COVID-19 has rapidly changed the 2020 event season. If your event has been postponed in these unprecedented times, it’s important to thoughtfully and strategically communicate to your event stakeholders. Within the backdrop of a global pandemic, we’ve put together this guide to help you make your rescheduled event a successful one.
Steps to Inform Attendees
- Inform all event stakeholders of the postponement through multiple channels. With the influx of COVID-19 messages, your announcement may be lost in the noise. Be sure to leverage a minimum of 3 channels - such as email, social media posts, and ad campaigns - to ensure your message is heard.
- Clearly communicate the “why” behind your postponed event. This will help build trust with your stakeholders and let them know that you’re strategically and safely moving forward.
- Make all pertinent information easy to find and readily available. This includes:
- The processes for transferring or refunding tickets to provide your attendees with peace of mind
- Any location changes including hotel accommodations
- Easy ways to reach out for questions or concerns
- Link an official statement to a page on your website that can be dynamically updated at the same URL to ensure viewers are reading the most current information. You can also add an update log to this page with a chronological record of announcements from your organization to keep the messaging clear.
- Modify language on your website and social media channels to include how you plan on keeping your event clean and safe. This could mean highlighting proper ways to minimize the spread of germs at events, options for attendance if someone is sick, and reassuring all attendees that you’ve taken steps to ensure their safety.
- To get a pulse on how your audience is feeling, survey your website visitors with a friendly question using Feathr’s Conversations tool. This intel could help inform future decisions around event dates, programming, or virtual options.
TIP: If you haven’t picked a new date yet, consider polling your website visitors with future dates + a virtual-only option to gauge their preferences.
6 Ways to Market Your Rescheduled Event
Now that you’ve picked out a new date, it’s time to serve that message to all prospective and registered attendees to ensure the new date stays top-of-mind.
- Start spreading the news. Launch an ad campaign focused on reach by targeting your event website and registration pages.
TIP: In Feathr you can see the % of your target audience reached. Aim to reach over 70% of your original target audience for maximum awareness. To increase campaign reach, consider keeping your frequency settings low and increasing your base bid.
- Promote your event to a net-new audience using Feathr’s keyword campaign type by targeting COVID industry keywords and phrases.
TIP: Include your own event name and competitor event names in your keyword lists since there will likely be a surge in event name searches as people check for cancellation details.
- Rework your ticket price breaks and offers now that your timeline has shifted. If your early rate tickets have passed, consider removing that offer from your new pricing timeline or provide exclusive perks to your existing ticket holders.
TIP: Try unveiling the new date to your existing ticket holders before anyone else and offer a generous, limited time offer (such as a VIP upgrade or an additional ticket at 50% off) if they transfer their ticket to the rescheduled event.
- Highlight any new content sessions and virtual streaming options being offered at your rescheduled event in your marketing messaging.
- There’s little doubt that navigating COVID-19 will continue to be one of the hottest topics for every industry in 2020. To keep your audience engaged with your new event’s marketing cycle, consider launching awareness campaigns that promote COVID-19 industry content on your website. By positioning your organization as a go-to resource in the industry during this crisis, your audience will be more likely to register for your rescheduled event.
TIP: You can build a segment in Feathr by filtering on your COVID-related website pages and target this group with ads on COVID-19 specific event sessions and virtual streaming options for your updated event.
- Be mindful not to oversaturate your audience with promotional messages until more clarity emerges on the future of the pandemic. Factors such as ticket price, the new event date, audience buying behavior, and local health guidelines should all be considered before making more active pushes for ticket sales. For now, keep your campaign frequency settings low and your marketing emails light.
P.S - Are you losing sponsor and exhibitor revenue from your postponed event?
Consider leveraging your digital audience through sponsored ad targeting to help retain revenue from your partners.