant to your specific community.
In a larger context, you can bring in vendors in the same way. Vendors or charities you would normally highlight in a physical event—whether through branded items or booths or something similar—can be brought in to co-present seminars or webinars. They could even co-host your event. You can amplify your reach by tapping into these organisations’ resources and their audience.
While things are slowly moving towards more familiar times, your clients are still having to adapt how they conduct business but also how they conduct their lives.
Consider what sort of information and questions your firm has been receiving from clients and create a webinar to answer those. Open it up to all your clients as a way to show your support and serve as a trusted resource for them as we all continue to explore the “new normal.”
If it’s within your power, you can also offer discounted services you know will help them navigate the current landscape.
Virtual events allow you to connect with prospects and clients and improve their investment in your firm. With the right tools, a seamless webinar experience won’t require hours of extra work from your team. In fact, you can get a webinar up and running in minutes.
Now that you have multiple ideas for your next event, you’ll need to know how to optimize your digital event workflow. We hosted a webinar, “Hybrid Events in Professional Services” that teaches you how to do just that. Learn how other clients are utilising Vuture to conduct webinars and host events that still provide a stellar digital experience.