Small Business Spotlight: How to create 'FOMO' in virtual events to grow sales


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- No one wants to feel left out.

Some businesses have been thriving in the digital space and using virtual events to drive sales. While virtual events allow companies to reach audiences outside their normal radius, combating Zoom fatigue can be the biggest barrier.

VeeKast president and CEO Donvil Collins' advice: "Find some way to give your viewers 10 seconds of fame."

He told Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank, that people on the other end of the computer need to feel like they are part of an experience. It won't be successful if it's one-way communication.

"Especially thinking about the chat, can people respond? Are people in the broadcast able to respond to the people that are watching?"

One of VeeKast's clients, Collins said, had been drawing about 400 people for in-person events pre-pandemic. It had a live audience of 2,000 people online and they got more than 6,000 views of its event on-demand.

"Really part of what they did was creating what I like to call 'FOMO,'" he said of the acronym that stands for "Fear of missing out."

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"That's one of the big things that organizations are missing sometimes and not only getting people to watch it live and not feel like they're just watching, they're actually a part of this event. It's not a production, it's an event," Collins explained, continuing, "And then for the replay, it's 'What did you miss? What's the big deal?' So I think FOMO is a big part of driving engagement, views, and all of that."

VeeKast was founded in 2013 as an in-person events and video production company based in White Plains, NY. Collins made commercials and other advertising while also producing some livestreaming events. By focusing on virtual events during the pandemic, Collins said they doubled their business both in 2020 and 2021 from the year prior.

"Our goal for this year is we're just going to push it and try to triple the business," he said. "At least from what we're seeing in an increase, there's a lot of opportunity there because there's so much need for help. People want to get this stuff done, but they don't really know how, and they just need a single mind or a managerial company or someone that can come in with all the gear and actually help them do it well."

VeeKast prides itself on producing virtual events that look like the Academy Awards with overlay designs and professional audio/video equipment they supply as part of a "remote broadcast kit."

"We send a lavalier mic, we also send tripods and we send them a link that we can control the camera equipment remotely," said Collins.

"From your offices in Westchester, you're running a whole TV network like a control room now," noted Connolly.

"There's some that was (sic) international locations in Europe and other places and we are controlling the gear that is there so we can get the quality of the recording to be better."

See ways businesses are leveraging broadcast quality virtual events to grow sales on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight video above.

Featured Image Photo Credit: WCBS 880