Lights out on your events, now what?

Empty Stage

Written by Kathleen Gratehouse, Published on Marketing Land

Here are some strategies to execute a hard reset on objectives to make the most of what your brand already has.

Coronavirus has rightfully pulled the plug on the 2020 conference circuit, and while some are touting virtual replacements as a sales and marketing salvation, in reality, there is no single replacement for real-world events. This is the time to embrace integration, create comprehensive, compelling and even longer-lasting campaigns that surpass single executions and reach audiences at a new scale.

A hard reset on objectives

The cancellation of conferences worldwide is your opportunity to reassess. Rather than looking for a direct replacement, ask yourself: Were you exhibiting out of habit, or was there a real, tangible and measurable outcome of our conference participation?

All too often, regular routines of roadshows and roundtables become just that – regular. Smart marketers should focus on outcomes, rather than the outputs, and ask if those things are even possible in the world of webinars alone, or desirable when the audience is third-party and rented rather than owned

Every company, conference and marcomms program is different. Conferences could be about pitching products and demos, building industry profile and thought leadership, getting close to the competition or running recruitment, networking and talent development.

What’s universal, however, is that a conference is almost certainly not the only way you achieve these things throughout the year.

You already do everything the virtual conference could. Always-on advertising, nurture streams and ABM strategies mean marketing no longer marches to the beat of an annual calendar or the schedule of singular events. And while your leadership won’t be presenting to a ballroom full of their peers any time soon, that doesn’t mean thought leadership should stop. It means it needs to get better.

In the absence of in-person events, you’ll need to reach your audience across multiple channels and touchpoints. More importantly, you’ll need to do so with authenticity, clear value and purpose. Online marketing is about to get noisier than ever. This is your chance to rise above it.

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