Unless you are living under a rock and haven’t seen what is happening in the US right now, you know that we just had a wild week last week.

Truth be told, we did too. We had a lot of clients scrambling to figure out how to deploy plan B situations when conferences and events canceled and clients were not visiting their brick-and-motors suddenly and abruptly (so it’s been business as usual for us here at Zangardi Studio!)

But our clients are not unique. A lot of businesses and organizations are now left wondering how they can make up their integral in-person time they normally get in large scale events and gatherings. 

So what happens for them (and maybe you) now? Now that your biggest trade show, in person event, gathering is postponed or canceled?

First, do a brain-dump with your sales staff.

If you have sales staff that does your selling out in the field, take the time to talk to them to see what they can tell you about what they will be “missing” with the cancelation. Did they have meetings scheduled? Were they hoping to meet a lot of new people at this event? Was it a time for them to educate and teach the audience about something specific? 

Second, create experiences using digital assets.

If your sales staff was looking forward to scheduled in-person meetings, see if you can support them by encouraging or coordinating ways to set up video conferencing meetings. Since many businesses are now moving remote and the government is suggesting limited travel, those outside sales people may find themselves with a lot more free time for video calls. 

If your sales staff was looking forward to meeting a lot of new people and gathering prospects from this event, consider ways you can use your social media platforms to reach more people. Facebook awareness campaigns, a Facebook lead ad, or broadcasting a giveaway can all work wonders for your brand and connect with people in a way that aligns with the social distancing we are experiencing and connecting with them on a platform they are already spending time on.

If your team is missing out on critical time educating and adding value to an audience, what if they could provide education to this same audience with a webinar?

You could record these webinars to send out to your email list or even have them set to play at certain times to invite people to sign up for those time slots. If you wanted to create this content at the times you would have been at the show, you could offer Facebook Live times or live webinars to really drive people to sign up and show up.

Third, do a digital brand audit and fill in the gaps

Look at all of your digital assets, your platforms, your website, and make sure they are all clear in communicating what you do and how you do it. 

Beef up your social media so that your audience remembers you are still around and doing business!

Also consider ways to use social to interact with your audience while we all spend more time at home. Quizzes, questions, Facebook lives…. all of these can be done to encourage digital engagement from your audience. Blog about topics your audience cares about and share it so they can read while they are spending more time at home. This is a great way to both increase brand awareness and add value to your audience while increasing thought leadership.

Thought leadership is valuable in 2020 because people are so often sold to and don’t want more ads and more noise. Sharing and writing valuable content that answers their questions is a way to show them that you are more than just a business.