Without a doubt, COVID-19 has transformed our industry. We’ve mastered some skills we really didn’t want to have, like cancelling events. At the same time, we accelerated and mastered our online digital event skills in order to keep our audiences informed and connected.
So, what now?
In recent blogs, I’ve shared a lot about hybrid events. As we open our doors to real-life events once again, we cannot forego the power of the digital space. Digital tickets lend great value and will service to grow your audience; some people are simply not available to travel due to time and/or budget and they will greatly appreciate the opportunity to take part in your event.
Digital also offers are a great way to keep the momentum going. Live events need not “end”, nor does your participation with your audience. Instead think of live events as a springboard to deeper connection with your community. Follow up your conference with a series of webinars, offer additional networking opportunities throughout the year, plan fireside chats with C-Level individuals and leaders, create a virtual tradeshow – the point is to keep your audience engaged and make them an ever more significant part of your world.
Your team is also in need of some deep engagement. Gather them around a table or Zoom call so they can let all those creative ideas flow. Ask your team how your organization can better support attendees and vendors throughout the year. Ask attendees for their input on what they would like to receive from you and help vendors put their best foot forward by offering content creation services to create buzz their company, product and service via blogs, videos, online interviews, etc. This type of content can go a long way as a win win, it’s information that may be shared on a vendor and your own online social presence.
There is also a now-need for a startup mindset. Event planners are champions at pivoting, discovering new trends and adopting new technologies, all of which are very necessary for crafting a successful meeting. Planners should also acquire a startup-mentality. Startups are lean, this allows them to quickly get their product or service to market. Since their product or service is often minimally viable and based on assumption, they grow by doing. They push their offer out, measure along the way, pay attention to feedback then change, add, delete, tweak, and start the whole process over again. It’s a continuous loop of improvement, all along the way quickly applying what they learn.
Planners are not alone in this mindset shift; more and more established businesses are also taking on a startup mentality. It decreases time to market, decreases operational costs, and provides a better customer experience since listening to the customer is paramount to making it all work.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Each fail is a learning experience that brings growth by continually informing the next “what now”.
AND don’t be afraid to reach out for help! I am here for you!