Man... I just read my 1000th Facebook post about how someone got sent home from work and cannot attend any awesome networking meetings. You know the kinds with the really good donuts and buttery hot coffee.
With everyone being asked not to gather and with no real end in sight as to when this pandemic will be lessened we are forced to look for different options to get our products and services sold without actually being in the presence of one another. How do we make it exciting?
Step in me..
My background is of course in events and styling, but more than that I have a lot of other background and training in what goes on in a recession. I was a sales executive at both a hotel chain and a catering company that not just increased sales I trained people how to sell as well before doing my own event planning and design business again. I became a creative thinker and inspirer to other sales professionals. This is why my clients have a unique advantage when they hire me to help them market their product. I don't just make their vision happen, often times I'm helping them come up with the ideas, verbiage, and presentation on how to do so. Let alone being the connector to who needs to be at their event.
With all of that said let me ease your mind and tell you. Don't lose faith right now. Do a daily meditation, breath, and let the calm of positive wash over you. This is the time to have your pad and paper and truly scribble what ever comes to mind. Those wants, pictures that appear in your mind's eye are what is going to help you develop your next offering to potential customers and what will be the first step in our journey together ( that's if you're not an existing client of mine).
I Virtually Love you
This brings us to the virtual meeting. Don’t panic and just say “i don’t know how to do that!”. We've really been doing them since the invention of FaceTime and before that AOL has video message too. Now there are more stable softwares out there and we can touch on them, but I won't focus completely on the type of software here.
The two that you can use mainly for meetings for multiple reasons are
Facebook Live and Instagram TV are also great ones but you cannot record them.
Messenger and Facetime for iPhone are some that are good for smaller meetings or one on one.
If you want more virtual software info I can surely send you to a list of all of them for different types of reasons.
Both Zoom and Loom allow recording so if you're doing a course or a meeting you can post it elsewhere after.
The important thing to note about what an event planner/ event stylist can bring to a virtual meeting is you still need the meeting planned. Someone to help you enhance the "why" of the meeting.
Where will the host be when the virtual meeting takes place and does the atmosphere matter? Kind of like prop styling for television..
Do you need the atmosphere to be cozy, sterile, stylized, have lots of mannequins, or branding behind you?
We draw up a blue print of your event just like an in person one.
Will the participants need any materials to participate actively in the meeting? These can be sent ahead of time.
- Booklets, tools, photos, or collateral.
- Does the meeting host need special items to get the point across?
Do I need to be present with the host to make sure the meeting goes seamlessly?
Not necessarily. Often times a meeting planner can also guide the meeting and announce what is coming up next and keep the meeting moving if the host doesn't have experience doing so or isn't comfortable doing so.
What are different event examples that can be done virtually?
The list is never ending but for example
* A clothing boutique sales or styling event.
* A product or service pitch
* Annual employee or company meeting
* Workshop / Learning Style Event
The possibilities are endless and the best part is the people you are trying to reach never have to leave their family or homes if they don't want to.
Theres no looking up addresses, preparing mentally for being in front of someone toe to toe. It's was and often times promotes fluid conversation.
Like watching television, It's Mesmerizing!
When you're selling a product or service virtually think why HSN and QVC are popular today. The people that like to watch products be sold on tv are as QVC would put it the current customer demographic is a woman between the ages of 35 and 64, who has a high school diploma or more advanced education, earns a “higher-than-median” income, shops on the internet at least once a week, watches some kind of cable, digital, satellite TV, and is — of course — the primary shopper in her household.
When you're speaking to a team virtually it can open up less intimidating conversation. People watch and listen at first but if you have an engaging host you can really make everyone feel very inclusive. These are just some of the tips I offer clients when coaching them through a virtual event.
Lights, Camera, Action
Making the backdrop to the host is important for this reason as well. Set the scene and make it look uniform to your brand. I can help you with this and consult on ideas that photograph well. ( I did get my start in events by doing film and television styling in Hollywood you know ;)
Great lighting for the host and product is such a key thing. If participants need to see what it is that you're talking about and they can't, it won't sell.
I hope this gave you some amazing tip on how to get over your fears of our new virtual word and communication. Yes we all miss the real hand to hand or hug to hug, but for now (and quite possibly the foreseeable future) we need to embrace the virtual hugs.