The outbreak of COVID-19 — and the need for social distancing and lockdown procedures — has made life difficult for companies of all shapes and sizes. So it’s safe to say that when life returns to something like normal, the first few months and initial business events will prove to be vital for business owners.
In this post, we’ll highlight a few ways — from creative, bespoke exhibition stands to unique marketing strategies — to ensure your post-lockdown business events are a roaring success.
Be Creative With Your Marketing Strategies
Following such a long and challenging hiatus, you will no doubt be very eager to get back into the swing of things and drum up as much business as possible. This is where marketing will serve you well and prove to be one of your most valuable assets.
The role of marketing before an event is to spread the word that you will be attending and provide potential customers with the inspiration to show their face if they haven’t already decided to go to the event. But this isn’t just any event now is it? Your first event after the COVID-19 lockdown needs to be special.
To achieve maximum interest and attention at the event, you’ll need to be as creative as possible with your marketing strategies.
Social Media Advertising
Social media will be hugely valuable, and you can make the most of a vast audience by promoting pre-event competitions and regularly post content leading up to the big day to maximise customer engagement.
You should also make good use of your previous customer contact information and send out a newsletter to ensure as many people as possible are aware that you will be at the event, and give them a good reason to come and say hello!
Nurture Customer Relationships
COVID-19 is a situation no one could have foreseen. Therefore, you are not at fault for the impact it has had on your company — but it’s still your responsibility to make up for any effect it has had on your customer relationships.
Due to many businesses’ inability to carry on working, interaction with customers is bound to decrease — aside from updates via social media and newsletters. So reconnection with customers is something that will need to be nurtured before, during and after the event.
Social Media Posting
Social media will prove to be vital in this regard. For example, Facebook and Twitter are ideal platforms for direct communication with your followers, as well as Instagram for more creative posts to increase brand awareness.
What is also crucial is to demonstrate your appreciation of long-term customers, so offering exclusive deals and limited edition products or prizes specifically for the event will help to increase interest and engage with your target audience.
When you maximise your brand’s appeal and create a sense of excitement reconnecting with your customers, you’re already one step closer to being back on track!
Acknowledge COVID-19 (And Implement Safety Measures)
As it stands, we are unclear how long it will take for events such as trade shows to be able to operate at full capacity safely. But when it comes to fruition, your company must make an active effort to acknowledge the impact of the Coronavirus and implement safety measures that help to maximise hygiene and minimise person-to-person contact.
While this may seem unnecessary once the worst is behind us, you can never be too careful, and your customers will appreciate the additional time and effort you put into keeping them safe.
Bespoke Exhibition Stands Are a Must!
To achieve your event goals, it’s essential to gain as much attention as possible and provide potential customers with an experience that encourages them to spend their hard-earned money. You already know this, of course — but knowing it is one thing whereas achieving it is another.
Bespoke exhibition stands are a crucial aspect of events as they provide the platform for your business to create an engaging environment for your target audience, implement creative marketing ideas and massively increase your brand awareness.
Also following such an unprecedented event i.e. the pandemic, a powerful display by your company will demonstrate that it is here to stay and striving for big things in the near future.
If you’re aiming for maximum exposure, come back to life with a bang using bespoke exhibition stands so your business stands out from the crowd. Remember perception is everything and your company can be a leading force in your industry.
By opting for a high-quality stand, you will have a lot more options regarding the use of technology such as audiovisual equipment, interactive displays and themes that ensure your exhibition stand and brand as a whole is a cut above the competition.
Rally the A-Team
When it comes to engaging passersby and making a long-lasting impression, your choice of team members will prove to be a crucial decision.
Your sales/promotion team will need to be a small group of confident individuals who possess excellent people skills and in-depth knowledge of your business. It’s often the case that companies opt for members of their sales team, as they will have the most experience dealing with customers and delivering charismatic sales pitches.
It’s also a good idea for at least one of the faces of the company to be present as it will provide a more personalised and authentic brand experience. Leading up to the event, you will need to have meetings to ensure everyone is prepared and confident about their role throughout the day(s). Preparation is vital for any event, but when you consider the importance of your first event back after lockdown, it’s never a bad idea to double-down on prep to avoid any mishaps.
Follow up on Leads
One HUGE post-event mistake business owners make is failing to follow up on leads. Doing so increases your chances of increasing your customer base — and demonstrates your business is reliable and diligent.
There will always be event attendees who may have fully intended to follow up with you but let it slip their mind, so it’s your responsibility to pick up where you left off and complete the transaction.
Regardless of if you manage to make the sale or not, post-event contact is essential for marketing your brand and showing you’re a group of people who genuinely care about their customers. You can achieve this in a simple email blast to people who signed up, or via a social media post thanking everyone who stopped by your exhibition stand.
If you want to go one step further, you can also use the opportunity to brainstorm for your next event. For example, a survey would give you some idea about what aspects your audience loved and where you could improve.
Plus Exhibition is a bespoke exhibition stands company based in the UK. Their team have designed and manufactured creative and exciting displays for small businesses as well as brands such as Google, Apple and Barbour.