Conference Cancelled by COVID-19? Here’s 3 Ways to Get Ahead.

Live up to your sales and marketing goals without having to board a plane or leave your home office.

Many industries still focus their business efforts in an outbound manner — from hunting down new opportunities to demonstrating capabilities and closing deals. Hopping on planes, attending conferences worldwide and meeting at the prospects headquarters. Be it medical devices, cyber security, agriculture, communications, finance and many more. 

There’s a way of doing business, it works, and if it ain’t broken — why fix it?
Well it’s broken.

In the past weeks COVID-19 is showing us that it may be time for change. Hundreds if not thousands conferences are being canceled every day. Are companies who were planning their attendance going to sit and watch their pipelines dry up and their deals slip? Or, are they going to recalculate their routes?

Drastic times call for drastic measures. Here are some relevant and applicable lessons we can learn from companies who’ve managed to grow their businesses and scale from the comfort of their own meeting rooms.

  1. Focus and condense your messaging strategy even more

Make it (even) simpler to comprehend your value. The rule of thumb that works even for the most complex and technical solutions:

Sell a vision – “the life with your product”. Answer how in a short and simple manner.  

Two templates you can use are

  1. Russel Brunson, founder of Clickfunnels’ template: You can _________________ without ____________________. 
  2. Alternatively: Sell your vision: A life/world/office/call center/clinique/branch with/that____________________________________ And then your solution (once our audience is hooked): And all you need is ________________.

2. Beat your competition to the best content around

Utilize the budget you didn’t spend on conferences, flights, and dinners to create the ‘dream’ content only the Fortune 500 companies and companies with endless marketing budgets usually make.

Base your content on the messages and scripts you prepared for face-to-face meetings. Also, speed up the creation process with a few hacks and shortcuts so that you’ll release and share your value during the current void.

3. Use smart distribution channels and out-of-the-box attention grabbers

Just when you think the world has seen it all and every marketing message gets scrolled over, there’s always a new attention-grabber that crosses your feed. ABM (account based marketing) is old news, and yet a small percentage of companies consistently practice this strategy.  

Remember all those Linkedin ads and sponsored content? Make sure to connect to your hit list (the one you prepared when planning your attendance to be there or be square conference).

That way, you can share your content through ads, costly as they may be, which could be focused on a small portion of your connections and do the work you need (maybe even better than standing in your booth waiting for them to show up or cross by). 

Times are changing. In retrospect, this could be a great opportunity for legacy businesses or high tech companies to move from focusing on f2f engagements . Worst case scenario: choose to move from waiting to acting, experience new marketing channels and learn what’s working. In addition, stay with a great online presence that won’t go away even after COVID-19 does.

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