Business events are an excellent opportunity for growing companies. They’re a chance to generate buzz about your organization and share useful information on what makes your brand special.
Business events can be a way to showcase new products and services, take advantage of professional partnerships, and boost audience engagement.
Unfortunately, events haven’t been as accessible as they used to be recently. During 2020, when the global pandemic hit, countless business leaders had to cancel their events for safety reasons. Governments just couldn’t allow groups to host crowded events where attendees could easily share infections anymore.
Although many consumers understand the constraints that businesses are under these days, a canceled event can still lead to lost engagement, poor consumer sentiment, and lost sales opportunities.
The question is, how can you get your organization back on track?
#1 Invest in the Era of Online Events
Just because you can’t bring people together for an event in-person doesn’t mean that you can’t form connections on a digital level.
2020 became the catalyst for a new era of virtual events where people can network, listen to keynote speakers, and even take part in amazing online activities from the comfort of their own home.
Virtual events are an excellent way to share useful information and get people engaged without actually using a physical space.
The great thing about this kind of event is that there are no limits to who can attend or what they can do while they’re there. You can even make sessions available on demand so customers don’t have to decide which activity they want to go to when something in their schedule clashes.
Even when in-person events are a more realistic option again, virtual events could continue to earn a lot of attention in the years to come. After all, they are great for attracting worldwide attendees, and they cost much less to host than an in-person event.
That means more money left over to spend on growing your business in other ways.
#2 Create a YouTube Channel
If you’re not sure that a virtual event will attract your audience, funnel some of your creative energy into a new way to demonstrate your thought leadership to your target market.
Video is quickly emerging as one of the most valuable tools for online marketing. With the right video content, you can kickstart your online business and build a more memorable identity for your brand.
Remember, for your YouTube channel to be a success, you’ll need to think about how you can create the most valuable content possible for your target audience.
Start by checking out your online analytics to see what kind of articles and blog posts your customers read most. Maybe you can turn some old content into videos?
Run polls to see what kind of content your customers would be interested in and get feedback from surveys sent to your clients.
Don’t forget to check out what your competitors are doing too. Competitor analysis will give you a source of initial inspiration for your content while showing you what you need to avoid doing if you want to differentiate yourself.
#3 Redirect your Budget into Sales
Although there are many negative sides to your business events being canceled, it’s worth looking for the silver lining too.
For instance, if you’re not hosting a physical offline event, you won’t need to pay for a huge piece of real estate and catering, and other expenses for the day. This means that you should have extra budget to funnel elsewhere.
Since a lack of event access could mean that your engagement with your target audience starts to suffer, why not use the extra money you’ve saved to improve your sales?
You can invest in new technology that helps you to generate new leads you haven’t considered before.
Don’t forget, while finding new leads is crucial, it’s important to ensure that you’re engaging your existing customers too.
If you were planning to meet a specific demographic in person during an in-person event, you can still retain that personal touch by reaching out directly to customers that fit this target demographic either through a call or email.
Loyalty programs and special discounts that keep your clients coming back for more will also help your profits to flourish during this difficult time.
#4 Invest in Marketing
Finally, business events are often tools for both lead generation and marketing.
If you’re struggling to make the right impression on your target audience without events, then this could be the perfect time to start re-thinking the way that you invest in your promotional strategies too.
With the extra cash you’ve saved from not hosting your event, think about how you can spread your brand reach.
If you already have a solid content marketing plan, for instance, then you could build stronger relationships with your target audience by creating an automated email marketing campaign too or developing your reputation on social media.
The right marketing campaigns will help your organization to stand out and stay top-of-mind for your audience.
To get the most out of the budget you spend on advertising, make sure that you measure the results of each of your campaigns carefully. This will show you which channels and promotional messages your audience responds best to.
The more you track your results, the more you can make sure you’re investing your cash into the strategies that really pay off.
Don’t Lose Your Connection with Your Audience
Business events such as conferences, trade shows, or exhibitions can be a fantastic tool in your strategy for brand growth.
However, events aren’t the only way to build a positive connection with your target audience. In a world where consumers are getting more accustomed to communicating with people and brands online, you can create a wide range of digital experiences that keep your clients engaged.
If you don’t have the opportunity to connect in-person with your customers this year, don’t panic. Investing in marketing, redirecting more of your budget into sales, creating new channels for content distribution, and experimenting with online events will all help you to stay ahead of the competition.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.