Welcome Back to Sales: How has the event industry changed over the last year?

Welcome Back to Sales: How has the event industry changed over the last year?

What a year it has been… This time last year events were cancelling, people were panicking and a heavy fog of uncertainly loomed in the air. However, for whatever year you have gone through, if you have made it to April 2021, we look forward with positivity for a summer of events and sunshine!

 

Now is the time to prepare for the future, a ‘new normal’ as people say. So, to understand that, it is first important to recognise what has changed for our industry. At Selling Savvy we have identified a few key sales changes that have come forth for the events industry during the pandemic and we want to share them with you.

 

Collaborations:

Over the last 12 months, even though we have been separated from each other physically, it has brought us much closer together personally and professionally. Collaborations have boomed, bringing business relationships to a more intimate level.

 

Social channels like Delegate Wranglers, MICE Book, and LinkedIn groups such as UK Event Profs have played a big part in this, allowing individuals from events, venues and other hospitality businesses to work together to provide solutions and recommendations for each other.

 

Collaborations come in many shapes and forms, however, for every good collaboration, there are important factors you need to observe to ensure you and your business are getting the best return on investment. Check out last month’s blog ‘5 Sales Trend Predictions for 2021’ to learn what you need to do to be innovative and effective in your collaborations.

 

The Events Industry — A Family:

The impact of the pandemic has affected everyone differently. However, it has allowed us to unite and to create a sense of family and togetherness throughout the entire industry. Relationships with clients, friends and colleagues have now become more personal, allowing us to truly get to know them and understand their needs. All while new relationships and conversations are being built, ones that may have never crossed our paths previously.

 

LinkedIn, as a professional social media platform, has become more about the ‘holistic person’ rather than just business jargon and advertisements. It has become a place to share and celebrate each other’s experiences and accomplishments while maintaining a positive, yet frustrated, outlook on the future of the industry.

 

We talk more about the business impact of LinkedIn’s full potential and other social selling tools in last month’s blog ‘5 Sales Trend Predictions for 2021’. Here you can also find how to make your client marketing more creative, and work with the ‘holistic’ trend to shout your hard work to your clients and create engagement with your brand.

 

Virtual and Hybrid Events:

Virtual events have been around since the early 2000s. They made a short but popular appearance during 2008 – 2010 due to the impact of the recession, however, they have never been as popular as they have become due to the global pandemic in 2020.

 

In our now wired-in world, everyone has opened their eyes to virtual and hybrid as plausible alternatives to live events. We at Selling Savvy have shared the importance of being prepared for virtual and hybrid events throughout the last 12 months — and we weren’t kidding! Virtual and hybrid events are here to stay.

 

Clients have come to understand the benefits of the virtual events world with the ease of connecting employees and clients from across the globe, as well as the cost and time savings associated with being able to join from home. However, the inability to deeply connect with others and the level of engagement during a virtual event or conference proves that fully virtual events are lacking.

 

Did we hear you say hybrid? Exactly! Hybrid events allow your clients to benefit from the best of both worlds. Allowing them to reach and connect with more people internationally, while still providing the intimacy and engagement level from an in-person conference.

 

We talk a lot about the benefits of hybrid events for hotels and venues in February’s blog ‘The Top 5 Benefits of Hybrid Events to Hotels & Venues’. As well, for those looking to get their feet wet in hybrid events, alongside our partners at SFL Group, Cue Events and AYRE Events we offer a comprehensive package of learning support for venues and hotels to create, offer and sell this new and relevant revenue stream. Check it out here.

 

The Shift in Clients & Contacts:

As we all know, Covid-19 has had a tragic impact on the hospitality, events and tourism industries and each company has faced multiple different challenges over the last 12 months. This means that for many hotels, venues and event suppliers, your clients and contacts within businesses may have changed due to redundancies and company restructuring.

 

So what can you do to rebuild your client network and ensure you are speaking to the right people in the right places? Creative Selling and Social Selling, which we speak to in the blog ‘5 Sales Trend Predictions for 2021’, speak to how and where you can get started with your sales journey.

 

Then what about the client relationships you do have? With the market growing more cutthroat with competition not only coming from other hotels, venues and suppliers but now online platforms and hybrid studios, your sales strategy needs to be hyper-focused to your client’s needs. This is Consultative Selling – Prioritising relationships, opening dialogue and making it all about the client.

 

Also, after the UK opens up again, a large number of companies are considering flexible work from home options for their employees, and some might never go back to the office at all. It is important to understand these changes and be respectful of your client’s situation. Each client may have a different circumstance to the next. They might have childcare commitments, limited hours of availability or maybe are even struggling to adjust to their new bearings.

 

It’s not hard to believe that some of you have already experienced difficulties getting in touch with your clients. Now more than ever we as hotels, venues and suppliers must be courteous to their needs and proceed with patience.

 

  • Does their email have a signature stating their hours of work?
  • Have you asked them when is the best time in the day for them, even if it’s outside of your normal hours?
  • Have you looked to other means of communication such as LinkedIn or other social platforms?

 

If you want to learn more about Creative, Social and Consultative Selling, check out our blog ‘5 Sales Trend Predictions for 2021’.

 

The fog is lifting and there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is important to prepare your company and strengthen your relationships in the ever-changing industry. We at Selling Savvy want to assist you in succeeding with your mission of coming out of this messy situation on top.

 

If you want to grow your confidence and become an empowered, successful and up-to-date salesperson, join us on one of our newest interactive workshops, ‘Welcome Back to Sales’ full of innovative ideas and quick wins.

 

Anything else the team at Selling Savvy can help you with from recourses to other courses, please email kate@sellingsavvy.co.uk or phone 07746 843416.

 

 

 

Content by Selling Savvy and written by Catrina Pengelley for The Nerdy Hotelier 

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