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Marketing An Event in 2021 | COVID-19 Considerations

September 13, 2021
Marketing An Event in 2021 | COVID-19 Considerations

Marketing an event is all about building buzz in the run-up to your event, reaching the right audience, and maximizing attendance. Sure, it might sound pretty simple in theory.

However, there are many challenges to overcome in practice, the main one being finding a way to differentiate from competitors. Today, it’s all about creating and sustaining a competitive advantage.

Valuable Tips For Marketing An Event

Here are three unique tips to help you gain and retain that market share you aim for in 2021.

Highlight The Safety Protocols

No one expected the COVID-19 crisis, worse yet the negative effect it had on in-person events. At the beginning of the corona pandemic, governments worldwide completely forbid organizing such manifestations. With time they loosened the restrictions. However, the fear stayed with the people.

Now, even though you can organize an in-person event, you must find a way to attract people to attend. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still here, and it will be for the foreseeable future. So, safety protocols are an essential part of marketing an event in 2021. Not only do you need to have them in place, but you also must communicate this information to your attendees.

At this point, you need to focus on two aspects, transparency and reassurance. More precisely, it would be best if you convinced potential visitors of the clear protocols and procedures you will have in place and do so in the most transparent way possible.

In turn, a potential visitor should think, “Sure, I will attend. It’s safe for the people around me and me”.

Safety Protocols in Marketing an Event

Here are several examples of how to promote healthy behaviors at your upcoming event:

  • Advise event staff and attendees to stay home if there is any COVID-19 related danger (they have been in contact with a person that has tested positive, have symptoms, or waiting for test results)
  • Develop flexible refund policies so that attendees can feel assured that if they cannot attend due to COVID-19 symptoms, they will get their resources back
  • Promote social distancing (discourage greeting with physical contact), wearing masks, and high hygiene levels (ensure you have the needed supplies for this to occur)

Recognize The Power Of The Community

Now, marketing an event might be challenging, especially if you decide to host it live. That’s why most organizations currently go for virtual events. However, the planning timeline for virtual events is usually much shorter, and consequently, so is the marketing campaign. The question is, why is that so?

As mentioned, everything is uncertain regarding the COVID-19 crisis. People today wait until the last minute to register for an event, as no one is keen on planning too far ahead. Not only that, but there are also the issues of solid competition, as everything with the Internet is on a worldwide level. Furthermore, tight budgets come into play due to the financial crisis.

So, what can you do about it? Marketing an event in 2021 should use all possible resources and channels, or as experts like to call it, your event’s community, to achieve the most significant possible effect in the shortest timeframe possible.

Your event’s community includes all actual stakeholders – potential and registered attendees, guest speakers, employees, sponsors, partners, and even unrelated third parties. Successfully marketing an event in 2021 includes assigning a role to each of these entities.

Peer-to-peer referral program

For instance, you can develop a peer-to-peer referral or an affiliate program. Combining your in-house generated marketing messages with these kinds of peer-to-peer referrals will increase the personal touch you have with customers.

The world has been living in isolation for a while now. So, this human connection as part of your event marketing strategy can generate authenticity and strong customer loyalty.

Use The Potential Of The Global Market

As you probably understood by now, all is connected. The COVID-19 crisis comes with many disadvantages, but luckily, you can use them to your advantage. One of the pros of virtual events is the possibility to cover a larger audience.

If you decide to host a virtual event, the number of attendees doesn’t affect your expenses. You won’t have to rent a larger space, nor increase the catering. Instead, you can keep your budget within limits and simultaneously increase your revenues. Now, the problem is, you will face much higher competition.

Global market for event marketing

At this point, you can head out in two different directions. You can either attract the global audience with the price or with the value. Marketing an event never comes with many limitations. Instead, it lets you create a flexible strategy for your target audience. So, it all starts with your customer.

If you have a price-sensitive market, you can decrease the ticket price, assuming you will pay out your expenses with the more significant attendee number. At this point, you can offer giveaways, bulk discounts, or early-bird sales. The goal, in this case, is to use your marketing messages, social media, and other communications to convert some of those casual viewers into devoted attendees.

On the other side of the spectrum, you might communicate your event as a luxury good or a high-end product. The approach at this point is a limited number of tickets at a higher price. However, you must also ensure to provide a superior quality, something that no other brand on the market has to provide.

After all, you should focus on long-term success and returning customers, not one-time sales. And the only way to do so is to provide consistent quality, resulting in a strong brand reputation.

Is Marketing An Event In 2021 Easy?

Easy is a subjective term. But no matter how you look at it, marketing an event today comes with many challenges. All of your actions and resources should be oriented towards creating and sustaining a competitive advantage.

A few of the best ways to do so in 2021 is to promote safety measures for in-person events, use the potentials of the event’s community and the global market. Buck up and adjust your event marketing strategy for your specific target market using all tips mentioned above!

Bruno Mircevski

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