2 September 2020

London - Even before Covid19 pandemic, many civil society organizations explored virtual events through free webinars and events organized by civil society organizations. In the light of the current pandemic, organizations are increasingly turning to the virtual electronic world to display their content and meet their tasks and objectives, which is being applied currently by the International Platform for Civil Society Organizations working for Palestine “iPalestine”, holding weekly online webinars and sessions on various issues concerning Palestinian civil society (economy, politics, meeting, international and national days, etc.), raising global and national issues in the presence of discussion and sharing of experience in the field. Through this, the  Palestinian viewers can also be given the opportunity to participate and attend these webinars for free through the Internet. But the question is: how the virtual event of the organization can be distinguished from all other events?

Civil society can help the organization achieve the goals of the virtual event by reaching new audience, attracting new potential customers, developing the organization's brand through intellectual leadership, educating existing customers or members, and turning Freemium users into paying subscribers.

The more attractive and valuable the event was, the more stable effect it will have, and the closer the organization is to achieving those goals.

Smart marketing and good communication can help civil society organizations maximize the audience of the virtual event .


Here are steps to encourage civil society to participate in virtual events organized by civil society organizations:


1- Choosing the right platform for the event

The organization should set up its own virtual event to succeed from the beginning by choosing the right platform for the event. If the goal is to encourage the community to attend the virtual event, organization should choose a platform that the community is already using and spend a lot of time on. The use of Facebook and Zoom is one of the most popular platforms during the pandemic.


2- Thinking about direct communication

To inform the community and encourage them to attend the organization's virtual event, the organization needs to share the main information of the event with the community. This information can certainly be posted on the organization's social platforms, but the publication may not reach the community because of the social media follow-up policy.

Accordingly, to make sure as many people as possible get the virtual event’s information, an organization need to communicate directly. For example, send invitations in an e-mail or phone call.


3- Finding the best methods of communication

All organizations have friends, and if donors need to see the organization's appeal more than once for donations, the organization needs to invite the virtual event more than once to attend. It therefore needs a mini-marketing plan to remind the community to attend the event. For example:

• Two weeks before the event - invitations to participate in the event are emailed and posted on the organization's social media.

One week before the event - Another email to be sent about the virtual event.

One day before the event - A reminder is sent that the virtual event will be tomorrow

Event Day - Send a final reminder to attendees


4- Posting the event on the participants' agenda

Many organizations use digital calendars, whether it's calendar on mobile devices, Outlook calendar, or Google Calendar. The event must be added to any calendar used by community members, and if the event is not in the calendar, people will not attend.


5- Working with influencers

The organization does not need to work with well-known influencers in the community to harness their marketing power. But it just needs to find the right people to deliver its message. Such as:

  • Well-connected donors that having a strong local network that the organization can benefit from.
  • Youth influencers with specialized audiences who often enjoy better participation than young influencers.
  • Members of the organization's board of directors can act as influencers using their personal relationships.
  • Speakers and guests at the virtual event can double their role as event influencers and ambassadors.

Virtual events open a world of opportunities for civil society organizations that can help organizations reach some of the biggest strategic goals.

Virtual events are great for the organization and the public. Good marketing carries creative ideas that organizations can use to encourage more community members to attend the following virtual events.