Your Networking Event is Cancelled. Now What?

Your Networking Event Is Cancelled

Every year, companies budget out for various marketing and sales expenses. They decide which tradeshows, conferences, and networking events they’ll be going to. Making room for these kinds of events is pretty important, as many give businesses a chance for face-to-face interaction with potential customers and partners. It allows businesses to build trust and a foundation for a solid relationship with their prospects. With the right sponsors and attendees, these events are invaluable. 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, most public events have been canceled for the year. With encouragement from our government to stay inside as much as possible and practice social distancing, we’re not able to use these kinds of methods right now. Which means we have to increase other efforts to make up for the lost opportunities. 

We’ll break down a few alternative methods to keep your marketing and sales efforts chugging right along, all without having to leave your home.  

Your Conference Is Cancelled SOCIAL

The Value of Virtual Events

Just because your in-person events have been canceled doesn’t mean there isn’t another way to bring people together (safely). Virtual events are the best way to still provide that real-time value to your customers, leads, and audience while maintaining a safe distance. Here are a few examples to give a whirl. 

1. Webinars

Webinars are a great addition to any marketing strategy and a wonderful alternative when in-person get-togethers just aren’t possible. What’s even better is that since you’re running the webinar, you can choose the topic. It can be anything you like, as long as it adds value for your audience. Typically, we like to host webinars that center on a particular area of expertise we have. However, given the climate we’re all in, you may want to break the rules a bit and focus your webinar on tips for dealing with this current crisis, or things to do that will help businesses experience a minimal amount of setbacks. 

2. Podcasts 

You’ve been considering starting a podcast for quite some time, but just never got around to it. Well, there’s no time like the present. We all could use a little background noise or audio tips while we work from our home offices, so consider mapping out a podcast strategy. Decide on your angle, a creative name, and then start a calendar that helps you figure out what topics you’ll discuss for each episode. You can even have guests on to chat with that you can set up via a Zoom meeting or Skype.

3. Facebook Live 

Consider using Facebook Live as a way to engage with your audience quickly. Ask your team if anyone would like to volunteer themselves to lead a few. Each team member can choose a topic or area they’re experts in, like customer engagement, customer success, content, marketing, social media, etc. and offer tips. Or, they could walk viewers through your product and show them the problems it helps solve and its functionalities. There are a lot of fun things you can do with Facebook Live that will help you engage and maintain a presence with your audience while everyone is at home. 

4. Instagram Live 

Posting an Instagram Live video can be a fun way to offer a workshop to your customers. You can go over a particular feature of your product or service offering, then field questions as they come through on the video. Another idea is to interview someone in your industry, which can help increase the exposure the video gets and bring more value to viewers. Watch live videos from some of the accounts you follow and see what they do and decide if this method might be beneficial for you to try out. 

Focus on Other Marketing Strategies

Sales are probably down, and not a lot of people are picking up their phones. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect other marketing strategies to help bring in some possible leads. Since you’re already adjusting for lack of in-person events and meetings, it doesn’t hurt to focus on upping the ante on these other strategies. 

  • Content Marketing: Content is a cost-effective way to provide your audience with valuable information and stay top-of-mind with them. It fuels your email marketing strategies and can give you great social media material as well. Focus on ramping up your content so you can share helpful tips with your audience for working remote, staying productive, and dealing with the COVID-19 consequences.
  • Online Advertising: In an effort to cut costs, you may be considering scaling back on your online advertising efforts. It’s totally understandable if you must, but if you can afford to right now, don’t. Maintaining or even upping your online ads will help ensure your lead flows don’t dry up when things go back to normal. It can also help bring in some leads in a time when it’s particularly hard to do so.  
  • Social Media: Keep your social media game strong by sharing out the content you’re creating, and using creative methods to continue to engage your followers and acquire new ones. Also, take advantage of each social platform’s ad features so you can tap into possible new leads. 
  • Email Marketing: Focus on continuing to provide nurture to the prospects and clients you already have through your email marketing strategy. Switch up your drip campaigns and your newsletters to include more helpful content with what’s going on, as well as offer up general business tips. Make sure your prospects know you’re available if they need anything. 

We know that each day brings its own struggle. And with the pandemic, the uncertainty is tenfold. But we’re here for you, and we want to help in any way we can so you can get through this and prosper on the other side. Hopefully, the tips above will help you find alternative methods to get you on your way. 

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