As a marketer, you are undoubtedly familiar with the mystery of conferences and conventions: I cannot live with them and I cannot live without them.
This is the most expensive line item in your annual budget, so it’s the most difficult to track, but it’s also the best way to expand your list, drive leads through CRM, and deepen your relationship with existing customers.
It is easy to deal with your C-suite, but it can be difficult to prove the ROI of the trade change, as it is unlikely that anyone will sign a contract immediately, especially if you are promoting expensive technologies and services.
- Will people go when the conferences are resumed after the pandemic?
- What is the future of the opportunity space?
- Most importantly, can we use this interruption as an opportunity to make life’s opportunities more valuable for everyone involved?
The situation based on the opportunities
Opportunity producers worked hard to increase their chances for 2020, but it was not a perfect course.
They face problems like problematic contract negotiations or, even more challenging, the need to close existing contracts. Although new dates are being requested for its events, there is constant uncertainty about the timing and reluctance to sign new contracts: will the pandemic end or will we be hit by a second wave? How can this be dealt with in a new contract?
Also, the show organizers try to get in touch with the hotel and venue staff, the show decoration team, and the A / V team – all of them work for short hours with authorized team members and try to make it work.
It’s not easy.
Whether offering proprietary manufacturing and connectivity, laptop rental and technology, virtual space coordination, or something completely new, organizers seek to discover new solutions and help their customers plan future face-to-face events.
Current opportunities and lifelines
As they fight for future face-to-face meetings, event planners are also struggling to enter the calendar of webinars and virtual events, which are gaining popularity.
Likewise, these companies are looking for new solutions for the first time and, in some cases, are starting to provide media opportunities regularly where they did not previously exist. From a sales perspective, this also means identifying new sponsorship opportunities, including assessing whether the audience is open to the listener or content supported by the viewer, as opposed to sponsored content only, and whether new content should be blocked for registration or password pay.
The crisis is driving innovation
These mixed feelings, coupled with the organizer’s concerns, can lead to a new generation of opportunities.
Shortly, we may see hybrid opportunities – offering options for face-to-face and online participation. For attendees, this means that those who don’t feel safe during a live mass meeting (or simply run out of budget to travel) can still enjoy the event’s content and networking opportunities at home or in the office. For organizers, this can mean new incremental revenue streams if they can seamlessly integrate virtual guests into the event.
What does not change?
After all, the success of the event depends on the quality of the content. It is the content that attracts visitors and keeps them coming back.
Participants pay to come to any event, live or virtual, for content and networking. Exhibitors pay for exhibitions and networking in hopes of gaining new customers; but if the content is not of high quality, they will not be able to achieve their goals. Also, your brand is associated with a low-quality event and your potential customers are unlikely to invest in returning to the conference, so why would the exhibitor do this?
It will be exciting to see how the industry changes after this pandemic. We are known to thrive under pressure.