For event organizers, the coronavirus brought sweeping effects. Busy days and filled calendars turned to empty within what seemed like a matter of days. With no end in sight for at least several more weeks, the event industry is suffering, and the problems won’t go away when the country slowly starts opening doors again.
If the health experts are correct, shut-downs will become the new norm in the coming months and years. What should event organizers be doing while they’re self-isolating to set themselves up for success later?
Here are five things you should be working on to ensure you’re ready to go when quarantines are over.
1. Accept that the World has Changed
Coronavirus didn’t just change the way people live temporarily. Social distancing is likely to become more commonplace as people await the next wave of coronavirus – or the next pandemic.
The reality today is that what you used to do as an event organizer to build your business and make clients and ticket buyers happy may not work when this crisis is over – or the old way you did things may only work for some of the events you work on.
To survive, event organizers need to evolve and diversify.
2. Build Contingency Plans and Be Ready to Pivot
If you watch the news, then you know health experts believe coronavirus will come back again in the fall – and possibly again after that. In other words, this isn’t over, and the next crisis is coming.
Event organizers need to be forward-thinking and have contingency plans for everything they do. If an event is supposed to be held outdoors, have alternate plans in place in case social distancing is required or quarantines are mandated. This could include ensuring the venue is large enough to provide social distancing space, having a backup date scheduled, or being ready to pivot to a virtual event if necessary.
To survive, event organizers need to be prepared and flexible.
3. Always Keep Your Cash Flow Positive
In the event industry, maintaining a positive cash flow leading up to an event isn’t always easy. If you can’t sell tickets early, your cash flow could be negative (or close to it). In the post-coronavirus world, maintaining a positive cash flow at all times will be essential.
That means event organizers need to budget and plan better than ever. But that’s not all. They also need to be prepared to refund what could be a lot of tickets. It can be a bookkeeping nightmare, so having someone in place who has top-notch skills to help you could mean the difference between going under and surviving in the future.
To survive, event organizers need to watch their money and get help to do it right.
4. Adapt Your Offerings to the Digital World
Coronavirus has made ours a more digital-reliant world than ever before. With more people working from home, larger numbers of people are becoming comfortable with virtual communications, meetings, and events.
Therefore, it’s not a stretch to assume that many people will come out of the other side of the coronavirus pandemic with a new appreciation for virtual events. An in-person event that used to attract hundreds or thousands of ticket buyers could see a significant drop in sales among people who now prefer virtual events to in-person events.
To survive, event organizers need to conduct research to learn what audiences prefer after weeks or months of self-isolation and find ways to adapt events to the digital world in order to match those new preferences.
5. Invest Now to Make More Money Later
There is no better time to invest in your education, technology, and marketing then right now. Why? Because when the coronavirus crisis ends and the event industry ramps up again, you want to be at the front of the pack.
With that in mind, invest in content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing now. There is perhaps no better way to generate business later than by investing in quality blog posts, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and social media marketing today.
Key Takeaways for Event Organizers During the Coronavirus Crisis
For event organizers to thrive after the coronavirus crisis, they need to be able to evolve, diversify, prepare, pivot, adapt, invest, and watch their money better than ever. Bottom-line, this pandemic is unlikely to be the last that we face, and successful event organizers will use their free time now to prepare to win in the future.