Thanks to the growing popularity of virtual events, it has never been easier to connect your attendees with thought leaders within your industry. In fact, partnering up with industry thought leaders is even a great way to promote your virtual event without spending a great deal of time and money – and it’s certainly one of the best ways to cultivate excitement and demand for a virtual seat. 

Who Are Thought Leaders and Why Are They Important?

To put it simply, a thought leader is considered an expert within a specific industry – or within a specialization of that industry. They are generally considered to be innovators, and they are go-to sources for news, advice, and even opinions. Thought leaders are typically influential within their fields of specialization, and this means that they cultivate rather large followings on various social media platforms. In other words, their ideas and opinions tend to directly influence the opinions of others, which can result in a dynamic shift in preferences, tastes, and more. 

How to Identify Thought Leaders in Your Industry

The first step in connecting your virtual event attendees with thought leaders involves identifying those thought leaders. There are a few simple ways to tell if someone is a thought leader. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this person provide content and information that is relevant to your industry, niche, or specialization?
  • Do they have a large following, and can they engage with your target audience?
  • Is this person an influencer who can spur people to act?
  • Does this person’s website have a high rank in web searches? 

If you can answer yes to these questions, then the individual is indeed an industry thought leader. 

Inviting Thought Leaders to Your Event

Now that you have identified the thought leaders within your industry, the next step involves inviting these individuals to your virtual event in a way that generally sparks their interest. Remember that thought leaders are almost always very busy people with very full schedules, which means your event must offer some sort of value. To do this, you might offer them some complimentary VIP tickets, an in-demand speaking slot, or even a discounted (or complimentary) virtual booth. In return, these thought leaders bring a new dimension of expertise to your event – and perhaps even a sizeable audience that may have otherwise been overlooked. 

More Tips for Your Success

Securing a thought leader to speak at your virtual event is something to be celebrated, but you don’t have to stop there. You might choose to collab on social media and engage with one another’s content and followers, sit down for recorded interviews that can be an added “bonus” for those who attend your event, and even continue to reach out to other thought leaders who might be interested in attending. 

Introducing your virtual event attendees to one or more thought leaders is a phenomenal way to create an event that succeeds not only in the moment but also in the future. It can help build your reputation and may someday even help your organization become a thought leader of its own right.