How to grow your virtual event attendance in less than 3 weeks?

More than 12,500 professionals from the event and hospitality industry gathered virtually to commemorate Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in an attempt to break the record for the largest audience at a live-stream conference. 

Participants from 173 countries signed up for the virtual conference, hailing from Canada, USA, Mexico, India, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Philippines, Colombia, Singapore, Kenya, Portugal, Croatia, Malaysia, Brazil, India, Slovakia, Portugal, Costa Rica, and more.

snöball, the event influencer marketing technology behind the scenes, was a key contributor to the overall success of the event, generating 59% of the total attendance and nearly 25,000 event website page views over the span of just two weeks. Rachel Stephan, snöball’s snöballer-in-chief, says that in this time of global change, she knew she could help make a difference in the overall impact of the event.  It was a natural fit to allow the power of snöball to do what it was built to do: drive conversations and conversions by amplifying voices and mobilizing individuals to become brand ambassadors and advocates for the event.”

The grassroots event, planned as an alternative way for event professionals from around the globe to come together and raise the collective voice of the meetings and hospitality community, was spurred into action by Anh Nguyen, Principal, and Founder of Spark Event Management.

Anh Nguyen

“We leveraged the snöball platform to promote GMID Goes Virtual because we knew we needed to reach a wide audience in a short period of time. In order to attempt the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title, we needed to sign up 15,000 people in less than two weeks and without the assistance from the snöball team, we would never have accomplished our goal,” Nguyen says.

Miguel Neves

Miguel Neves, Chief Social Strategist at miguelseven.com adds, “In many ways, snöball was one of the team members, a hard-working, fast multiplying, great looking and fully functional team member that not only got everyone registered but also displayed influencers’ photos in an amazing collection of Who’s Who of the global meetings industry on the website. I can’t think of any other platform that could have so perfectly illustrated the unity that the industry needs right now and facilitated the personal connection that we felt was a big part of GMID Goes Virtual.” 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings and events industry continues to navigate the drastic shift from face-to-face and business-as-usual to virtual meeting solutions. Companies like snöball remind event organizers that word-of-mouth marketing is three times more effective than traditional advertising.


You could not look anywhere on social media without seeing our brand, message, and circle of influencers growing. We were able to reach our targets and the message is still being spread after the event thanks to snöball. They’re a true innovator in the events industry and their product will be more important than ever for marketing events in the new landscape,” says Nguyen.

Event influencers can range from popular industry speakers and industry experts, partners, participants, and more. “With the quick transition to virtual events, the timeline and runway to promote your event are so short that you need work with your community to speed up and multiply your reach while keeping your budget tight. Now is the time to work smarter, not harder. Influencer marketing helps you expand your target audience by strategically putting your event’s influencers at the heart of your event campaigns,” says Stephan. 


As the meetings and events industry continues to gather virtually, event organizers will also evolve their marketing and engagement strategies. Stephan says, “Influencer marketing truly is built on the foundation of people-to-people marketing. This type of engagement gives event participants, speakers, and sponsors a megaphone to share their passion for the community that they are a part of. Influencer marketing transforms existing conversations into broader, more powerful community movements.”

Shawn Cheng

Shawn Cheng, Project Manager of MCI Group agrees that as the event experience changes, conference organizers should adopt powerful, forward-thinking, and efficient marketing strategies, stating,

“snöball turned our registrants into promotional machines. I think in the post-COVID world, most of the traditional marketing strategies are not going to work. Tools like snöball will soon become essential.”

About #GMIDGoesVirtual

Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) is a day that showcases the meetings and events industry and its direct impact on the global economy. Celebrated annually, GMID typically is packed with various live events, hosted all over the world, organized by local chapters of various professional organizations.

In 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person GMID events had to be canceled or pivoted to virtual. For a fleeting moment, it looked like GMID would be altogether canceled for 2020.

Shortly after the announcement came out that GMID in-person events were being canceled, Anh Nguyen sent out a tweet. That tweet started a movement.

After 50+ event professionals from around the world answered the GMID Goes Virtual was born. The organizing committee volunteered their time and skills to create an opportunity for #Eventprofs to connect, and a platform to share a message of resilience with their colleagues.

About snöball

snöball is the original event influencer marketing platform that helps cultivate trust and authenticity by putting word-of-mouth to work. This award-winning platform has been deployed in events ranging from 100 to 10,000+ participants. snöball is a fully scalable solution that provides event influencers with an easy-to-use event marketing tool which allows them to tend to their own digital brand while collectively expanding the event’s reach. This event technology has been recognized by IMEX as a top-5 finalist at #IMEXPitch, a finalist at the Event Tech Awards, and at IBTM World as a finalist for the Tech Watch Award, where it also took home the award for Best Use of PR.