WITH GROWING CONCERNS OVER THE SPREAD OF THE COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS, EXHIBITORS DEALING WITH POSSIBLE EVENT CANCELLATIONS & POSTPONEMENTS ARE LOOKING FOR NEW MARKETING STRATEGIES.
As our country and the world faces an unprecedented health crisis with concerns over the spread of COVID-19 on the rise, event planners, exhibitors and sales teams must prepare to quickly pivot sales strategies and build marketing and PR campaigns to address this shift due to possible event cancellations and postponements.
Our trade show experts and marketers at S&F Woodcrafters & Xylea-Wood share marketing strategies and tips for dealing with the industry-wide disruption with recommendations for shifting gears should your event be cancelled or postponed.
LEAN IN TO DIGITAL ADVERTISING
Shift or increase spend in digital advertising to promote product launches that were planned as part of the event. Use paid social and email campaigns to directly target buyers who had meetings or are on your marketing lists.
RAMP UP PR EFFORTS & MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
Direct your PR firm or internal PR team to expand media engagement strategies, especially when product launches were planned during the event. If necessary, shift budget to PR to accommodate this effort.
CONNECT WITH BUYERS THROUGH WEBINARS
Encourage sales teams to reach buyers who have scheduled meetings in advance with you and offer to travel to meet them in their offices, if possible. If travel is a health concern, conduct web meetings or the good old-fashioned conference call. Keep in mind that other exhibitors will be doing so as well, making timing crucial, so ensure this outreach should occur ideally within 24 hours of event cancellation.
DIVE INTO DIRECT MAIL
Develop a direct mail campaign that targets attendees to encourage engagement via webinar or virtual meeting. Direct mail performance has increased in recent years, but must be thoughtful and creative to reach buyers. In light of the current climate, be sensitive to the nature of the creative, you don’t need negative publicity.
UNCOVER PROMOTIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Reach out to show hosts to take advantage of any promotional opportunities you may have with buyers that registered for the event. Ask if there are opportunities to reach the audience through the host’s digital channels? For example, a trade show organizer, host or association may have a website and regular newsletter or email communications with attendees. Is there any free or paid opportunities to co-market through these channels or on their social media platforms? Are there plans to reach the audience via streaming the event? Piggybacking can be a great way to reach your audience and show hosts are likely to be eager to accommodate exhibitors with digital opportunities.
Develop Educational Content Via Webinars, YouTube Videos & Blogs
Develop informative webinar content that conveys the key messages and news you planned to share at the trade show, including speaking sessions and in-booth presentations and demos.
Seek Out Cross-Promotional Opportunities
To extend reach and optimize investments of contingency plans, join forces with exhibitors that offer complementary products and services to co-market and cross promote a digital event series, email campaign, social media post or podcast.
It goes without saying that you need to stay in touch with your trade show organizers. That said, for travel information and health recommendations during the outbreak, click here for important information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
A NOTE FROM OUR CEO…
At S&F Woodcrafters, the health and safety of our exhibitors, partners and staff is important to us and we’re here to share the latest information and news pertaining to the COVID-19 Coronavirus and the impact it is having on our industry.
If you’re currently working with our team on a display for an upcoming show that has been cancelled or postponed or you have questions about designing a new booth display, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us at (909) 860-2695.
At the center of our company’s purpose is a commitment to helping small businesses achieve their goals, and it’s something we take to heart, in good times and in bad. We’re all in this together and united, we stand strong.
—Joe Fleming, CEO/Founder S&F Woodcrafters, Inc.