Rafael Indyarta is the content marketing specialist at Crowdcore, an all-in-one event marketing platform. With years of experience in event planning and content marketing, Rafael is passionate about creating insightful content to help planners and marketers alike.
Planners and Event Tech: Partner to Keep Growing During COVID-19
We are living in some of the worst economic times in the event industry. We don’t know when we can safely host events again, or even set a date for our next event.
Revenue for events has effectively been reduced to zero, and this ripple effect has been felt throughout the industry. For example, Eventbrite reported a first-quarter 2020 loss of $146 million, and laid off 45 percent of its employees.
As planners pivot to find digital solutions to bring people together, event technology companies must also pivot and meet the needs of their client base. Here are some of the ways that event tech is maintaining growth in the COVID-19 era, and why it's so important for event tech providers and planners to work hand-in-hand.
Virtual is no longer the future. It’s the present.
Video conferencing and online events are the best alternative to bringing people together in-person. Just look at the spike in usage of Zoom, which is up to 300 million active users, and in Cisco Webex, which recorded 14 billion meeting minutes in March, more than double that of January.
Webinars and virtual events are the obvious play for the time being, and even the largest tech companies are quickly adapting. Facebook launched Virtual Rooms and Google launched Meet to compete with Zoom. Linkedin got in on the action too, with its new Virtual Events platform that includes features like polling.
The demand is clear for a digital platform to replicate the face-to-face experience of any other meeting or event, and the market is adapting. As we learn more about what will happen in the future, we may see even more virtual event platforms offering different digital experiences.
With the economy at a standstill and many people out of work, the ability to learn new skills is in demand. Whether it's by offering training on coding, a new software offering, or a new language, tech companies are leveraging their content base to gather more traction.
Event technology companies are taking this approach as well by offering their expertise on event topics, especially for virtual events and offering resources for event planners during COVID-19. Event tech companies want to stand with their partners, and give encouragement to planners. Cvent, for example, is hosting its own virtual event connecting industry professionals together.
Creating content that educates and encourages planners can help technology companies maintain their relationships with planners through this down time, or build new relationships.
Making Technology Accessible
Both planning organizations and event tech companies have lost revenue because of the pandemic. The best way for everyone to make it through this time of economic hardship — and thrive in the future — is to work together, which means tech providers need to make their technology more accessible to planners.
Many event tech companies are following the examples of companies in other fields, like Masterclass, Skillshare and Bandcamp, which has removed revenue share on music sales so musicians can keep more of their revenue.
Smart event tech companies are offering extended free trials and/or additional features, some of which can be used to help planners with virtual or hybrid events. Event marketing platform Crowdcore has removed ticketing fees to help ease the pain for event planners who have lost revenue from live event cancellations, postponements and lost planning opportunities.
Without events, planners have no need to use event software, and without planners, event tech companies are left without clients. As we are awaiting the return of events, this downtime can be best used by planners to evaluate their assets and find new solutions to their event needs.
Tech companies are always looking to innovate and create solutions for their market. They are not only meeting the needs of today, but preparing for when things pick back up and in-person events return. Exploring the new event tech innovations and offerings is a great way for planners to spend this downtime, and make steps towards planning for the future.