Tourism, restaurants, transport and, of course, events. All of them are still suffering the effects and are forced to adapt to the new way of consuming and relating with customers: staying home, not going out, avoiding contact, and so on.
In the events sector, it all started with the Mobile Congress in Barcelona, which was canceled, initiating a wave of event cancellations that has generated a real tsunami in the sector. Finally, all events were canceled. But the world of events began to reinvent itself and it started to adapt to the new situation.
As a curiosity, the use of streaming platforms skyrocketed during confinement and even today is still booming.
The income statement in companies and freelancers has been reduced, translating into ERTE (Temporary Employment Regulation File) for employees, temporary closings, etc. Regarding events, most were canceled or postponed indefinitely. But for small businesses, freelancers or professionals who carry out small events, or amateurs who sporadically offered a course, masterclass, excursion or meeting, it has practically led to a complete break in activity.
How can we face this new situation?
The answer is digital transformation. If you haven’t yet “gone digital”, now you have the perfect excuse to do it. This paradigm shift has been talked about for a long time, and it was being carried out in all kinds of companies gradually, but the coronavirus has forced us to transform ourselves overnight. Saying that “the world is being digitized” is old news. All events should already be digitized, and now need a precise online strategy so customers can be aware of them.
As an event organizer, let's see how the sector has changed and what digital transformation means:
- Streaming, the most accessible alternative. In recent years, streaming has become the main way of live broadcast for events and conferences, making it the best and most demanded way to broadcast events during the pandemic. We have many alternatives, but of course the most used have been Zoom, along with other platforms such as YouTube or Hangouts. On the other hand, social networks are one of the most used channels to carry out live broadcasts, mainly Instagram. Recently, LinkedIn has made available 'LinkedIn Events' to its users, where they can invite first-degree contacts and manage online events. A tool that is added to LinkedIn Live, where you can share updates in real time.
- Marketing online. In online events, promotion is even more relevant. Content Planning on social networks is key. On the other hand, we have seen the need for good CRM has become increasingly important (we will talk about this in another post).
- Contents. Everything concerning branding, audiovisual and messages is still relevant. Videos are the new JPG. Messages are important for communication and SEO. Branding is critical for differentiation. On the internet, there’s thousands of templates with virtually the same content. Working the branding of the event is essential to generate differentiation, which is vital in order to properly communicate our message.
- Ticket sales. Event planners need an online box office that allows them to configure the type of ticket and the events’ characteristics among other things. Of course, it has to be easy to use, both for you as the event manager and for your customers when buying tickets. We must be careful with the commissions that the platform can charge us for the sale of each of the tickets, because that can significantly reduce our income statement. We recommend the best in the market with the lowest commissions, Boom.
- Investment. The production costs of an online event are much lower than a physical event, although an investment is always required. It is about converting 100% of the budget, that was previously allocated to a physical event, to a mix of online event + online advertising. You have to manage CRM, ads on Google or Facebook, Analytics, Email Marketing, etc.
Considering the above, and focusing specifically on online events, the trend has been to carry out these two types of events:
- Small events that generate interactivity between six to ten very good customers; for example doing a small 30-minute discussion on a certain topic.
- Bigger events that however lack interactivity. For example, organizing a round table with three speakers and having hundreds of people connected. The problem is that, generally, there is less attention from people with this type of event.
Nevertheless, the value of the experience and its capacity to move the audiences will always prevail as the most important factor in the events’ world. Fortunately, there are things that never change. Now it's up to you to make this transformation.