If all events are cancelled due to COVID-19 – Four concrete recommendations for action
March 18, 2020
Consultants also need consulting. Especially if the Marketing plan has been thrown over because of COVID-19. Consultant advisor Susanne Mathony describes what needs to be done now.
Since COVID-19 reached Europe, nothing is the same anymore. Tens of thousands of people have fallen ill, countries are in lockdown, and fiscal packages are being put together.
Parallel to the human tragedies and economic impact, the marketing planning of all professional services players is complete waste. Regardless of whether 40 or 60% of the budget was allocated to events at the beginning of the financial year, one thing is clear:
“On-site brand experiences” will be cancelled until further notice!
No matter whether client dinners, fireside chats or large recruiting fairs: everything is on hold.
Withdrawal clauses were checked with Legal, contracts with locations & caterers were cancelled and event cancellations sent out. As there are no reliable statements about the duration of the pandemic, event organisers are “stuck”.
They are collectively running into the summer break, during which events are a “no go”, and suspect:
When the world is – hopefully – a more “normal” place again, invitations for top decision-makers will clog up. The competition for attention and promises will be much tougher.
#flattenthecurve turns event plans into waste paper
More than ever, clients are looking for answers and need their consultant of choice as a reliable guide in this crisis.
Ask yourself four questions in this vacuum:
1. Are you leveraging digital options consequently enough?
Now is the time, to beef up your Marketing mix with webinars, podcasts and videocasts! Of course, a board dinner at Rocco Forte is more personal, but those who remain silent for an indefinite period risk customer loyalty.
2. Does your content pipeline still fit in time?
Test your planned studies for relevance, appropriateness and topicality. Topics such as Crisis Preparedness and Risk Management are in full swing; ditto Disruption Analysis and Recession Scenarios. Luxury goods barometers, on the other hand, are probably of no interest to anyone at present.
3. Are you investing sufficient time for 1-to-1 communication with your target accounts and key prospects?
In a world in remote mode, it is important to strengthen the interpersonal component. Of course, Skype or FaceTime are no substitute for emotional bonding during a C-level fireside chat, but it does testify to your human interest.
4. Are you already now planning sufficiently – and strategically – for the time “afterwards”?
Leverage tools such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom and Skype not only to maintain communication, but for intensive brainstorming on new event formats and really relevant topics.
There will be no ‘same same’ after COVID-19! Hence do a health check of your value proposition
Last but not least: Use the power of creative destruction! Challenge your general competitiveness as well as the specific value proposition of your brand. Then you will know whether you still have the right topics, resources and Marketing strategies as a consultancy afterwards.
Exchangeable events are a dime a dozen!
Make the difference in the future – and stay well & healthy until then!