The event industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a large proportion of events cancelled or postponed until later this year. After the initial shock that all event organisers experienced through postponing or cancelling their events, stopping all marketing activities, changing cancelling venue and logistic contracts, deciding how to inform the audience the right way, here comes the question: What is next?
We have been collating information and considering lots of event marketing solutions and strategies to help our clients to benefit, outwith their scheduled live events.
Has Your Event Been Postponed Or Cancelled?
You have invested so much time, money and energy marketing your event for it now to be postponed or cancelled, what can you do to not waste this?
- Take advantage of traffic with good quality intent around about this time
- Ensure you update your schema.org
- Run brand or RM campaigns to advise of date change
- Run data campaigns to generate data
- Expand your audience sizes to the max sizes – up to 540 days so you don’t lose any good quality traffic
Do You Need to Pivot to Virtual Events?
Event marketing strategies are evolving with the Coronavirus pandemic. Since March 2020 there has been high demand for virtual events and virtual events platforms. It is a very competitive niche with all ad slots occupied – CPC for top position is above £20.
Although virtual events are unlikely to replace in-person events in the long-term, they do offer lots of advantages for attendees, organisers and exhibitors/sponsors.
- Attendees will have no travel costs, the event will be much more flexible than an in-person event and you can bring your whole team
- For exhibitors and sponsors, virtual events will reduce their costs and provide the potential for interaction with larger attendee numbers
- Organisers are able to bring together a much wider audience as geo targeting is no longer a restriction, as well as it being easier to measure your key metrics
- Alongside these advantages, organisers are also likely to notice lower cost-per-acquisiton as we have seen uplifts of 95% in registrations, uplift to 70% attendance rates. people will be more likely to register and attend online
Marketing to Drive Attendance
Some key points that organisers should bear in mind when marketing to drive attendance for their virtual events include:
- The shorter marketing time period of 4 weeks versus 12 weeks for in-person events – early campaigns Tag Digital have done have doubled registration numbers
- Geo location is no limit anymore – think about acquiring a wider audience
- Higher attendee conversion rate and lower CPA – 70% as opposed to 50%
- Channels will include search, social, display and video (organic and paid) – video is everything
- Need to invest more in conversion campaigns – 10-20% of overall budget, compared with 5-10% for in-person events
- For virtual you are likely to spend less on other channels including outdoor, radio, print and so will have more budget to grow your digital
- Good content will attract and engage your audience, more now than ever – you can become a valuable source of content 365
- Key speakers and influencers may have a little more time on their hands – and people are keen to help
Other Ways To Generate Revenue
Exhibitors and Sponsors
- It is important to think about what is useful for sponsors and attendees. Sponsor content needs to be helpful and organisers might want to consider sponsor rooms/sessions/virtual drinks parties, as well as offering a meetings programme and booth technology. Organisers can consider giving out merchandise to attendees, which may be branded.
Digital Sponsorship For Event Organisers
- Digital sponsorship is a source of additional revenue and is a new service Tag Digital are offering organisers to provide to your exhibitors. The service acts an expanded web inventory for your sales team that allows organisers to leverage your web audience via remarketing and lookalike audiences across Google and Facebook. Campaigns are set by using the audiences you already have in your accounts, sending traffic to your exhibitors’ websites or specifically designed landing pages. Digital sponsorship provides expanded life value of your marketing data and is a service that can be scaled to all of your exhibitors.