Virtual Events during COVID for the Southern Women's Show Series
Southern Shows, Inc is a consumer shopping events company that puts on annual indoor festivals for thousands of women across the Southeast and Michigan. When the Richmond event was canceled eight days before opening in March 2020, we organized a multi-day virtual shopping event on Facebook. We encouraged all exhibitors to send in exclusive shopping deals and go Live within the event themselves. We utilized email and social platforms to promote the event as a way for guests to support the hundreds of small companies depending on their business. There were over 200 shopping posts for guests to browse. This event reached over 35,600 users organically, and over 3,500 users scrolled through all the deals.
After the Nashville event was also canceled, we duplicated and lengthened the online event format. This virtual show reached over 63,900 users, and over 6,200 guests scrolled through over 350 shopping posts.
We also created virtual events for the Raleigh and Michigan markets with a new element. We tested an online BINGO game during each virtual event that was a smashing hit. It brought a favorite activity of the physical shows online. We staged an in-home set, gathered exhibitor products, and put Alexandra in front of the camera. We solicited companies for electronic gift cards and Alexandra demonstrated their products in between calling numbers.
Southern Shows then asked us to make BINGO sessions a reality for each market. These sessions had between 67 and 195 live participants and received between 650 and 3,200 total views.
In the Fall, Southern Shows was approached by media partner 107.9 The Link in Charlotte to put on a virtual event. With the opportunity to build off lessons learned, we offered exhibitors, many of whom had never hosted a Facebook Live, instructions on how to get one scheduled in advance. We then promoted a two-day Live entertainment schedule to email subscribers. We also reworked BINGO so radio personality Ramona Holloway could host, and tickets could be sold for charity.
For the holidays, we invited a dozen vendors to be "Santa's Helpers." Each company got to pick a date and time in the weeks leading up to Christmas to go Live. We promoted their day in advance to all 125,000 email subscribers and shared each Live across all ten markets, capitalizing on the collective marketing power.