The breaking news about a vaccine that can prevent more than 90%* of people from getting Covid-19 is welcome for everyone but especially those who work in the events industry.

The vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, a US/German joint-venture finally means that we can all see an end in sight to the pandemic and its restrictions on life and business.

It’s essential to stress that there is still some way to go before this vaccine is proven to work as claimed.

However, the results of testing have so far been highly encouraging. Let’s hope there are no setbacks and with that in mind, let’s turn our thoughts to marketing for event-related businesses.

When will things be back to normal? Who knows and what’s normal?

The pandemic has wreaked many changes, but few industries have suffered as hard as Events.  Much depends on the rollout speed of this vaccine and others like it.  However, economists were quick to forecast a strong rebound for the economy in 2021. A surge in stock market values following the Pfizer and BioNTech announcement reflects this feeling. It was noticeable that event-related stocks like those of Informa rose sharply while those of online suppliers like Zoom suffered significant losses.  Good news indeed, but how do you plan marketing based on a feeling given that no firm restart date is known.

Keep in touch

If you service or organise events, keep in touch with your clients. Tell them what you know or don’t, about the restart. In doing so, you’ll find out about any personnel changes that have taken place within those businesses.  You will almost certainly find that some client contacts have changed. 

Update your records.

It’s foundational preparation work.As and when event dates are confirmed, increase contact with clients and secure bookings with firms who want back into event participation.

Update the event calendar

The merry go round of date changes for events throughout 2020 means that many events will take place outside of their traditional booking slots. It still may be too soon for some exhibitions and conferences to be sure of their timings in 2021 but as these become known and published, update your calendar and plan marketing around those dates. And, ensure, your clients know about them too.

Virtual events have boosted demand for Content

Virtual events have done their best to replace the real thing, but it’s fair to say that most exhibitors don’t rate them highly. In a survey conducted with US exhibitors in August by Tradeshow Logic, many stated they were unsatisfied with the level of engagement with customers and prospects. And forty-three per cent of exhibitors who have participated in a virtual trade show said they wouldn’t do so again. However, one thing exhibitors were generally happy about regarding virtual events was the opportunity for content distribution. This is a good thing, and it will accelerate faster when physical events return. So now is the time to building or re-building your content library whether you be an exhibitor, organiser or supplier.If you’re stuck on formulating a content strategy, my business can help, and if you visit, you’ll see how we work.

 A chance to do things differently

The restart, whenever it kicks-in, offers a welcome return to doing whatever it is your business has always done. But, it will also be an opportunity to do things differently. It may be of necessity depending on what's happened to your business over these past ten months. The time to decide about how things will be different is now before the restart gets going. Enforced change isn’t usually welcome, but it’s better to adapt than to fight it. And in adapting, we can see where the new opportunities lie.

Earlier this year, I wrote a post for this blog “Do you remember when it was a terrible time to work in events?” Hopefully, the opportunity to have that chat is not so very far away.

*BBC News, Tuesday 10th November 2020

"Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

David O’Beirne
The Exhibition Agency Ltd
63 Vera Avenue, London N21 1RJ  
T. 0203 633 4665
M. 07858 374 051

Exhibitors Only



The views and opinions expressed in these blogs are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ESSA, its members, board or staff. Our members represent a broad range of views within the event industry, and we have provided this section of the website for their opinions to be openly heard and discussed.

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