With the world in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, events might be the last thing on your customers’ minds. Unfortunately, that means running an event business can feel downright impossible.
But despite these unusual circumstances, it is still possible to run your business during the lockdown. Read on for a few ideas to help you stay afloat during these unprecedented times.
Use this time wisely and look to the long term
Due to the coronavirus, virtually every event has been cancelled for the next few months, at least. From music festivals to conferences, the lockdown means people are staying at home instead.
But rather than looking at this as lost sales, look at it as an opportunity to invest your time in your marketing and lead generation instead. The lockdown won’t last forever, and the forced isolation gives you plenty of time to plan and strategise for when the restrictions have been lifted.
Reach out to your client base and offer them a date towards the end of the year or in 2021 for their next event. By spreading out your leads in your sales funnel, you give yourself more time to plan each event.
Note: be very cautious with how you do this. Many businesses are undergoing significant stress at this time, and might not appreciate a cold sales email given the circumstances. Be tactful with your approach and selective with who you contact.
Offer virtual events for a unique experience
The events you usually run are generally set up in conferences centres, with attendees flocking from around the country to visit. Consequently, the lockdown might leave you feeling as though events are off the table entirely.
But while that might be true for real-world events, why not consider a looser definition of events? Specifically, virtual events.
For instance, if you run an exhibition event in which vendors showcase their product or service, consider offering a virtual exhibition instead. Use a video communications tool to offer public and private consultations between vendors and attendees so they can ‘experience’ what’s on offer while in isolation.
No, this isn’t the same as the real thing, and some of your attendees might feel disappointed by this change. But these are highly unusual times. Most of your attendees will likely be grateful that the event is still running at all, and your vendors will likely feel the same way.
Of course, this doesn’t work for every industry. But if your industry could still feasibly hold such an event and deliver value at the same time, it’s an option well worth considering.
Pivot your value and diversify your offering
When you pride yourself on offering a stellar event to your audience, it’s easy to define yourself by that and that alone.
But you likely have many strings to your bow, and can still offer greater value beyond simply real-world events.
As such, why not consider adding another profitable strategy alongside your existing event-business? Pivoting the value you offer to tap into your existing resources and appeal to a different (or, indeed, the same) target audience means you can stay profitable during the lockdown.
For instance, you could step up your content strategy to boost your website traffic, selling industry-relevant paid ads on your website. Alternatively, you could look to affiliate marketing for products within your event niche. You could even start offering online courses to help people in your niche get ahead and upskill during the lockdown.
Whatever you choose, make sure it is relevant to your industry. This helps you better adapt to your new business strategy
Of course, these strategies won’t necessarily guarantee you a huge income. But it’s enough to mitigate the damage from lost sales and keep your team busy during the lockdown.
It’s not easy for any business to stay profitable during these unusual and unpredictable times. But by adapting and changing to the situation, it is possible for your event business to stay busy and profitable. Follow the tips above and pivot your business to stay active during the coronavirus crisis.