How Event Organisers Can Stay Relevant Despite Postponements and Cancellations
We have a great deal of sympathy with organisers who were building up to their big event of the year, the annual industry exhibition or conference, which attracts thousands of attendees from across the world, only to see the event cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19.
The biggest job satisfaction for many organisers we know is seeing the fruits of labour come together in the space of a 2, 3- or 4-day event. Standing in the gantry of a venue, watching 1000s of attendees walking the aisles, stopping by exhibition stands to discover new products, meet old friends and colleagues, the cacophony of noise rises as throughout the day. It’s an incredible feeling.
Whether your event has been cancelled or postponed, there is a void to fill. Event marketers are now faced with a new challenge – how to stay relevant in their industry.
Marketers should use this opportunity to grow their audience first and in doing so provide their key exhibitors and sponsors with a route to market. Let’s not forget, for many exhibitors this period was one where they expected to collect key sales leads to convert in Q3 and Q4.
Virtual events are becoming more popular as an interim solution. Event organisers can use virtual events as an opportunity to create rich content which not only gives them a vital tool to engage with their audience but provides a valuable lead generation tool for exhibitors and sponsors.
Here’s our top 3 strategies to stay relevant even if your event is postponed or cancelled.
Virtual Event Case Study Demonstrations
Rather than wait 12 months to showcase new products and share case-studies why not bring this rich content to your audience via a virtual event? Webinar or virtual event speaker can dial in using a webinar platform, sharing their screen to display their slides, and the camera can show them speaking to your audience. You can record the content and upload post-event. Our tip is to keep the sessions to around 15 minutes and allow for Q&A afterwards.
Broadcast Your Keynote Speaker Online
If you had a great keynote speaker line-up already planned, don’t let that go to waste! Keynote speakers will be happy to run their session via a virtual event platform. While the format is different, a virtual event allows for an intimacy you cannot replicate in a large auditorium. Your attendees will just see the speaker, and it will feel like the speaker is talking directly to them. The inspiration, empowerment, creativity and innovation which the speaker will bring can still be delivered.
Plus, it provides for an incredible Q&A session which will deliver rich content for the marketing team to share over the many months before the next event.
Host an Online C-Suite Leadership Forum
Right now, the world is going through a crisis the likes of which we’ve never seen. C-suite leadership teams are looking for the answers to the many questions they have, and we’re seeing collaboration across industries the likes of which we’ve never seen.
Organisers who run a C-suite leadership virtual event, perhaps using a senior external speaker or moderator, can provide serious value to their key VIPs. This not only helps to connect your senior audience to your event, but if organised well, it can provide an opportunity for your high-value exhibitors and sponsors to connect with the senior audience they wanted to meet during the event.
As with all virtual events you can see who has attended in real time. This valuable data insight can be used by organisers to provide the level of service their exhibitors and sponsors were expecting before COVID-19 struck.
This is a terrible time for everyone across the globe and the events industry has been hit. However now is the time to be creative and find new, interim measures, to connect audiences with one another.
If you’re planning a virtual event for the first time, please read our top tips.
For further information or help in finding an external speaker, host or moderator for your virtual event, please call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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