Meet Virtually Staff - April 3, 2023
OktoberVest – A Virtual Event Case Study
On October 27th, 2022, Meet Virtually hosted a Virtual Beer Festival we called OktoberVest. We had three main goals going into the event. We understand the challenges of planning an event that is mindful of both the environment and budget. That’s why we use our expertise from Meet Virtually and Source in the City to help you create a successful green event efficiently with minimal cost and maximum impact.
The Set Up
The most important thing we had to do was design a compelling event. Amongst our offerings at Meet Virtually, one of the most popular is a Virtual Beer Tasting. Our corporate clientele traditionally select this option when they think the majority of their attendees are beer enthusiasts, knowing that beer can also be something that even a novice drinker might enjoy. It’s a great alternative to a mixology event, or a wine tasting. We work with My Beer Friend and owner Hal Mooney on these events for our clients, and knew we had to get them on board for our event.
Usually, when a corporate client books a beer event, he selects the beer that gets incorporated into the virtual event participation kits that get distributed to attendees. For this event, we wanted to bring on Brewery Sponsors who could contribute a beer they had made as well as an expert from their brewery to participate in a panel discussion about the Beer Industry. We had developed a relationship with Newburgh Brewing Company over the past year and they were our first sponsor to agree to participate. We had worked with them previously to film their Brewery as the first location to be featured in Meet Virtually VR Tours. As we were planning to use that video to tour the brewery during the event, it was important that they also agreed to participate. When they did, we knew we were on our way.
From there, we wanted to find a few more breweries to agree to participate. The most successful way we found to reach out to these breweries was to message them on Instagram. We reached out to approximately 100 breweries, received replies from 30, and ultimately got two more breweries to agree to sponsor this event. With New England Brewing Company from Connecticut and White Birch Brewing from New Hampshire on board, we knew that we would have a wonderful sampling of beers as well as a North-East focus.
To round out our beer kits, we enlisted the help of Ask Charlie to create custom beer koozies for us. We also custom printed notes that included instructions for guests.
Next, we created an initial guest list that consisted of some of our best customers, friends of Meet Virtually, as well as prospective customers. Sponsors were also given free slots as an incentive for their participation. We created a list of approximately 100 targets and received a positive RSVP from 67. Additionally, we worked with KindredPR, a Meet Virtually partner for all things PR related, to target some media members with a focus on Food & Beverage as well as technology. Finally, we ran a campaign on Instagram to give away a few free slots to beer enthusiasts. Our total RSVP list ended up being 112. Finally, we wanted to connect beer enthusiasts with beer experts in a virtual setting to create a stimulating, interactive conversation where our attendees could feel compelled to interact and learn.
Before the event started, we knew that 111 out of 112 kits had successfully been delivered to the guests that signed up. The one guest that had not received their kit was due to an incorrect address that had been provided. At the very start of the event, 83 attendees had joined the zoom link that we distributed, and by the time the event ended we had 97 guests in attendance. We held an informative panel led by Hal Mooney and insightful contributions from representatives of each of the sponsoring breweries. Guests were guided through a tasting of each of the beers that were in their kits and were able to ask questions that were on their mind. From there, Hal acted as tour guide through a Virtual Reality experience of the Newburgh Brewery as guests got a rare peek inside a brewery on an active brewing day.
After the event ended, we requested guests to complete a survey and the results were extremely validating.