Now that we’re already a few weeks into the general shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that all of us are being impacted on a daily basis. But if you’re involved in the events industry, that impact can be even more challenging.
With so many events cancelled or postponed for the immediate future, what can event planners do?
For starters, it feels like it’s more important than ever to help each other get through this turbulent time. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I can stay busy, add value to my company, and maintain strong relationships with my peers and colleagues (all while acclimating to a work-from-home environment for the first time ever).
Here are five ideas I came up with:
- Stay connected and informed. Effective communication is key. Be sure to keep your team, colleagues, leadership, and vendors in the loop regarding the status for all your upcoming events.
- Brainstorm with your leadership and sales teams. Identify alternative ways to continue communicating your company’s marketing message. While you likely don’t have the typical deliverables and logistical event timelines to manage, you can explore how to use virtual engagement, specific ABM campaigns, and perhaps even customized “thinking of you” packages to let your customers and vendors know you’re still there for them.
- Find alternate ways to engage with customers and prospects. Consider holding a virtual event or sponsoring/hosting a webcast with a partner or an organization in which you’re a member. This will help keep your company front-and-center in the marketplace. And you’ll show your customers, prospects, and industry leaders you’re still going strong.
- Tackle the tasks you never seem to have time for. If you’re like me, you probably have a lingering to-do list. Now is a great time to reconcile and analyze your past event budgets, effectively measure ROI, and adjust your plans for the future. Or take this opportunity to research new industry events/expos that you never considered previously.
- Dedicate time to grow both professionally and personally. I’ve already started learning more about my industry and our core audiences. I’m also trying to become more active and visible on LinkedIn (this article is also a first for me). Think about taking an online course or getting a professional certification (i.e. CMP, CMM, CEM, etc.) Personally, I’m finally listening to a few podcasts that have been on my radar, trying new at-home workouts, and taking my dogs on more walks than they probably care to go on!
It’s safe to say that we’ve never experienced this type of impact on the meetings, events, and hospitality industry—and I hope we never do again. In the meantime, I’d love to hear how other events industry professionals are staying focused, active, and productive during this challenging time.
For now, stay safe and strong. Hopefully, we’ll all see each other again soon!
About Karin Eggert
Karin Eggert is the Manager of Events & Regional Marketing at Cybera. Her career includes more than 25 years of experience in the meetings and hotel industry. Prior to joining Cybera in 2017, Eggert held event management positions in healthcare and at a university along with a variety of progressive roles with the Peabody Hotel Group in Memphis, TN where she started her career. She is a Certified Meeting Planner and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Memphis. Eggert currently resides in Nolensville, TN with her husband and three children. Outside of work, she enjoys exercising, time spent with family, and volunteering for non-profit organizations.