​Business Development post COVID-19: The Shift from Physical Events to Virtual Networking

The year is 2020. COVID-19 started as a small but notable novel Coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Within months it had evolved into a global pandemic, shaking and challenging how workplaces were run, creating the ‘new normal’ post-COVID world.  

Physical events have always been a high-risk gamble, with the potential payoff of a significant investment of time and resources being the number of sales and connections generated. In a make or break world with companies running on fine margins, the inability to generate interest and sales due to event cancellation can be catastrophic.  

However, it is not all doom and gloom! There are silver linings, challenging us to work in a different way during a global pandemic.  

Events are evolving too 

Not unlike viruses, events are adapting and changing to fit a socially distanced format. With companies either reducing or completely slashing travel budgets, businesses that relied on in-person exposure are now moving towards ‘online events’ as a substitute.  

One benefit of avoiding the necessity to rent out physical space, is a general reduction in the costs associated with attending a physical event. However, thought must be taken when considering how an enthusiastic pitch, can be translated into the virtual world.  

Content is taking centre stage 

You know your product or service is top-notch. But how are you going to present that to others in order to increase new clients?  

By producing and exhibiting a unique and engaging presentation, your virtual presence can be amplified, even within a highly competitive and ever-growing online network of prospective clients. Remember, it is far easier to click the top right-hand corner of the screen than to physically walk away from the booth.

By taking into consideration your target audience and personalising your pitch, your chances of a successful sale increase dramatically. 

Futureproofing with Online Networking 

Your online presence does not have to only revolve around events or individual pitches. The earlier and further the line cast, the greater the potential success when you reel in the clients.

By enhancing your online presence and investing in social media platforms (such as LinkedIn and Twitter), you will be able to engage with your target audience far more frequently and advertise your expertise in a cost-effective manner. Why not take advantage of the bounty of engagement outside of quarterly, bi-annual or annual events?  

Another key piece in the puzzle that is client engagement, is a highly engaging website. By presenting your business with an easily accessible and visually appealing front page, clients are far more likely to continue browsing and exploring the products and services you offer. The longer the period of engagement, the higher the chances of contact! And more contacts will often convert to an increase in sales.  

What will the future hold for events and conferences? 

There is great confidence that, in the short term, virtual events will be the gold-standard for boosts in targeted engagements and sales in lieu of physical conferences. What is key to take away from this post, is the strong case for giving virtual networking a permanent place in your company’s strategy.  

You can visualise a future where online events and marketing work in tandem with your strong physical presence within a conference. By keeping your target audience up to date with bespoke technological advances, company success stories and staying relevant to the clients; you can expect far greater overall engagement and can likely convert that into improved sales.  

A healthy balance of online and offline company presence will, with no doubt, be the key for a business to not only survive but thrive in a post-COVID world. 

Are you looking to evolve your scientific marketing from a strong physical presence into an even stronger online personification? Contact us on 01423 813520 to find out the next step in improving your virtual presence. 

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