Event organizers have created new engagement strategies as they've shifted their focus from in-person events to hybrid and virtual. While this year's challenges have been new to us all, we have seen event organizers continue to be resilient and thrive in our new landscape. While creating the rules as they go, the event organizers have done a fabulous job! If your goal is to help artists and vendors generate revenue during a global pandemic, you've come to the right place. During 2020, we were able to analyze what makes a successful virtual event and learned a few things. We want to share our expertise with you and help you build a successful and engaging experience. 1. Scavenger Hunt An interesting way to get your page visitors to go through all your shops is by hosting a scavenger hunt or create a similar hunt like "I Spy"! Hide your logo, an image, or any symbol throughout your virtual events page, vendor shops, and social media. The first person to meet the requirements, based on your set rules, would receive a prize. The goal of a scavenger hunt is to get shoppers to visit multiple artists' shops and expose them to the type of products available for purchase. The engagement this brings can entice them to buy products from your artists and vendors, spread the word about the event, and even get them to share your event on social media. 2. Virtual Parade In many events, the main attraction is a parade, or smaller shows within the event. So, why not recreate that online? Simply decide a frame on how these video submissions should be shot, define what the submission can include (walk, dance, artist’s work showoff, demonstration, etc), and let the audience know where to turn in their videos! Then on the backend, piece together a video with the individual submissions to create one masterpiece. Get your artists, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, and attendees involved to show off your event. During the virtual Dragon Con event this year, they put together a virtual parade by asking their attendees to submit videos of themselves walking in their costumes from one end of the camera to the other end! Check out their awesome video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfappUTV08M But don't be scared to think above and beyond. Add more sparkle, get everyone involved, and be proactive. Consider releasing your parade in different portions at different times or organizing your parade in different categories! 3. Talent contestants Talent can come from anywhere! Your event can be the one to discover the next winner of "American Idol" or "World of Dance". But please note, that talent doesn't have to be limited to musical arts. Create contests to name products, give your event the new slogan or come up with next year's theme! With Eventeny’s platform, you can create these contests with the survey or application feature. The aim is to increase engagement from your internal links and your attendees. Since human nature is to be competitive, contests give attendees more incentive to check out your page. In return, we hope the attendees will check out shops and discover other things your event is doing. 4. Raffle Prizes Nothing attracts people like the thought of free stuff, and getting a prize from one of your local shops is even more attractive! Though raffle tickets are simple, ask your vendors and artists if they would be willing to donate their pieces as prizes. This way, your attendees will be more excited, and your vendors/artists will feel more included in the event. 5. Shop Contests While we are so focused on engaging the external crowd, start by engaging your artists and vendors. Create internal contests to make sure the internal crew is involved and prepared. Hold shop contests like best shop, most active shop, shop with the highest sales, etc. The goal of this contest is to boost your artists and vendors into being more proactive. Remember, you can come up with creative prizes for the winners that don't have to revolve around a dollar amount! Covid has certainly limited in-person events, but time and time again we’ve seen event organizers be exemplary and outshine their previous years. In these changing times, the one word that should be the main focus is inclusion. How do we, as the events community, get our artists, vendors, sponsors, attendees, and volunteers to be a part of our event? For artists and vendors, how can we actively engage them to push them to be more proactive? How can we help them receive sales as if they were a part of an in-person show? Studies have shown that over 50% of events from 2021-2025 will be online. The virtual format has paved the way for future events by opening up the event world online and exposing all types of events to a wider and more inclusive audience. Many organizers have seen traffic on an international scale for the first time this year, while many vendors/artists have sold internationally for the first time. Even in the midst of a pandemic, events and event organizers have seized the silver lining by being creative and flexible. Hey event organizers, can you share your best engagement tips and tricks?