Over the past 25 years, AKeynoteSpeaker.com has worked with dozens of event planning companies, hundreds of Fortune 500 brands and thousands of executive leaders to design winning business strategies and innovative marketing campaigns.
So while COVID-19 may have disrupted the meetings and events industry, and temporarily upended the field of conference planning, it doesn’t have to be a showstopper for your organization. As we’ve explained across numerous keynote speeches and books like Think Like a Futurist, there are many ways to monetize the business of event planning—and many ways to differentiate yourself and stay ahead of the curve.
Following, you’ll find 25 creative ways that you can capitalize on staff members’ unique insights or partner with subject matter experts to redesign meeting programs, expand or get more from featured event content—and keep business coming in the door.
Trade secret: The more creative and unique your offerings, the better-positioned to weather the transition to online, digital and
Invitation-only online events including meet-and-greets with well-known personalities, live-streamed courses/classes (e.g. cooking, storytelling, leadership, branding, etc.), virtual fireside chats, executive roundtables and more.
Surveys, polls, focus groups and business intelligence on industries and market segments of note.
Curated panels and group discussions featuring leading minds in any given field.
Branded articles, blog posts, eBooks, whitepapers and other creative works by famed industry pros.
Hosting, emceeing, and moderation of video programming, e.g., internal communications videos or public service announcements (PSAs).
Custom-themed events (or event tracks within larger conferences), meetings and summits designed and produced in partnership with sponsors.
Distillation of expert knowledge into training manuals, guidebooks and other educational materials.
Repackaging of existing content resources to focus on and offer more in-depth insight for specific verticals, i.e., repurposing a social media sales guide for use by attorneys, accountants, real estate agents, etc.
Cameos by well-known personalities at online gatherings, participation in virtual events and appearances in partnership with media and press announcements.
Sponsored placements and commentary on leading social networks or industry websites and publications.
Sourcing of external directorship and advisory work by subject matter experts who are tasked to serve on a company’s board of directors.
Mentorship and instruction in business from today’s most well-known personalities.
Collaborations and co-signs with leading consumer or business-to-business providers.
Books, tip sheets, training programs and other offerings on trending topics (artificial intelligence, digital transformation, content marketing, etc.) brought to audiences in partnership with thought leaders.
Custom educational programs that offer official recognition of achievement in specific areas of study.
Allowing individuals to gift 30- or 60-minute one-on-one training sessions with subject matter experts to partners and clients.
Online chats, question-and-answer sessions, fireside conversations, networking events and more starring noted authors and personalities.
Sale of limited-edition, director’s cut and autographed copies of new books or creative works, some of which may contain expanded sections and materials.
Creating and maintaining members-only communities and/or subscription-based solutions inspired by leading speakers and topics of interest.
Offering book development, design and publishing solutions, allowing speakers to translate their talks into print and online mediums.
Providing unique opportunities for superfans to enjoy one-of-a-kind access to, and time with, their favorite celebrities and industry rock stars, and/or chances to be included in their latest upcoming works.
As you can see, there are many ways to adapt and innovate around COVID-19, and restructure your content offerings and solutions to speak to a host of new event types and formats. The key is simply to routinely experiment with new approaches, and reconsider where you might help clients add value.
Event planners would do well to remember that not only are they experts at crafting eye-catching content of all types, they also enjoy unprecedented access to many of today's most well-known thought leaders—relationships that they can capitalize on to provide all manner of new and innovative programs and products that are sure to leave audiences raving.
Read Next: 10 Ways Meeting and Event Venues Are Adapting to COVID-19
Scott is an award-winning professional speaker and is among today’s best-known trends experts and futurists, and the bestselling author of Think Like a Futurist; Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty; and Millennial Marketing: Bridging the Generation Gap. The President and CEO of BIZDEV:The International Association for Business Development and Strategic Partnerships™, his website is www.AKeynoteSpeaker.com.