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Successful Business Changes That Event Companies are Making Amidst COVID-19

Event professionals can agree that we are all gunning for a return to normalcy. We can practically smell the buffet and taste the open bar of that first real big event back! In the meantime, though, with COVID-19 restricting parties and events, a lot of savvy event business owners are asking, “What can I do to stay ahead?” These folks know that this extremely difficult time also potentially poses an opportunity to work on your business until normalcy returns. Let’s break down a few ways you can do this.

Revamp your Tech Stack

Is there a process of yours that you know could be more efficient, but changing it seems like a huge project? Or maybe there’s something you do simply because you’ve “always done it this way”? Now is the time to take a hard look at your business processes and identify any opportunities for improvement. Monitor the event technology that you’re using to run your business. If you’re not using any, shop around for software to see what would work best for you.

While this might require some time and include a learning curve, this is a major investment in the future of your business. With new tools and features constantly being developed, adapting your company to the ways of the virtual world could revolutionize the way your company does business in 2021. As you improve your digital processes, it’s also a great time to make sure you understand your company’s web analytics so you know you’re making the best business decisions possible.

Remain Visible

Even if your previous customers are not planning many events with you right now, you want to remain fresh in their minds when the events season eventually returns in full force. Finding non-salesy, creative ways to engage with your customers can be key to holding onto those repeat customers. If you really want to differentiate, put out content that educates and holds your customers’ attention. Can you showcase your rental equipment with creative TikToks or Instagram Reels? Or how about ‘going live’ on social media to answer customer questions and share your knowledge in real time? These strategies can tie into a larger marketing audit that critically looks at every point of contact you have with your customers, from your logo and company colors to email distribution and website experience.

Analyze your Customer Base

Having customers is great, but having the right customers is even better. Lots of event companies are analyzing their customer base right now. Use this time to gain a better understanding of your customers by digging deeper into your customer data. How are your buyer personas doing compared to each other? With smart event rental software, you can determine which clients and event types bring in the most revenue for your business.

Event businesses are using this time to ask themselves, “Is there another vertical or market that I should be targeting that could generate more profit?” For example, Toss Up Events pivoted to selling hand sanitizer stations in order to bring in new business in 2020. Many DJ, entertainment, and photo booth companies have pivoted to virtual options, such as live DJ jam sessions and fun photo filters. AE&ES in Las Vegas started a new division dedicated to virtual games. Total Events in New York has started doing smaller, intimate events and providing beautiful tabletop pieces for at-home events.

The most successful businesses in 2021 and beyond will be those that don’t wait for the pandemic to flee, but rather those that seek growth opportunities and find new ways to thrive in a post-covid world. 

Innovate for New Event Problems

The same way that you are managing a new slew of challenges, your customers are also being faced with problems that they are still learning how to best handle. This is an opportunity for you to be there for your customers during this new normal. You have the ability to do market research to explore potential areas of growth. If you come across repeating themes, that is a good indication of market opportunity. For instance, perhaps you hear that people want ways to bring the fun outdoors. Can you provide inventory to make this happen? How can you make a small-scale event even more grand than a large one? Total Events, for example, worked a micro wedding at which each of the 16 guests received their favorite meal during the reception.

As an event entrepreneur growing your business during a crisis, you have the unique opportunity to innovate and solve problems that professionals of the past couldn’t imagine.

Going Forward during COVID-19

Though event professionals are experiencing the brunt of COVID-19, events will ultimately make a comeback. When they do, they’ll be stronger than ever. Until then, you should invest in smart technology, rework your marketing strategy, and communicate with clients to see how you can serve them in these times. While 2020 has meant a lot of loss for most event professionals, there are some wins we can still take, particularly when it comes to preparing for 2021 and beyond. After all, there’s a reason this industry is known for tough-as-nails #eventstrong types. 

Curious how Goodshuffle Pro can empower your next business pivot? Get a free demo today.

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Karen Gordon

Karen Gordon has spent her career growing event and technology companies through consultative sales and strategic growth strategies. She’s developed client and brand experiences for companies such as LivingSocial and Surprise Ride (as seen on Shark Tank). Now, as the VP of Growth at Goodshuffle Pro, she combines her love of both events and technology to drive the company’s growth in revolutionizing the event rental, design, and production industries with modern technology. She’s the NACE National Business Development Committee Chair for 2019 and 2020 and speaks nationally about events, event tech, and business strategy

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