It goes without saying that times are tough for event organisers. Many of you will have your heads down in strategy docs, or on calls with suppliers, trying to plan the best way forward for your event.

Whatever your situation, we want to show you that you’re not alone.

So during this pandemic we’ll be grabbing (virtual) coffees with event organisers across Europe facing similar challenges, to provide inspiration and share learnings that you can plug into your own strategy. Because there’s no-one better in a crisis than an event planner.

In this blog we speak to Dan Peden – Strategy Director at Journey Further, a performance marketing agency that have recently shifted their programme of B2B marketing events online.

Tell us about your event?

For most businesses, this is a time of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty. Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically and brands are having to react with urgency, so we’re hosting a one-hour session to give marketers insight on how we’re currently navigating the Coronavirus crisis for some of the UK’s leading retailers. We’ll be using live chat, polls and Q&A throughout so attendees can share their challenges, thoughts and ideas as part of the conversation.

How has the Covid-19 situation affected it?

We were originally planning to host two events in London and Manchester to discuss multichannel performance marketing strategies. Obviously the Covid-19 restrictions forced us to postpone those events but we were still keen to try and help businesses being affected by the crisis so decided to change our event to an interactive webinar.

One of the main considerations was actually changing the topic and content of the event. We didn’t want to be providing advice and sharing case studies that brands aren’t able to action in the current climate. So, instead, we’re focusing on sharing how marketers can drive efficiencies and capitalise on some of the new trading opportunities the crisis has presented.

What other considerations have you had to make?

We’ve agreed dates with our venue partners to rearrange the in-person events to October. However, doing it online in the short term allows us to start building relationships and hopefully we will meet many of these people face-to-face later in the year. Our events usually run for a whole morning, but to keep things punchy we’ve condensed the webinar to just one hour. We scoped out a few different webinar platforms before settling on Livestorm, which we’ve used a couple of times before. It will allow us to offer a smooth and relatively interactive experience.

How are you keeping your audience informed?

We use a combination of MailChimp and Google Calendar updates to keep our guests informed. We initially let everyone know we would be going online and to expect access details the following week, which then arrived in their inbox via Livestorm. It’s looking like we’ll have good attendance still, and going online has allowed us to reach an even bigger audience through some fresh outreach. We’ve had a few existing guests invite their colleagues along and we’re seeing a few sign-ups come through on Eventbrite, which we use Zapier to transfer across to Livestorm.

Key takeaways

  • Consider using webinars to supplement rather than supplant in-person events
  • Tailor content to make sure it works for an online event and reflects the current needs of your audience
  • Research webinar software to find the best solution for your event.

More in this series:

A virtual coffee with Amy McKeogh, Design Pop

We stand with all of you and the broader event community during a time when our industry is being deeply affected. Find blog posts and resources on our Covid-19 resource hub.

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