Back of House Staff | July 30, 2020, 02:50 PM CDT
While restaurants in many cities have begun to reopen outdoor areas—and in several cases, dining rooms inside—operators and customers across the U.S. and Canada continue to favor a more conservative approach to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chances are, regardless of your area's reopening phase, many of your restaurant's would-be diners are stuck at home, bored, and eager for a break to the monotony of quarantine life. If you're looking for a way to bring your brand to them, consider a virtual event.
>>>RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About Social Media Marketing For Restaurants
For starters, the audience is reading and waiting for you: marketing professionals, for instance, are increasingly relying on virtual events, including cocktail hours and virtual dinner parties, to woo clients. But there are several other reasons you should consider offering a virtual event or event series.
>>>RELATED: Restaurant Marketing Tips During COVID-19
What kind of event makes the most sense for your business? There are four common categories to consider, but don't feel limited by these. After all, Shake Shack recently launched a virtual camp for the summer, complete with family-friendly activities.
Once you know what kind of event you want to start off with, you'll need to select a host or hosts. If you have an especially vivacious and charismatic bartender on staff, this could be a great fit for them. But consider whether you'll want more than one person: if you're offering a cooking show, for instance, you may want a pair of hosts so that one person can engage with the audience when the other has to focus on the task at hand.
Whether you're hosting a free event that anyone can join or something more exclusive, remember to use a format that makes it easy for you to interact with your audience. Driving engagement is a great way to build loyalty and make your audience members feel like participants, so encourage viewers to type their questions in a chat box, ask them live throughout, or engage in a Q&A at the end.
For open, free events:
For paid events:
Now it's time to get the word out there! Marketing your event can feel daunting in a packed digital landscape, but the truth is, your customer base is hungry for this kind of content.
Like event planning in real life, virtual event planning is all about getting your ducks in a row well before showtime. Make sure you develop a detailed run-of-show that specifies all the logistics. You’ll want to assign roles for managing any technology hiccups, selecting the host and moderators, and making sure you have prep work completed with food or drink products. If this is a first time, consider doing a practice run-through first for friends and family. After you're done, consider keeping some of the video footage for ads, or simply for others to access in the future!
[Photo: Sander Dalhuisen via Pexels]
Have a firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in becoming a Preferred Partneremail@example.com
222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza Suite #575, Chicago, IL 60654
© Copyright 2023. All Rights Reserved.