We’re in the centre of a maelstrom the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the Second World War. However, with many businesses slowing down, it provides an opportunity for them to take a step back and evaluate their plans for the future.
In the following article we’ll talk through what businesses can do to make the most of this extended period of inactivity, such as preparing contingency plans, planning for the future and what to do when everything begins to start rolling again.
Marketing and events teams across the world, ourselves included, are now focusing the spotlight on ensuring that annual targets are still achieved in 2020. If nothing else, the past few weeks have been a timely reminder of the need for backups and contingency plans – which is no bad thing.
While the value of trade shows is incredibly essential, it does highlight the importance of having multiple ways to reach and communicate with consumers.
In the future, businesses must ensure they consider any contingency measures that can be rolled out when times are tough. These measures, of course, need to be attainable and must tie in closely with the overall marketing plan to withstand major bottom-line disruption.
For some, one event in the year may be the “money earner” and it’s often one that has taken an enormous amount of effort and capital to achieve. What’s important at this time, is to sit down as a team and decide how best to move forward to ensure that when the event does happen, it’s a good as it can be.
This way not only are businesses using this extended period wisely, but the event will be all the better for it because downtime has been used more productively to improve the business.
How Can We Prepare to Get Back to Normal?
While there is no clear-cut way to answer the question of when things will get back to normal, we must use this time prudently to get back up and running as fast as possible when we’re able.
It’s important to remember that once things do kick off again, it will do so quickly, and competition will be fiercer than ever. However, by being smart, and prepared, businesses can keep up with demand and hold their own in, what will be, a fast-paced marketplace.
At a time like this, communication is incredibly important, both with team members and with customers. By continually communicating with team members, if they’re working from home or unable to come to work, it means they still feel a part of the process, which keeps them engaged and ready to go once things get moving once again.
Communicating with customers is another crucial point here, as it’s important to keep them involved to keep that buzz and excitement through, what is, a challenging period. Email and social media channels are an absolutely perfect way to do this.
Get a Leg Up on the Competition
Understandably, many businesses will begin to scale down during this time. However, as competitors begin to slow-down, companies that have the capital, may wish to consider doing the exact opposite.
It may sound slightly counter-intuitive, but by creating plans and allocating budgets ready to roll-out once the lockdown has been lifted, a business will have a significant strategic advantage over those which haven’t or were unable to.
Take this time to engage with your marketing department and the partners you have to consider how you might be able to gain more of the market share. It may be that you want to mock up new brochures, build a new app for your upcoming event, source investors or sponsors and plan how you can get in front of your customers to provide an experience like they’ve never had before. Now is a time for confidence and action!
Now could be the perfect opportunity for a business to hone its products and services. By communicating with customers, as we’ve already mentioned, businesses can fine-tune their product offerings based on what their audience wants to see. There are more people online now than ever, as such you have a captive audience, so why not set up an online survey to get some real insights?
If a business has had to postpone an event, now is an excellent time to run a fine-tooth comb through everything from staffing to logistics. Is there a possibility of saving money? Alternatively, could other areas of the event do with further investment, such as a greater emphasis on technology?
Although we are in unprecedented territory, and we have no way of saying with any certainty what might face us in the remainder of 2020, it’s entirely right that the health and wellbeing of society are safeguarded.
From a business perspective, planning ahead and using this time for reflection and improvement will provide enormous benefits once we are able to get back into the swing of things.
We are treading on entirely new ground, so it’s more important than ever to look out for one another and follow the government’s guidelines.
If you have any questions about anything we’ve covered in this blog, or you’re interested in discussing anything with us, get in touch today.