How to Pivot Cancelled Events into a Wow!

  • Apr 21, 2020

One of the greatest issues to solve in the tradeshow, conference and meetings industry is rebooking cancelled events due to COVID-19. Securing a new date can be done. But how do you make that new event date as exciting as it was originally with your client and attendees? How do you recreate the magic?

Sometimes opportunity doesn’t knock, it rings. I reached out to Stacy Ringer of Ideas NW with a personal phone call, to introduce myself and ask how I can serve her right now and when she relaunched after COVD-19. Stacy wasn’t available when I called, so I left a voice mail. Curious, since the phone hasn’t been ringing a lot, Stacy listened to my voice mail and then pushed redial.

1 + 1 = 11 when two determined businesspeople connect. To “pay it forward,” we agreed to share the outcome of that phone call for transforming the rebooking process into a powerful win and leadership moment for meeting planners.

The win:  Stacy holds the professional belief as a meeting planner that there is a solution for every situation and in the end it will all work out. This is the mindset she had about rebooking a million details for an event of 500 attendees at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs scheduled mid-April rebooked to December.

The wow:  The extra 10% you give to a client above and beyond their expectations is where business is won and grown. Stacy’s idea was to leverage the concept of Christmas past, present and future with a “Save the Date” gift set to her clients of:

  • Past = Hand sanitizer (COVID-19)
  • Present = Champagne (Toast to the upcoming event)
  • Future = Holiday Ornament (To commemorate the event in the future.)

The clever gift set was designed to demonstrate how much she values her clients and to affirm that “we’re all in this together.”

The “Save the Date” gift concept has been expanded to all 500 attendees to recreate the magic for all with a similar gift set drop shipped to their office / home.

Pivoting cancelled events into a wow.  So many companies across America have important events that got cancelled. Having something exciting and fun to look forward to is a way to delight customers and attendees. Sending a gift or branded item with a “save the date” message is how to rekindle the magic.

We didn’t see COVID-19 coming but we see it leaving! America works when we work. Now is the time to create a running start for the upcoming pivot and relaunch of our respective companies. Today, and every day until your community reopens, make it a point to pick up the phone, engage with customers, attendees and your valued business partners. Let’s go!

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LASTING impressions


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  • Tags: Promotional items, Marketing, Promotional Branding, Events
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