In a time of uncertainty for organizations due to COVID-19, it’s important to focus on the things we can control. While large, in-person gatherings are not acceptable at this time, your trade shows or other large events have likely been postponed or canceled. Although these circumstances halting all large events are only temporary, don’t get stuck thinking that your networking efforts should come to a halt for the time being as well. You can still be interactive with your network on a large scale through virtual events!
Here are three big reasons why your organization should continue its interactive marketing efforts through virtual event marketing:
1. Shows your network that serving them is still a top priorityDuring this time of needing to change your exhibiting plans, you still have customers, clients, donors, partners, etc. who rely on you. There’s no better way to show your loyalty to them than by staying dedicated and consistent, even when facing many tribulations.
Finding ways to adapt and adjust during this worldwide pandemic will portray your business’s strength and its thought-leadership in the industry. If you had put countless hours into planning your now canceled trade show, don’t let that effort go to waste. Pull together a team that is able to condense the information you had planned to share at your event. Compile this information and strategize the best way to turn it into a virtual event, whether that be a live webinar, hosting a Q&A, demonstrating a new product, or all of the above.
Let your network know that despite these unforeseen circumstances, you still want to connect with them. Promote this live event on your website, social media, email distribution; any way you can alert those who were planning to attend your canceled trade show.
Letting your network know that it’s important for you to touch base and continue growing your relationship with them will make them feel important. It won’t just make a difference to them, it will make a difference for your business as well. This is especially true because other exhibitors who would have been on the same show floor as you may not be taking these extra steps. For you, this could mean additional exposure and attention from a condensed audience seeking exactly what you have to offer.
2. Keeps your brand relevant and top of mindAs Coronavirus seems to be at the base of every conversation lately, it’s becoming hard for some businesses to stay relevant in consumers’ minds. While some organizations may be putting their marketing efforts on the back burner at this time, that doesn’t have to mean yours too. There will indeed come an end to this pandemic and business will have to go on. So, it’s important to stay in the minds of those with buying power.
With so many people having extra downtime, take this opportunity to fill that time for them with a virtual event! While it’s impossible to truly replace face-to-face connections at trade shows, virtual events can still aid in keeping your brand top of mind. Sure, you can continue posting to your social media pages, sending emails, etc., but these quick tactics are bound to get lost or forgotten in the mix of the coronavirus conversation.
If you want your organization’s marketing efforts to be memorable and if you want your efforts to be worth your time, do something worth your networks’ time. A virtual event doesn’t have to be overly time-consuming for its attendees, but it can definitely be more useful than a quick caption in a social media post.
Not only will your virtual event be memorable, but it will also allow you to be more interactive with your audience. Even though you won’t be getting that valuable in-person interaction, letting online attendees ask questions or make comments in real-time is still a better alternative to your canceled trade show than doing nothing at all.
When you have the attention of qualified buyers at your virtual event, you’ll be able to speak to them more personally, more in-depth, and more effectively. All of these things will lead to keeping your brand at the top of their mind.
3. Helps you stay in touch with your network and grow a new networkIt’s extremely important that you keep in touch with your network. Staying connected ensures that everyone is on the same page and brings everyone up to date. Big clients want to know that your company is sturdy and is still in their best interest moving forward – pivoting quickly and adapting with a virtual event is a good indicator of that. If there was a new product that attendees were expecting to see demonstrated for the first time in your exhibit, then they’ll be intrigued to still see it demonstrated for the first time live at your virtual event. Whatever it may be that you were hoping to share at your trade show, people will still be excited to learn in an online event, as long as you keep them engaged.
If trade shows are a consistent and yearly marketing tactic for your organization, then you likely reach a wide audience each year. But, have you ever thought about the audience that you’re not reaching? By taking your trade show marketing efforts virtual, you could be reaching a new online audience across the world. This audience may be the perfect prospect, but due to travel expenses, they would typically not be able to attend your trade show. Now, with a virtual event, you can share with this audience the same information and experience that you provide your current audience.
Not only can virtual events keep your brand at the forefront of buyers’ minds and help your network stay connected, for the time being, they can also show your sponsors, buyers, and prospects that it’s still your top priority to serve them even when times get hard. If you need a branded, professional backdrop for a live demonstration, Q&A, etc., Skyline Exhibits has your back!