As the country begins to open up, we are looking forward to reconnecting with clients at business conferences and exhibits. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea! Attending these events is a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. With the uncertainty of the current environment, it makes sense to ask a few questions before making a commitment.
Are you prepared to spend the money, even if attendance numbers are low?
When approached by organizers, be sure to ask about attendance numbers. We are seeing low ticket sales for our clients holding in-person events. Is this really how you want to spend your marketing budget? Consider spending money on other ways to connect with your customers, like engagement boxes, email campaigns, or targeted ads.
What is the perception of attending these events and is it best to send your staff?
If your office is open, are you ready to have any staff that attended the conference work from home and quarantine for 14 days? Members of your team might also be hesitant to travel. Have these internal conversations and know what your staff is willing and unwilling to do prior to making arrangements and spending money.
What happens if they cancel the conference?
You’ve coordinated with your marketing team, ordered branded giveaways, designed the presentations, booked your meetings, bought the plane tickets, printed the posters — then the event is canceled. Are you ready to invest time and money with the possibility of cancellation looming? Do you have a virtual backup plan?
What are your goals?
Everyone has different goals for attending a conference. Are you looking for new clients or are you interested in entertaining your biggest clients? Attending a conference might make the most sense if you are trying to break into a new market, demographic, or region. On the other hand, if you are predominantly interested in strengthening relationships with previous or current clients, know that there are plenty of ways to make them feel special outside of an event setting. Some alternatives include offering a Zoom lunch and learn, sending an engagement box, or mailing a gift thanking them for being loyal clients.
We hope these questions will prepare for issues you might experience if you book a conference during this pandemic. Contact Octo today if you would like to explore alternative ways to engage your customers.