These days, staying connected to your community is more important than ever. During times when you can’t safely bring people together in person, you can still reach them online. Hosting virtual community presentations can help you stay connected while still presenting the value of advance funeral planning and generating leads for preneed sales.
The following tips will guide you through the steps to plan, promote, execute and follow up after an online presentation.
Getting started with virtual community presentations will take some planning. The first step is to decide which video conferencing platform you are going to use. When selecting a platform, keep in mind that you will want to share your screen with your audience and be able to take questions in a chat or question/answer box. You will also want to ensure the platform you select asks attendees to pre-register for your event and provide their contact information.
Once you know how you are going to present, it’s time to decide what you are going to present. For example, some firms choose to host virtual events during the holiday season. Homesteaders and Dr. Jason Troyer have teamed up to offer “Grieving During the Holidays,” a free holiday video that can be used in connection with this type of event. Homesteaders also offers ready-made presentations you can use to host other types of virtual group presentations through our Community Engagement program. Contact your account executive to learn more.
Finally, you will need to decide when you are going to present. Pick a date and time for your presentation. Even though individual schedules are more relaxed during this time, keep in mind that many are still working from home during the day. An evening or weekend event may result in the most attendance. Give yourself lead time to promote your event and practice your presentation.
Now it’s time to start inviting members of your community. Using a combination of different communication methods will help you reach the most people.
- Social Media – People are using Facebook and other social media outlets more than ever to stay connected. Creating a Facebook event and inviting your community is a simple way to bring awareness to your virtual group presentation. Be sure to follow up with additional posts about the event to direct traffic back to your funeral home website or Facebook page.
- Email – Emailing an invitation can supplement your social media posts. Using this format will allow you to include additional information about the seminar and why it is important to attend.
- Mail – Consider sending a personal invitation with details about your virtual event. Contact your account executive for details about customizable direct mail pieces.
Delivering the Presentation
How you deliver the information is one of the most important pieces of a successful event. The following tips will help ensure you are giving an effective and impactful presentation.
- Practice, practice, practice. Be sure to run through your presentation several times so you are comfortable with the information you are providing.
- Make it personal. Include stories to establish yourself as a relatable and reliable expert on the subject you are presenting. What inspired you to work in the funeral profession? How is your funeral home involved in the community?
- Test the technology. Even if you’re comfortable using the video platform you have chosen, it’s a good idea to allow for time to make sure everything is working as expected and that you have a strong internet connection. You may even want to schedule a practice run-through to help prevent problems during the event.
Be sure to plan for how you will continue to build relationships with the members of your community who attend your event. Ideally, you should follow up with those who attended within 48 hours of your presentation, so the information is fresh in their minds.
Have you held a community presentation this year? What platforms and resources have you found to be the most effective? Share your thoughts in the comments below.