It wasn’t long ago we were getting dressed up to enjoy dinner at a table of 10 to support our favorite non-profit, jogging a 5k in a crowded park to raise money for a great cause, and gathering with hundreds of area colleagues to explore industry topics.
Obviously those events have been tabled for awhile, but we’re here to assure you that if your business relies on in-person fundraisers, large seminars, or industry expos, you don’t have to completely scrap your plans. You can pivot, take them online, and still achieve your goals!
From non-profit fundraisers to educational seminars, businesses are leveraging the power of online platforms to deliver stellar (and profitable!) experiences.
Consider educational seminars, for example. Webinars have been popular for the last several years, and now many companies are beginning to realize why! Let’s look at the benefits of an online seminar from an attendee perspective:
- You don’t have to leave your home, factor in travel time, pay for parking, or get dressed up!
- You can sit in the quiet comfort of your home to fully absorb the material presented.
- You can still ask questions and interact with the presenter and other attendees.
- And an added bonus: Oftentimes recordings are sent out, allowing you to re-listen as you’d like.
You really don’t have to worry about most customers being wary of online events. In fact, customers are more comfortable than ever! Zoom is citing upwards of 200 million daily users in recent weeks, 20 times more than pre-pandemic levels! (Source)
Benefits from a company perspective are plentiful too:
- Space limitations are no longer an issue.
- You can allow your attendees to ask questions, provide comments, and even answer poll questions, providing you more insight into their thoughts than you might get at a live event when you only have time to answer a few questions.
- You may attract attendees from a much larger geography than you could if attendees had to travel to your event. And, oh so relevant to our area, if there’s a snowstorm on the day of your event, it’s no problem!
- You can still charge for the seminar, but you may be able to charge less and make the same (or more!) profit given a lower overhead expense.
If raising money is your goal, online events can help you too! You can still deliver great content, create a fun experience, and inspire supporters to give in an online fundraising event.
If you read the beginning of this article and thought: Yeah, getting dressed up to go to an in-person event is not my cup of tea, or, Running a 5k? Not unless someone’s chasing me!, then you’ve identified one reason why online fundraisers can be so successful.
In-person events are great for some, but you may miss out on a passive audience who is just starting to get to know you. Viewing content online may inspire this audience to give to your cause, while asking them to attend a live event may have been too much of a stretch. Furthermore, pre-pandemic, people’s schedules were jam-packed! Well-meaning donors could have already had commitments the day of your event.
The other cool thing about bringing a fundraising event online is that you can marry the power of digital marketing with the event, creating strong results.
Using digital marketing platforms, you can serve online ads directly to the people most likely to be interested in supporting your cause. In one click, potential donors can be taken to the fundraising page full of powerful content and a button to donate right on the spot. With potentially less expense than an elaborate in-person gala, more of the funds raised can go directly to the cause. In fact, one of our clients just completed an online fundraising event doing just that!
If your wheels are turning on how you could pivot your in-person events into online experiences, we’d love to talk with you. You can reach out to our director of sales, Sarah Gordee, at 715-396-1661.