If you’re like most event professionals, your world has been turned upside down over the past several weeks. The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a serious impact on the events, travel, and tourism business.
With that in mind, I thought I would provide 5 tips on how to deal with the impact on the virus. This is not an extensive list, nor is it a magic wand to make everything go away. Instead, it’s a way to let you know you’re not alone in this and to let you know that this, too, shall pass.
The video below provides the 5 tips.
Sincerely, Jamie Turner
Transcript: If you’re like most event professionals, you’re probably concerned about how the coronavirus is going to impact your business.
You might be thinking about postponing your event. Or, you might be thinking about cancelling your event. You might even be thinking about switching to a virtual event.
No matter what, you’ve got a lot on your plate right now. So I thought I’d give you 5 things for you to consider as you’re trying to navigate through these difficult times.
#1: Project a Sense of Optimism and Calm
No matter what you’re going to do – postpone, cancel, or go virtual – be sure you project a sense of confidence and calm on your website.
Attendees base their decisions to attend events not only on the content, but also on the professionalism of the organization. So be transparent and authentic about where things stand, but also be optimistic and calm.
We’re going to get through this. It’ll be rough seas for a while, but there are clear skies on the horizon.
#2: Check Your Insurance Policies
By now, you or members of your organization have already scrutinized your insurance policies in case you have to cancel.
You might have a stipulation in the contract called a Force Majeure, which says that the event can be cancelled if caused by circumstances beyond your control such as acts of God, civil disorder, and other things.
These clauses are typically not an easy way out. So, while they may give you a sense of comfort, they’re not guaranteed and might not protect you as much as you might want.
#3: Meet with the Governing Officials in the Location of Your Event
Now, I’m not a lawyer, but if the Department of Tourism prohibits you from holding your event, then you’re probably on more solid ground if you have to negotiate your way out of an event.
#4: Negotiate with Your Paid Speakers
I speak professionally at events and conferences around the globe and I can tell you from my own experience that the best speakers want to work with you. In other words, they want to find a win/win way through these choppy waters.
This morning, I was on the phone with my contact for an event I’ll be speaking at overseas. She was a bit concerned about the event and also about how that would impact our relationship.
I told her my #1 goal was to have a good outcome no matter what – whether they went on with the event, or postponed it, or cancelled it altogether. There’s no point in burning bridges. If you plant seeds of positivity wherever you go, a lot of them are going to sprout when the sun comes back out.
Not every speaker is going to be as generous, but if you’re dealing with a professional, the odds are they’ll work with you so that everything comes out fine.
Tip #5: If You Cancel, Consider a Virtual Event
If you have to cancel, your goal is to keep your audience engaged until you get to the other side of the virus and can re-launch your program.
After all, your attendee’s need for developing their careers hasn’t changed. The only thing that has changed is the channel through which you’ll be delivering your content.
I’ve done dozens of virtual events ranging from simple webinars all the way to large, multi-dimensional virtual events.
When it comes to software, you can start with simple stuff like Zoom, GoToMeeting, or GetResponse to run your event.
I’ve used GetResponse to run webinars and it has a lot of good bells and whistles at an affordable price.
Moving up to the higher-priced category, you have INXPO, On24, Engagez, VFairs and WorkCast. All of those platforms have been around for quite some time and can be trusted to provide good services.
So there you have it. 5 tips on how to survive the coronavirus. Good luck with it.
If you’d like to open up a dialogue about this and any other speaker-related topic, just shoot me an email and we’ll connect.
This is Jamie Turner. And I’ll catch you next time.
About the Author: Jamie Turner is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and CEO who is a recipient of the Socialnomics “Top Keynote Speaker” award (along with Tony Robbins, Ariana Huffington, and Richard Branson). His client list includes The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T, Microsoft, Verizon, SAP, T-Mobile, and Holiday Inn. You may have seen Jamie in Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Business Insider or the Wall Street Journal. He’s also a regular guest on CNN and HLN where he contributes segments on marketing, persuasion, and leadership. He is an adjunct professor at both Emory University and the University of Texas and has been profiled in the world’s best-selling advertising textbook.