“What in the world is Linkedin Events”?
Before diving into Linkedin’s new product, let’s level set how event marketing has evolved the in last 2 years.
Event Marketing has been key for B2B Marketers to build relationships with prospects, share the latest product/services, and promote brand engagement.
Many believed that in-person events are the key way to form connections with their prospects.
However, the global pandemic has caused event marketing to be very challenging.
Is there a way to run events that are pandemic proof?
Is it possible to continue building strong networks without face-to-face events? Events are typically expensive and marketing budgets are cut now. Is there another cost-effective way to run events?
Answer: Yes, yes, and yes.
You can achieve all that with Virtual events. And where else to launch your virtual events than on the biggest professional network in the world: Linkedin.
It’s not surprising to see Marketers plan to increase their spending by 66% on virtual events beyond 2021.
In this guide, we will dive deep into how you can use Linkedin events for your event marketing (And not let the pandemic hold you back).
What are Linkedin Events?
Linkedin events is one of the newest features of Linkedin. It helps Organizations to deepen their relationships with their target audience through virtual events and networking.
Oh, yes, Linkedin events are free for anyone to use.
Think of it as a place where you can build up hype for your event.
You may even engage, chat with your attendees and build a community around your event. After all, Linkedin is a social network. And Linkedin events let professionals get social and learn from each other.
What are the benefits of Linkedin Events?
There are plenty of benefits to using Linkedin events as part of your virtual event marketing.
- It’s pandemic proof.
- It’s free to create. You may also invite your connections for free. (They do have event ads you may use, but it’s optional).
- Linkedin’s environment is professional. Hosting your event and building a community on Linkedin is safe. People are also in the right mindset to learn and engage with your brand/product.
- This is the biggest social network for professionals. If you think Eventbrite is big, Linkedin is even bigger. And it’s already a social network where it’s just natural for professionals to build a community and form connections.
- You’re able to engage and promote your event before, during, and after your event. There are both organic (free) and paid tools for your to boost your event.
- It’s easier to prove Event ROI on Linkedin. Event analytics provides Marketers an easier view of their event performance.
What’s the difference between Linkedin events and Linkedin live?
Linkedin live is a broadcasting tool that lets you stream live video within Linkedin. It helps to drive engagement with your audience.
You don’t need to have Linkedin live to create a Linkedin event page. While you may stream Linkedin live within a Linkedin event at the moment, you may still use third-party streaming tools instead.
Important note: As of this writing, you still can’t stream directly into Linkedin events with webinar tools like ON24, Zoom, Webex.
There is news that Linkedin has invested in the webinar platform Hopin. So if you had to choose a webinar platform to learn, go for Hopin as it’ll likely be one of the first to become integrated with Linkedin.
How do Linkedin Events work (Including features)
Features & Tools: Pre-Launch of Your Linkedin Event
These key features of Linkedin events help you get in front of more audiences:
- Organic On-Page Discovery
- Personalized Recommendations via the “My Network” Tab or to a member’s email
- Share and notify your page followers of your event
- Linkedin events look very different on the feed and stand out.
Linkedin itself is rated as the most trusted social media platform. Executives continuously rate Linkedin as the place to find trusted professional content.
If you’re a B2B event marketer, having executives in the right mindset to engage with your brand is key. That’s where Linkedin shines.
You will also be able to run sponsored Linkedin ads for your events which we will cover below.
You may also add a registration form to your Linkedin event to capture any leads.
There are pros and cons to using this form. If the purpose is brand awareness (For eg. Brand events, Thought leadership keynotes, Large online brand conference), then you should not use the registration form.
This will become friction and attendees might choose not to attend especially if they don’t see huge value in the event. Keep in mind, if you want someone’s personal details, there needs to be a stronger value exchange before they surrender their emails.
For lead gen and targeted audience event type, then having this registration form would make sense.
Attendees are notified when the event is a week away and also which of their connections are attending. Another wave of Linkedin event notifications will be sent 3 days before the event.
You may also start to interact in your Linkedin event feed with your attendees during the pre-launch phase. It looks exactly like a Linkedin newsfeed with similar functions.
You can create a poll, post questions, and thought leadership content to the events newsfeed. I’d recommend posting at least 2-3 times a week in your events newsfeed every week leading up to your event.
You may also push your post out to your attendees up to 2 times a week for free with the “Recommend Post” function in your Linkedin events feed.
Use multi-modal content.
Go beyond a PowerPoint slide upload or a talking head. Engage with different types of attendees with videos, data visualization, audio clips, Q&A, music, etc. Keep the Linkedin event feed dynamic. One dimensional post might not capture every attendee’s attention.
This keeps your event top of the minds of your attendees. It’ll also keep attendees updated and you can build anticipation to the event with engaging content. Consider getting attendees to share the event and tag their colleagues. Give away prizes for engagement.
Another amazing feature is the Linkedin event chat. A chat group is available for your attendees to join. Think of this as a virtual way to network and build connections.
I don’t usually expect a lot of interaction here as many professionals are conservative and less vocal on Linkedin. They’re more “serious” and don’t usually interact via chat in a fun way.
That said, this is tool is still useful to broadcast messages for those who do join the chat. Attendees who do join the chat are likely highly engaged since they have expressed their openness to interact with others by joining.
Also, remember to post in the Linkedin newsfeed to remind attendees to use the chat if you’d like.
Many pre-launches of Linkedin events seem to only have 1 or 2 posts. There’s little effort to raise engagement. This leaves a huge opportunity for marketers who do use these tools effectively together with smart engagement content.
Features & Tools: During Your Linkedin Events
One of the biggest draws of events is the speakers. Linkedin lets you invite your speakers into your event. Your speakers will be featured in the Event details section.
Another way to amplify reach and engagement is to encourage your speakers to post on the Event newsfeed. Speakers may also share the event in their newsfeed.
Attendees to your event will get a last notification 15 minutes before your event starts.
If you have Linkedin live integrated, your attendees will receive a push notification that your event has gone live. This is extremely powerful as it’s a big notification status on their “notifications” tab.
Features & Tools: After Your Linkedin Events
You may run polls and feedback on your Linkedin event feed. This will help continue the engagement even after your event.
Attendees may also rewatch the event if it’s posted on the event newsfeed.
If maintained well, this Linkedin event space can continue to be an engagement hub for your attendees. They may continue to interact with each other and with your brand.
You may also run Linkedin retargeting ads to your event attendees. This helps you nurture them by guaranteeing they see your follow-up messages.
How to get started with Linkedin Events?
You may launch Linkedin events either via your personal page or your company’s page.
Most of the time, it would be launched through a company’s page especially if it’s a corporate B2B Event.
3 essential steps to create a Linkedin event
Within your admin view on your LinkedIn Company Page, click on the “Admin Tools” dropdown. Alternatively, you can also create a personal event from your profile. Simply navigate to the events panel on the left-hand side of your Linkedin home screen. The rest of the steps are similar.
Within the dropdown, click on create an Event.
Complete the event detail fields.
- Event Name
- Is this an Online Event? If you say no, you’ll need to add a venue and location
- Broadcast link (This is where you may add a third-party broadcast link. Not needed if you’re using Linkedin Live).
- Start date/End date
- Description of the event
- Speakers – You may add type in the name of your speakers and they will be invited. You need to be a connection to the speaker first.
- Ticketing Website – Paste the link of the ticketing website, if applicable
- Event Visibility – This can’t be changed after selection. So be very sure here.
You can choose whether to make your event public or private.
If your Linkedin event is public, you’ll get the following benefits:
- As the name suggests, your event will be searchable by any Linkedin member. This increases your reach and potential audience.
- Anyone can attend without an invitation. Members can also share the event with their connections.
- You may add a registration form to the event to collect additional attendee details like Email ID. If no form is added, Any member can click on “Attend” and join the event.
Make your Linkedin event public if the event is a large-scale branding event. Think of it as a public convention where there are no restrictions.
A private event would make more sense for close-door events. For example, virtual round tables, customer-only events, VIP events, or internal company events.
Once you’ve completed filling in the event details, click on create and your Linkedin event is created. You can share your page, invite your connections, manage the attendees, post content in the event feed. Attendees will get notified when your event is starting.
If your public event has a registration form, you’ll also be able to download the attendee details on your Linkedin event page.
How does a Linkedin Event Invite look like?
When you’ve invited your connections to your event, it will look like the image below:
If you created your Linkedin Event as public without a registration form, members will join the event when they click on the checkmark. Without a registration form, event organizers can still view all the attendees but their details cannot be downloaded.
If a public Linkedin event was created with a registration form, a form will pop up when the member clicks on the checkmark.
Attendees will need to submit their details before they can attend.
Although the form fields are not editable at the moment, you’ll be able to download the attendee’s email, first name, and last name.
Yes, there is a format called “Event Ads” within the Linkedin Campaign Manager Tool.
If you want to guarantee reach to a certain professional audience, then you’d want to run Linkedin ads to boost your event attendance.
Inviting your connections and sharing organically is slow.
It is also very limited to who you can reach too (Not unless they explicitly search for your event, which I’m sure many will not since they don’t even know your event exists).
Linkedin has also claimed that 61% of members are more likely to take action if they ran both an event ad and share it organically.
This is how a Linkedin Event Ad will appear on a member’s newsfeed.
Other than being online, Linkedin events aren’t different from live events. What works offline can be applied online. Just a change in the execution of the medium.
Here are a couple of examples of top brands that are winning with Linkedin Events.
Branding, Community-building, interviews, and Live QnAs
In this example, Gartner went live on Linkedin with their Chief of Research to discuss how to support people, employees, and the organization during the pandemic outbreak. Here’s the link to the Linkedin Live interview.
Here’s another best practice by The Wharton School. They went live with the Chief Economic Advisor of Allianz on their branded topic “Unusual Certainty”. You may watch their live show here
Use Linkedin Event for a targeted audience
Linkedin is also a Linkedin event. You can see how Linkedin Marketing Solutions uses a Linkedin event to build to help marketers specifically.
Microsoft also went live and used the Linkedin event capability to share about how AI is helping the health industry. This is more of a conference which is still possible with Linkedin events.
Use Linkedin Events to house your conferences
The product school launched its biggest event of the year on Linkedin – The Virtual Product Summit. They also featured top speakers from Netflix, Paypal, Facebook, Lyft, and more.
Adobe also pivoted their Adobe summit on to Linkedin due to the pandemic. They managed to get x3 more registrations with Linkedin Events and Live
Linkedin is perfect if you’re also overseeing employer branding.
Here’s an example from Cisco where they launch a series of Linkedin events called the “Love where you work” series. They were able to bring Cisco’s brand to life.
Twitter also hosted an event featuring a day in the life of their product leaders
How to use Linkedin Events Analytics
It’s always been extremely difficult to justify the ROI of conferences, trade shows, and events. With Linkedin Events Analytics, you’ll be able to prove value to event marketing efforts.
Marketers/Events organizers can see the attendees list with or without a registration form. However, the attendee’s information can only be downloaded if the registration form was used.
Here the are Linkedin Event Analytics measurements available.
- Visitor and attendee metrics, including total event visits, unique event visits, and attendees
- Top demographic metrics, with industry, job function, seniority, company, and location breakdowns by visitors and attendees
- Post engagement metrics, including reactions and comments on every event feed post
Do take note that Metrics for only the live session are not separated from the replay engagement numbers. Take a screenshot of your engagement stats right after the live stream so you can compare the two later.
Should you use Linkedin Events?
Linkedin is the biggest professional network in the world. Ask yourself if your target audience is on Linkedin. If they are, then Linkedin Events is a perfect way to support your event marketing while offline events are still not safe.
You should also get a hang of this because even if Offline events come back fully, those will likely be a hybrid of Online as well.
Also, Linkedin events provide free distribution, analytics, and content management tools! It’s something you should seriously consider as a permanent way to run online events.