It is February – a month when for the last 15 or so years, various members of the team at Wildwood would normally be found either pounding the halls at ISE or taking a well-earned break in the ISE Press Office. We would be arranging interviews on booths, prepping for press launches, hustling to get a ticket for CresFest, queuing for the post-show buses or rushing to get to the chemist for copious supplies of plasters – it was always a week of many steps (26,500 in one day was my record) and lots and lots of networking. #ISE2021
It isn’t a normal year, it hasn’t been a normal year, and really, I am not sure what normal is anymore. We have all faced unprecedented challenges thanks to the COVID-19 emergency and, more than ever before, we have all had to work together to make it through the crisis. Many events have had to embrace digital – sidestepping postponed physical events and travel restrictions to create ways for our various clients to connect and share knowledge. We have had some brilliant reactions to podcasts, roundtables and webinars – and the digital world can absolutely increase audiences when the content and platform is relevant.
Yes, there are signs that things are getting better, and we have all been learning new skills and extolling the virtues of digital marketing – but let’s face it, there is a huge anticipation for when we can safely get back out and about and back to meeting up in person.
It is still a case of thinking outside the box, certainly businesses have had to adapt in a myriad number of ways over the past few months, and sadly, many won’t make it. Only today we heard news of (yet) another publication having to cease publication – not directly in the AV or tech world, but for a PR and Marketing professional, it is always sad to hear of a title closing.
Whatever the future holds, good communication is, and will continue to be, hugely important. The golden principles still remain:
- relevance: make sure your message is of interest to your audience
- personalise: none of us like chatting to chatbots – add in the human element
- be memorable: keep it short and sharp, now, more than ever, time is a precious commodity and if you have someone’s attention, don’t waste it
- follow up: deliver on promises made
OK, so we might have a few more months to wait until we can get back together in person, but we still do have opportunities to keep in touch. Doesn’t matter if it is in-person, face-to-face, digital, virtual, online – whatever you call it – people still need to be able to communicate effectively, and that doesn’t change whatever restrictions might be in place. Be creative, be real and, be interested – we all still need business to deliver, so keep the faith and keep going!
I am sure the Wildwood team are not the only ones wistfully thinking of trade shows and, even though our feet ached, and the pressure to deliver was constant, we really miss catching up with you all and we can’t wait to see you back in person – and yes, my feet are aching to get back out there again.