Everything’s Virtual: Now What?

It started with a bang in February, when the world’s largest mobile trade show, MWC 2020, announced the show was cancelled based on concerns over the coronavirus. One by one, the trade shows folded, and it’s not clear that any larger industry gatherings will happen before the fall, if not later.

Meanwhile, virtually every company that can has moved to a work from home environment as organizations comply with orders from their employers or their states. Most have turned to online video conferencing solutions such as Zoom to communicate with colleagues, customers and prospects.

All is not lost for 2020, however. Savvy marketing teams are turning their budgets elsewhere and seeing strong results. With the majority of trade shows cancelled, now is the time to:

  • Look for last-minute speaking opportunities. As trade shows get cancelled or go online, conference programs are shifting, and conference managers may be looking for replacement speakers to fill holes. This is a good time to reach out and see what’s available that fits within your company’s area of expertise.
  • Get your C-level executives on camera for in-house developed videos on a variety of topics. Trade shows want to see that their conference program is filled with speakers that can carry a conversation, are well-spoken and look comfortable speaking, whether on camera or in front of a live audience. This is especially true for speakers that don’t have much previous speaking experience. These videos can also be used throughout your website and social channels to further call attention to your business, products and solutions.
  • Revisit your positioning and messaging in light of the coronavirus. Are you sharing the messages you should be sharing? Has your value proposition to the market changed?
  • Boost your content marketing program. Content can be anything from white papers to case studies to videos and contributed articles, and with content marketing generating 126% more leads and 6x conversion rates than other marketing activities, it’s well worth looking into what types of content will deliver the best results for you. It might be worth trying something new, such as an infographic or a podcast series.
  • Consider custom research. You have questions and your potential customer base has answers. Now is a good time to conduct some customer research on their needs, requirements and pain points. You can conduct the research yourself using your own lists but working with a third-party firm may yield a broader audience.
  • Revamp your social media strategy. Chances are it has been a while since you’ve reviewed your social strategy, including keywords, to ensure it’s generating the results you want. Take a look at your key performance indicators (KPIs) for social, see which channels are performing best, and direct more attention there.
  • Host a webinar. Webinars are a great way to share your message with the world, and if you can convince a partner or customer to join you, even better. Like with custom research, you can go it on your own or enlist the help of a third-party, who might have broader reach.

This break in the physical trade show action has allowed companies to think outside the box and many are reallocating their budgets to alternate opportunities they may not have considered before. Try a few of the ideas above and let us know which opportunities worked best for you!

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