At JRNI, one of our core offerings are one-to-many events -- sign up online and show up in-store or in-branch for an experience that interests you. It’s one of our more popular offerings - but what happens when a pandemic enters the picture?
With nary a second thought, customers demand to learn new things to stay engaged and socialize with others. That’s why we accelerated JRNI’s ability to facilitate virtual events.
You’re all familiar with Peloton classes and teachers with their distance learning programs, but ever wonder how else virtual events are being used? Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking about making virtual events work for you:
Host online classes
One of my favorite bakery chains in Boston is Flour Bakery. Each week, the founder and creator of most of the recipes announces a recipe to bake together. Sweets fans, frustrated bakers, and homebound professionals can order the kit of ingredients for delivery or pick up, and everyone cooks together. It passes time, it’s creative, and it’s collaborative. Similarly, we’ve seen online wine tastings, cocktail mixing, financial planning seminars, and more that enable people with similar interests to gather from a very safe distance.
Provide expert consultations
Consumers are buying all kinds of products online. What if you leveraged a virtual consultation to get them up and running? Imagine your local telco provider offering a class on setting up your new phone - it saves you the in-person interaction, but follows through with the connection your provider has always offered. Or a bank advisor setting up a session with the parents of recent graduates to learn more about financing your child’s college education. The possibilities are endless, and the value, limitless.
Show off hot items
With the holidays around the corner (gasp), leverage a virtual event to invite top customers to see the newest, most desirable products for the season - new toys, party dresses, bow ties. Make it a festive event by inviting attendees to drink something sparkly, and then show them how to wrap a gift while offering them the opportunity to pick up that must-have item. This allows the store to generate revenue through product sales, while providing the personal and safe service that customers crave.
Livestream a key speaker
With all of the questions around PPP and the post-pandemic economic recession, have your financial advisors offer advice, answer questions, or allay fears for today’s investors, live. Similarly, livestream an author reading from a new work, a chef creating a new dish, or really any expert in their field addressing an issue that has broad appeal.
Offer a group activity
Museums and galleries are leading guided tours with narration. Companies are taking advantage of virtual escape rooms. Virtual events provide an excellent opportunity to engage a captive audience and maybe also educate them, all while alleviating the logistical issues that accompany live events. Think about the workout classes that have gone on in living rooms across the world for the past 12 weeks!
Like live events, virtual events serve multiple purposes:
For brands and service providers, they’re an extension of your brand
They provide support and interaction, all from a safe distance
They bring together like-minded people for a sense of community
They serve as a foundation for upsell
They enable a continued relationship between vendor and customer
They keep your employees and customers as safe as possible