According to a 2019 eMarketer report, 53% of US B2B marketers said that in-person events were the most effective channel for driving conversions. The same survey found that 41% of respondents planned to increase their event marketing budget in 2020.
With industry events being canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are scrambling to reallocate event sponsorship and travel budgets. In this blog, we will highlight some of the unique solutions our clients are implementing to tackle this shifting landscape.
Moving your event to a virtual venue
Companies that planned to host in-person events in 2020 are being faced with the decision of whether to cancel, postpone or move the event to an online venue. Those choosing the latter option must find ways to keep their attendees entertained and focused for the duration of the virtual conference or webinar.
Blast PR client Centerline Digital shared advice in the early stages of the pandemic, offering unique solutions to make sure virtual events were memorable for attendees, including adopting a Large Format Stage Presentation (LFSP) model. The LFSP model uses high-quality video and graphics, multiple cameras and a fast pace to create a charismatic show for its audience.
In lieu of its typical in-person roadshows, our client MNI Targeted Media is running an Insight Lab webinar series. Each webinar is hosted by an MNI executive and covers a specific topic related to new strategies in the digital media industry. The webinars air during the workday, making it easy for audience members to tune in while at work, and are available to watch online afterward as well.
Securing a guest spot on a podcast or live chat
A number of our clients are turning their budgets toward podcasts and live chats. Since these channels are often focused on specific industries and topics, podcasts and live chats ensure that companies reach the right audiences.
The podcast industry, in particular, is growing exponentially as a response to the pandemic. For example, Wrapify CEO James Heller was recently featured on “The Future Is Coming, Just Not When You Think,” a podcast about innovation geared toward a post-pandemic future.
Podcasts and live chats position C-Suite executives as thought leaders, while still maintaining authenticity. Kasper Skou, CEO of Semasio, appeared as a guest on ID5’s live “laptop-side” chat, where he discussed how his business was coping with COVID-19 and the latest developments in the identity industry. Toward the end of the live chat, Skou also answered questions sent in from audience members watching in real time.
Creating branded content
In a study conducted by B2B Marketing Zone and Webbiquity LLC, 43% of B2B marketers who planned to reallocate their event budgets said that they intended to redirect the money toward content creation.
MightyHive recently launched “Live With MightyHive,” a webinar-workshop series designed to teach its audience about aspects of digital marketing. Each episode features an interview with a different MightyHive subject matter expert or partner discussing useful tactics that can be utilized today. Audience members are encouraged to send in questions for the featured guest to answer at the end of the episode. “Live With MightyHive” currently has episodes in English and Portuguese (from MightyHive Brazil).
To anticipate the changing needs of our clients, Blast PR monitors for various content offerings, ranging from earned opportunities to sponsored and branded options to council memberships, available in every vertical.
Several publications offer branded content that allow companies to align themselves with an industry trend or topic, sponsor webinars or research articles, participate in virtual speaker series and publish thought leadership pieces. Many of these programs have been newly announced or expanded in the face of COVID-19.
Events as we knew them have changed and may never go back to the way they were before: huge venues with thousands of attendees and dozens of sessions. Creative pivots by Blast, our clients, and our industry allow for the same networking and interactive learning opportunities that came from traditional in-person events. How will you take advantage of your existing events budget amid the largest transformation our industry has ever seen?
At Blast, we always strive to think outside the box and this pandemic presents a unique opportunity to do just that. We offer strategic consultation on leveraging events for our clients and are equipped to advise companies on ways they can effectively promote their services while a majority of the world is still working from home.