3 Things for Organizations to Do During “Downtime”
Instead of focusing on current events, the quarantine period has given organizations some extra “downtime” when it comes to work load. It has become difficult to succeed in understanding the audience when there isn’t any, optimize inventory when tickets aren’t selling, or set up campaigns when no one knows exactly when events will be happening again.
So what can we do to prepare for a stronger recovery in these moments?
“Organizational procrastination” is where you have may have wanted to have the time to look into marketing methods and do some research to grow your organization, but maybe have not had the time to do so. This is an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, our business, consider our tools, and so much more. Learning through tools and research, communicating with your network, and implementing change are 3 ways to do that…
We have created an ‘interactive’ article to not just advise you on what could be done, but also to give you some shortcuts on how to access them.
One of the most important steps to take is to increase your skills and knowledge on better ways to market. A year ago, we did not have as much free time on our hands to enhance our understanding, now we have a lot more time to look into ways we can do that. Here are a few ways with some links that can start you off in the process. Strengthen your knowledge!
There are so many courses you can take that help you understand a variety of relevant information like in marketing, customer satisfaction, ticketing and data analytics. For example, there are MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses: These are highly targeted courses that you can take anywhere, anytime, often as a mix of videos and some supplementary reading. And if you don’t need a certificate to say that you’ve taken the course, they are often free. And as they are globally distributable, they are often done by leading experts from notable organizations.
For example, on Coursera, there is a course on “The Cycle – Management of Successful Arts and Cultural Institutions”, which is taught by Michael M. Kaiser from the Devos Institute, and he goes through relevant examples from his career with the Royal Opera House, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and the John F. Kennedy Center.
Coursera also offers a wide range of courses that could fit any of your organization’s needs, for example a course in International Entertainment and Sports Marketing or even in Fundraising and Development.
But course pages are not the only place you can find relevant courses. LinkedIn is a great resource to use to find courses that might be relevant considering your followings. Remote Working: Setting Yourself And Your Team Up For Success is available if you would like to take courses that will help you expand your knowledge on how to work during these critical times.
Podcasts are always a great option if your eyes are getting tired from staring at the computer or the television. They are a wonderful alternative to listen to while you are cooking a meal or go on a walk. Podcasts, like courses, also come in a variety of styles, topics and subjects. All you need is to find the right one for you!
If you want to look more into how to market online you can listen to Amy Porterfield’s top-rated podcast on Online Marketing. This podcast is filled with interviews from the experts, suggested planning and all the tips and tricks you will need.
From ticketing to customer service to social media booking, if you are looking for a more overall business take on organizations, Dave Wakeman’s podcast on The Business of Fun might be more for you. Wakeman has a global and versatile playlist that discusses many relevant topics in regards to organizational needs.
Here are some other great podcasts to look into:
Youtube is filled with a lot of fun innovative ways to learn. Videos can be very engaging and brief, so you can gain a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time. For example, How to Price and Promote Ticketed Events: Data to Support a Ticketed Strategy is a quick 7 minute video that answers questions like How much should we charge for a ticket? Do we offer discounts like early-bird pricing? When do we start promotions? When can we expect tickets to sell out?
Additionally, you can find really good channels on youtube to subscribe to like the Event Manager Blog that gives tips on all things events!
If you are more of a reader type, articles are a great option for you. What is Event Marketing? Strategy, Timelines & Templates from Eventbrite can help you refresh your knowledge on the basics of Event Marketing. Sometimes some basic updating can go a long way.
It is always interesting reading about a research study and seeing the results that people receive through data collection. The Use of Event Marketing Management Strategies Scholarly discussed how organizations should take into account the types of customers that they address with new events, so they have to develop new events or to diversify the actual ones.
Another important topic to keep updated on is the Corona Crisis and how people are responding to it. Look into what people are concerned about, how will you approach them when the time is right? What is the conversation on events for the future? The Events Industry Needs A Future-Forward Mindset to Survive Coronavirus and Marketing Your Event During COVID-19 are great articles that connect both the organization and the audience and help in understanding the steps that we will all need to take for a hopeful future.
Adopt New Tools to Help Your Business
This is the perfect opportunity to look at innovative tools to help your organization grow and there are many options to find relevant information. Downtime does not mean it has to be unproductive, you can make it the opposite if you have the will to do so.
Tools to Look Into:
- Activity Stream: Subscription based tool for using all your data to set up marketing, inventory management, donations and get all the relevant audience insights.
- Stay22: A service creating interactive maps to search, compare and book hotels & Airbnbs near events, helping traveling audiences book accommodation quickly and efficiently – and a nice source of extra revenue for your venue.
- ReplyBuy: A tool for adding sms-based communication to your toolbox. Great for those contextual conversations with millennials.
- Awario: Social listening tool that helps you spot the conversations you should be part of, even when your organization hasn’t been tagged.
- Buffer: Tool for planning and publishing social media content across platforms. Other similar tools include Hootsuite and Socialpilot.
- Canva and Visme could be relevant design tools for the coming period, when budgets may be limited.
- You may also want to look into adding ticket insurance to your buying process – it’s a good service to your customers and a good source of extra revenue. In the recent years there has been a lot of new developments in email tools, so chances are that your email tool now offers a lot of new features.
As we try to understand our options and directions, it is so important to communicate with your audience. How are they feeling? Most of the answers that you can get could be directly from them.
Be Loyal to your Loyal Customers
For many organizations it could be worth checking on your top customers and see where they are in their lives. Give them a reminder that you will be there for them now and when this is all over. Send them a personalized email to show them that you are as loyal to them as they are to you.
Talk to your friends, associates and connect in terms of business or even in personal matters. Social Media could be a great way to do this, but even a phone call or an email can make a huge difference for a lot of people. Connect with your partners and your sponsors by writing to them and see how they are dealing with the process and what tools they have been considering.
One of the best ways to learn about how to use social media is through researching on social media. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram all give you access to so much information and sharing of links, articles and tools. Use your network and ask questions. Even just making a post where you ask for ways that you can update your organization puts you one-step closer to finding out what will make sense for you. Hashtags are a great way for you to find what you need or desire to learn. Some examples of hashtags that could be relevant to your organization are #audience #venue #ticketing #productsales and #liveentertainment.
If your organization is struggling, especially at a time where you want to still pay your employees, asking for donations could be the right thing to do. Of course, many are unemployed at the moment, but people are generous even under difficult conditions.
From all that time that you have spent researching and learning, now it is time to implement those changes. You will have to get yourself prepared to be quick on your feet and although it will be challenging, it will be worth it in the long run. Organizations will need to spend money wisely and looking into new tools and resources can help that.
We hope that we have inspired, or perhaps just reminded you, of ways to learn, communicate and change during these moments.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs