08 Apr Coronavirus and major events: consequences and alternative marketing in the face of containment
Coronavirus, a word that is now at the heart of all concerns. Its impact from a marketing point of view? Containment measures that result in the cancellation of many events and shows. What are the consequences ? What to do when faced with this kind of situation?
Losses looming on the horizon for organizers and brands
For this year, many events and conferences, such as those organized by the leaders of the technology sector, are canceled. A situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic which is currently shaking the planet! The Mobile World Congres, Shopify Unit, the Google News International Summit, Facebook F8 and the Microsoft Video Games Conference have been postponed.
The costs and losses linked to these cancellations are astronomical, they are estimated around 500 million € for the Mobile World Congress as an example.
This helps to better understand the decision of Google, which prefers to remain optimistic by maintaining the Google I / O, scheduled for May 12 and 14.
The organizers had to face a huge problem: making the decision to cancel and facing the consequences that this entails, from a budgetary point of view and more. It is clear that it is as complex to organize an event as to cancel it. It is important to adopt the right attitude towards partners, exhibitors, service providers, but especially customers; otherwise the notoriety of the brand or the event can be greatly impacted.
Go to plan B: build on digital marketing
To stabilize the business development process and achieve planned sales, major brands must continue to communicate about their products and services. Following the restrictions imposed by different governments in the face of the crisis situation, digital marketing seems to be the best remedy.
Since physical gatherings are strongly discouraged, videoconferencing presents itself as an alternative of choice for big brands who want to promote products or services. Apple, for example, which only very late made a decision concerning the WWDC and finally decided to maintain the event but in video. Long before the coronavirus, several major brands have already taken the initiative to organize an online conference for all or part of their regular conferences. This is for example the case of Microsoft. Since 2012, for Microsoft Experiences, this firm has been broadcasting its plenary interventions online. This is also the case for some of its dedicated programs which cover various themes treated by the brand. This virtualization has enabled Microsoft to increase its audience, with 20,000 visitors to the Palais des Congrès and more than 300,000 Internet users on the online version.
Digital marketing can be seen as a major ally to deal with the health crisis caused by the coronavirus.