For many B2B organizations, in-person events are the lifeblood of marketing, bringing in a steady and reliable flow of leads and helping to accelerate current opportunities. So, what do you do when your long-anticipated tradeshow, conference or seminar is cancelled or postponed?
All businesses need to be flexible and ready to adapt to circumstances quickly, but some circumstances are easier to adjust to than others. As marketers face up to an undefined period without in-person events, with tradeshows, conferences and seminars being cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future, they will need to find another solution to keep those valuable leads flowing. Here are 8 things we would recommend doing (and can potentially help you with):
- Replace face to face with voice to voice: remember those meetings you were hoping to have? Why not reschedule them as calls, or even better, video conferences? By calling round attendees, you might even end up scheduling more meetings than you had originally anticipated.
- Take your conference and seminar presentations online as webinars: you may even find that you are able to recruit more attendees, and by building out a full webinar email campaign running from invitation through to follow-up by phone, plus access to a recording for those who can’t make it, you have the potential to extend your reach and results, as well as recruit opt-ins for future communciations.
- Take your face to face demos online: as with webinars, you may reach more potential customers than at an event as you have greater flexibility in scheduling an online demo, and by using emails and online sign-up, follow-up and tracking is far easier to manage.
- For those key client or prospect meetings you were looking to have, take an ABM approach and set up bespoke virtual round tables. With dedicated, content to present – and for your guests to take away, you will ensure your message still feels personal and relevant.
- Using a combination of digital and tele services, take advantage of your existing prospect data. First audit and cleanse your database, then conduct calling both to enrich and profile contacts in order to identify the strongest opportunities for follow-up.
- Take advantage of that cancellation / postponement call to identify further opportunities. By developing specific messaging for your calling team, for instance asking what they were looking to gain from the event in question, use the call to ask each attendee additional profiling questions and find other ways in which you can support them.
- Events are often a crucial source of net new contacts, but other options exist. As a replacement, consider running a white space calling campaign using your own or an outsourced telemarketing team, or use tele services to build out contacts and gain a clearer picture of buying teams and your target accounts.
- Generate the opt-ins you’ve missed out on at events with a focused calling campaign.
Face to face events play a crucial role in delivering leads and strengthening existing relationships, but when circumstances change, judicious use of tele and digital services, either individually or combined can fill the gap and potentially provide additional intelligence to support your demand generation efforts.