Can Your Event Marketing Team Avert COVID-Driven Attendance Disasters?

For most event marketers, the answer is no. Having been trained ’by the book,’ they tend to struggle with responding to negative results in a timely, proper way. Too often, they persist with plans that are not working or, as the event looms ever closer, they become paralyzed with fear.


Then what happens? Senior staff must get involved and muster the resources needed to salvage the situation. Given the surging and receding of the different COVID variants, your professional reputation and the value of your brand depend on your marketing staff’s ability to attract a crowd to your events. That remains true irrespective of the outside factors that make it difficult to do. 


How can you equip your staff to be successful? Here are my six keys:

1.  Ensure that you hire people who can pivot or are capable of learning how to do so. If it’s the latter, make sure there’s a plan to train them.

2.  Have at least one marketing staff member who has got the creativity – and the dispensation – to change course as needed.

3.  Require that your entire marketing staff is plugged into the market your event serves. They need to have the right connections with whom they can brainstorm new approaches or adjust tactics as needed. The “right” connections include your prospective attendees, as they can provide a true sense of their needs and how those needs could be addressed by your event.

4. Insist that the entire marketing staff is up to date on the latest tools and techniques, making the necessary investment in the training needed to achieve this. That is, when you are not fighting fires.

5. Have a marketing plan with milestones and metrics so you can analyze results and take appropriate action if the established targets (e.g., attendee registrations, page views, email opens, and click-throughs, etc.) are not being hit.

6. Ensure that every event marketing budget has a ‘Plan B’ allocation, representing the money that only gets spent if things are going wrong. 


The New Normal for successful event marketers requires the agility, boldness, and absence of fear that can handle the turbulence that COVID has thrown at us. And there’s no end in sight to that turbulence. 


Given that, will you do what’s needed to prepare and provision your marketing staff to succeed?

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