With COVID-19 still limiting the ability to host events or gatherings in many places, it’s worth thinking about alternatives.

With the exception of events with limited contact, it’s tough to have an in-person gathering. Customer appreciation barbecues or cocktail receptions are certainly off the table. If you are having in-person events, be sure to follow all local health and safety guidelines, along with requirements for gatherings. Holding a customer appreciation event that lands you in the news for violating local regulations isn’t a good look.

If you’re thinking of holding a virtual customer event to replace some of those in-person gatherings, there are several types of content you can use.

Why are you doing it?

Hosting a virtual event just to host a virtual event doesn’t make any sense. Most people have their days full with Zoom meetings or online learning through Google Classroom. They’re not going to be interested in spending more time watching a remodeler on their computer if you’re not delivering something interesting.

Virtual content ideas

Think about what types of content may be popular – what draws the best audiences on your blog, social media or YouTube channel? For most of our clients, it’s info about projects or how-to/trend pieces. Take a look at your numbers and see what matters to your clients.

There are many different ways you can leverage your expertise (live or recorded):

  • Walk-throughs – Maybe you would have held an open house in a customer’s completed project or at a Parade of Homes site. You can’t fully replicate that feeling online, but virtual walk-throughs are a great way to share that message. If the homeowner is comfortable being interviewed on screen, host a brief chat with them to share their thoughts on the project and why they enjoyed working with your company.
  • How-to’s/Tutorials – Presentations on solving common household problems are an obvious topic, especially if they are unique to your locality. However, it’s also an opportunity to think about partnering with other local businesses. A local chef can offer tips on creating restaurant-quality food at home on the newest Viking range. A fitness instructor can provide advice on at-home exercises in a new home gym. An ergonomics expert can talk about the best features for a remodeled home office.
  • Interviews – Take advantage of the expertise of your team and host an “Ask Me Anything” where homeowners can ask their remodeling questions of your kitchen designer or lead carpenter. One tip: Come prepared with questions in case nobody asks them right away. It often takes a little time to get those questions coming in.
  • Behind the scenes – Most people love to know how their products are made.  Is there some interesting aspect of your business that clients don’t typically see, such as a cabinet shop? Showing off the craftsmanship that goes into woodworking helps sell the message of quality – and it’s also pretty interesting!

Don’t rush

Whatever you decide to include in your virtual event, be sure to allow several weeks to get it going. This gives your team time to put all the elements in place, as well as promote it out to your potential audience. Be sure to share it broadly through your social media, print advertising, email newsletter and any other marketing outlets you use. Consider offering incentives for those that attend it live versus a later replay – anything from a free hat to a discount on future work

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