The COVID-19 pandemic has affected each and every sector of society in a drastic manner. Be it birthdays, vacations, concerts, or even online business events – no event that requires social gathering is now safe.
However, till the time a proper vaccine for the Coronavirus is invented, it is to be realized by all industries that these conditions are now the ‘new normal’ and in order to ensure a successful future, adjustments have to be made.
Since the $1.5 trillion global business and marketing events industry has almost been collapsed with the events postponed or canceled, businesses have now resorted to making the relevant ones virtual.
One common question that strikes everybody’s mind with this fact is that – where does the future of business and marketing events now lie?
To give you all a little idea about the future of marketing events in a post-pandemic world as well as the opportunities that come up with it, here is a small attempt to make you all familiarize with the same.
Current status of in-person marketing events and conferences
The uncertainty and the obscurity due to the unforeseeable future is indeed a matter of great concern for marketing event-goers as health happens to be the top-most priority.
Even after the upliftment of the lockdown, the conditions are still not feasible to be gathered in large crowds.
Moreover, since jetlag, overscheduling and tight travel plans under normal circumstances already lead to an elevation in stress and anxiety levels, making attendees more vulnerable to illness; an added pandemic is guaranteed not to make situations any better, in fact, worse.
People are still cautious and unsure about stepping out of the house. Public transportation still is not seeing much of an improvement.
According to reports, around 15 percent of travelers are avoiding traveling in large cities post-coronavirus.
Another reason why conference-goers are hesitant about conferences is due to the rising costs. Since a lot of costs were incurred by businesses during the pandemic, they have spiked the rates of the tickets to make up for their lost costs.
Therefore, people are now preferring to use online means to attend conferences instead of going for in-person conferences.
Expectations from the ‘new normal’
Pivoting your marketing events to a virtual platform to make up for a bit from the millions of dollars lost due to the cancellation of in-person marketing events, is indeed a great strategy being adopted by companies globally.
In fact, it is estimated that in 2021 videos, including online conferences, will account for 80 percent of the internet traffic.
Listed below are some benefits that going digital will offer your marketing events:
1. Higher engagement rates
Now that it will be more convenient for the attendees to participate in e-conferences by comfortably sitting in their homes and in accordance with their own comfort, mark their presence, higher engagement rates are undoubtedly going to be ensured than in-person marketing events.
Be it for the organizers or the participants, the lesser involvement of money is guaranteed.
With the cut in travel costs, lesser admission fees, lesser accommodation costs, etc – participants are better off. Similarly, lesser logistics costs and speaker costs – organizers are better off.
3. Unique features
Digital platforms come with countless features, like – surveys, breakout room facilities, raise-hand features, mute-all features, etc – this can make the event very engaging and manageable.
Since this ‘Normal’ has a long way to go, even business giants like Google are embracing this change by bringing up the ‘Google Cloud Next Conference’.
Even in the post-Corona world, even after the restrictions are uplifted, people are most likely to continue with e-conferences to attend important meetings, classes, and various other marketing events.
Therefore, if worked on effectively and strategically, this can turn out as a golden opportunity for businesses if, for the purpose of marketing, investments are made in this sector.
So much in the future is unknown that the best decisions any business can make are going digital and make the best out of it.
The checklist for your marketing event
Yes, ‘The show must go on!’, even in the situation of a crisis, any business can come up with an innovative response in case it is uncertain as to what steps to take.
ng Below are a few suggestions in a chronological that, once followed, can make things super easy for you!
1. Follow the news
Update yourself and be on top of the news to analyze and predict the future.
You can make decisions as per the situations prevailing and then think of rescheduling, postponing, or canceling your online event.
2. Consult credible sources
Keeping a track of the news is one thing, but you also be aware of websites of leading health organizations and governments. Being informed is important because it plays a huge role in the timings of your event.
The first two steps can be skipped in case of some internal events like lack of registrants, etc.
3. Check finances and insurance
Check all the agreements, contracts, and paperwork with regard to marketing before continuing with anything.
If you have already made a physical purchase, try to get that back through extensive bargaining.
4. Make a decision
By taking help with some consultants, take proper steps. Marketing about your online event through media partners publishing blog posts can be a great help.
Make a team, distribute tasks, tap companies to help promote your marketing event. Keep zoom meetings with your partners periodically.
Make your marketing event visible among the target audience through digital marketing means like SEO and SEM strategies, high social media engagement, etc. Start accepting registrations, but only to a certain limit, because most platforms cannot hold many viewers.
Since being proactive also gives a good feeling, make sure you always are one step ahead in whatever is there in your to-do-list.
5. Inform your team and staff and get started with the work
Inform and ask your team members, speakers, and guess for assurance of turning up. Plan short meetings on online platforms, make a record of the finances, explain the plan, and work accordingly to make your marketing event a success.
Don’t forget to do a trial run beforehand to look for technical glitches. Also remember, the division of tasks makes everything simpler. So trust your colleagues and help each other in all fields.
6. Inform every individual involved
Coordinating with all the people involved in the conference to make it a success is crucial. Getting assurance from the speakers, and informing the participants about the dates and timings and confirming their presence as well is important.
The attendees are to be handled properly, in case they make payments or not. Make a decision on how to reach out to them, and formally communicate with them.
Also, be patient and generous while communicating with them, no matter the situation.
7. Modify your marketing and promotion strategy
Research and compare well among different paid promotion options then go for it. Don’t stop marketing and produce attractive content to do so.
Modify and make your content advanced using graphics and animations, post new content, make your online platforms interactive. All these small steps should not be taken for granted as they have a huge role in deciding your audience.
Well-known marketing heads in the industry strongly believe in the fact that two of the most important things noted down by the businesses and entrepreneurs are – remaining optimistic for the future and bringing down costs.
To conclude, instead of viewing this situation as a calamity, view it as an opportunity to boost your business. By being optimistic throughout while conducting your event online, good results will undoubtedly be seen.
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