Think back to the last in-person event you attended. I’d be willing to bet that in addition to walking away with new knowledge, new skills and new connections, you likely also left with something else: swag!
Everyone loves getting swag, gifts and rewards during events. But sadly, with the departure of in-person events and the emergence of virtual ones, many event hosts are opting to scrap their plans of delighting attendees with gifts and rewards.
Can a virtual event platform be used to offer an amazing gifts and rewards experience? And can those rewards be leveraged to incentivize healthy behaviours?
The answer is, yes. The solution is Influitive’s Virtual EventHub™.
For years, Influitive has been the leading innovator in leveraging advanced gamification and targeting mechanics to reward customers with real and tangible gifts. With Virtual EventHub™, that delightful experience has been adopted for virtual events.
Using key learnings from Influitive Live 2020, here are a few ways you can orchestrate a delightful rewards experience during your next virtual event.
Consider Level-Based Rewards
When giving away rewards during a virtual event, it’s critical that the rewards an attendee is able to redeem are proportional to the quality of their participation. Ideally, your rewards will only be redeemable by those who’ve done specific actions which would deem them worthy of its value.
A great way to pull this off is through targeting and level-based rewards. This works by strategically unlocking rewards only when event attendees have reached a certain level. Levels are reached by earning badges, and those badges are earned by doing very specific actions.
At Influitive Live 2020, we had our top rewards like Apple Watches and Influitive Service packages only available to attendees who’d reached the top level called “Superstar Attendee”. To reach that level, members needed to earn badges by doing actions like watching 6+ sessions, commenting on 10+ discussion posts, posting 3+ times on social media, and more.
Not only can you control exactly who is eligible for certain rewards, more importantly, you can incentivize the precise actions that you desire most from your attendees! A great way to show your attendees what actions they need to take in order to unlock rewards is to create a Custom Content Page that illustrates a breakdown of the level system, the badges that are required to reach each level, and the rewards that will unlock along the way.
Find Cost-Effective and Creative Rewards
One major hurdle when sending physical rewards during a virtual event is enduring the headache of having to ship physical items. We highly recommend leveraging a gift sending platform, like our partner Sendoso. During Influitive Live, thanks to Sendoso, it was simple and painless to ship our custom swag right to our attendee’s doors.
If you’re looking to avoid high shipping costs, I’d recommend selecting rewards that you can order and ship through an eCommerce platform with affordable shipping, like Amazon.com. And if you want to go the extra mile by personalizing the gift, Sendoso even has a nifty Amazon integration enabling the personalization of any item on Amazon.com.
Beyond physical gifts, we highly recommend utilizing non-physical gifts that do not require shipping too! Here are some of our favourites:
- Virtual experiences (exclusive virtual sessions, product sneak peeks, etc.)
- Electronic gift cards (e.g., food delivery gift cards to recreate the catered meals experience that happens at in-person events. These can be fully automated via Tango Card with Influitive.)
- Raffle tickets (exchange a modest sum of points for a chance to win a high-priced item like AirPods, a Smart Watch, etc.)
Be Transparent and Provide Reward Disclaimers
One great thing about virtual events is that they often welcome a global audience. If you can, you should take advantage of Influitive’s targeting mechanics and limit specific rewards to specific regions. For example, set up a few items from Amazon.in for your audience from India, and a few other items from Amazon.de for your European audience.
Even if you do this, you should still include a disclaimer on each physical reward that its availability is dependent on international shipping restrictions. If a redemption is made and there are unexpected shipping restraints or expensive additional shipping fees, we advise that you direct message the attendee as quickly as possible to find a solution.
Forecast Carefully and Set Redemption Caps
Careful forecasting and pragmatic planning is critical in pulling off a virtual rewards experience that both delivers an amazing user experience to your members and remains within budget.
You must carefully consider the hypothesized number of attendees for your event, and more importantly, predict how many points they’re likely to earn during the event. Once you have those predictions, you can work to ensure that you have a high enough quantity of items so that your desired number of attendees can be rewarded. At this point, you must calibrate the quantity of high-cost items and low-cost items and also calibrate the conversion at which their dollar values convert to points. We advise cataloguing and organizing your rewards in a spreadsheet.
There are many moving pieces, but don’t worry, you can place redemption caps on each item so that even if everything were to sell out, you’ll still remain within your budget constraints. Your goal is to create a system where you’re able to reward as many members as possible before hitting your budget safety caps.
Gamify the Entire Event Experience
During-event challenges are not the only way to award points. At Influitive Live 2020, we kicked off our gamification before the event even began by awarding early bird points for early registration and even more points for signing up for sessions. After the event ended, we also continued to give away points for taking post-event actions like completing a feedback survey and for posting a review on G2.
Try to think about your event gamification as a holistic endeavour. If done thoughtfully, you can keep your attendees engaged for not just a matter of hours or days, but for a time-span well beyond what’s traditionally possible at an event.
People love rewards—they delight and excite like nothing else! With Influitive’s Virtual EventHub™, they can be an integral part of how your virtual event amazes your attendees and encourages them to take the actions you’d like them to take. In our next blog article in this series, we’ll dig into how you can leverage your tech stack to deliver a seamless virtual event experience.