Three Ways To Keep Marketing Without In-Person Events

Published: May 19, 2020

Adrian Cohn 01 BW 012019

Event marketing has always been a significant part of Smartling’s strategy. Events are known to be reliable demand generation opportunities, and they provide the opportunity for our team to nurture relationships.

But it’s fair to say there won’t be any in-person events for the time being. Now that events are out of the picture, how can we meet demand gen goals and build relationships with prospects?

We have been discussing how we can adapt and shift our marketing strategies. Here are three ways we’re working toward our goals without events:

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1. Triple Down On Content

Content has the biggest hand in continuing to create demand during the pandemic. So, it is imperative that you adjust your content strategy to create more of it. At Smartling, we’re working on producing more content than ever — with live virtual events, on-demand webinar series and podcasts — to meet growing demand. This new content aims to address the current situation and guide customers and position them for success.

For example, we produced a new podcast called “The Loc Show”, that showcases how various companies manage the translation and localization aspects of their business. It’s our way to discuss what our customers are doing for their localization strategy, their challenges and the successes they have had.

2. Pivot To Virtual Events

Perhaps the most obvious tactic may be transitioning live events to virtual events. People still want to meet, but physical spaces are unavailable. That leaves virtual events as your go-to method for generating leads and meeting prospects. You can still present the same content you’d have at your physical event and nurture relationships with your prospects.

Here are some ways to maximize your virtual event:

  • Keep your event private. When you’re planning attendance, send targeted invites to the prospects you would want to invite to a physical event.
  • Have a small guest list. You won’t be able to have the close interactions you need for demand gen. Keep the list small and consider offering pre-recorded sessions like webinars for public download later.
  • Use Zoom’s Breakout Room feature. If you’re running your event on Zoom, you can use the Breakout Room function to split your virtual event into many separate sessions. That way, attendees can choose their topics of interest and have meaningful discussions during your event.

3. Revisit Cold Accounts

If you have time that you’re not spending on events, go back and revisit old prospects or accounts that have quit. Since you’ve already invested time in building relationships with them, it’s worth investigating their interests and potentially reviving a cold account.

During this crisis, be careful with the messages you send. After all, B2B buyers are still people. But even if old prospects are tightening their budgets now, you can build relationships that lead to them returning once the crisis abates.

B2B marketers may miss in-person events and the leads generated from them. But even without event marketing, marketing teams still have paths forward to engage prospects and customers to reach their demand gen goals.


Adrian Cohn is a brand and communications strategist with experience conceptualizing and implementing worldwide, omnichannel campaigns. Adrian is the Director of Brand Strategy and Communications for Smartling, a translation technology and services company, and serves as a board member of New Orleans area hospital foundation.

Posted in: Demanding Views

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