2020 Isn’t Over Yet: Make Your Mark

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By Olivia Brooks Allan

These past few months have been filled with uncertainty as the events industry grapples with a new reality. Through this shared experience of a screeching halt of the ‘known’ of in-person gatherings, there is a collective loss we are all facing together. As marketing and event professionals, our careers have been built by passionately servicing our partners to support them in driving positive business outcomes through impactful program design, warmly welcoming attendees through the event doors, and of course ending an in-person event day with sheer exhaustion yet exhilaration for the fact that ‘we’, event marketing professionals, drove experiences that will trickle through our companies with long and lasting positive impacts.

If I might be so bold to suggest, now isn’t the time to bank your career and contribution within your company by holding out ‘hope’ for the return of normalcy. It is time to have acceptance around the fact that traditional event portfolios may never return precisely as you left them, and such there isn’t a moment for you to lose! Businesses’ needs have not changed. Sales teams still need you to direct them and find pathways to drive success through strategic networking, and the need to connect businesses and consumers is more prevalent than ever. As such, this is a moment to step up and demonstrate that as event marketing professionals, we can adapt nimbly and quickly to drive revenue for Q4. A lot has been taken away this year, but we have 4 months left to focus efforts, set goals, drive connection points and recuperate some of what has been taken away. Let’s end the year with abundance and set up 2021 for success.

As I’ve previously and humbly shared, it hasn’t been easy, but at Landmark Ventures, our team hasn’t lost sight of the firm’s need for strategic partnerships driven by events on both the Banking and Advisory side. Using multiple mediums (webcasting, web conferencing, dynamic virtual networking, etc.), our team has executed over 35+ events since March bringing together thousands of attendees globally. When I reflect on our team’s impressive pivot, I think of a study by Dr. Carol Dweck, who coined the term “Growth Mindset.” Her study examined how people react to failure and how some are knocked by the smallest setbacks, while others leverage these moments for growth. This setback in the events industry is a defining moment for growth and an opportunity to reinvent your personal brand as an events professional.

Here are a few ways that Landmark’s events team is adapting in this virtual landscape and taking on Q4 with a “Growth Mindset,” setting plans to have our best year yet in 2021:

  • It is always crucial to listen, engage, and ask your stakeholders what they need, but we’re also telling our stakeholders what they should be doing. Being a strategic partner that guides and directs in this uncertain time has set us apart as an expert in the field and a strategic ally. As a result, we’ve seen a 34% increase in total events managed compared to last year.
  • We took advantage of the benefits of virtual events. Without physical space limitations, there is an opportunity for an even larger, more global audience that you can bring to your clients and firm. Our annual June summit increased by 289% YOY with a total registration rate of 5,331 attendees compared to last year’s 1,369. Reaching a wider attendee base allows for partnerships to be developed on a global scale and creates even greater brand awareness.
  • Our “virtual toolkit” is ready and already in use. Since the pandemic started, we’ve been testing a variety of technology platforms for both our clients and our internal events. I recently wrote an article breaking down the Top 20 Tips for Successful Virtual Events and the importance of having a best-in-class tech shelf that can be mixed, matched, and configured for any occasion. Using our traditional production and event logistics team members, we pivoted their focus to research over 100 different platforms, ultimately creating a new role that fits today’s world of events.

Most importantly, we aren’t losing focus of what events are all about. Our partner at Discovery EducationElizabeth Lipscomb, recently reminded us that:

“your team provides truly unique spaces for professional acquaintances to organically evolve into authentic connections, cherished phone-a-friends, and critical partners.”

Even without in-person gatherings, our work as event professionals is a critical puzzle piece for our partners and our sales teams and now more than ever we need to continue creating those authentic relationships. While working on the Reagan Institute Summit on Education virtually taking place on September 17th, our partner shared that:

The team at Landmark Ventures has been a lifeline in figuring out our digital events path forward. Not only does each team member offer a different area of expertise and perspective, but also and more importantly, to RISE, they truly care about their work and providing excellence to drive our business objectives. Not all partners in the past have so passionately cared about our immediate and long-term success.” – Meredith StasaRonald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation and Institute.

There is still so much left to learn as we continue to navigate this new space making it so important that we as event marketing professionals are connecting and communicating. If you are interested in sharing tips and tricks, I’d love to hear from you. For those interested in seeing what we are about, check out our switch to virtual and, as always, let me know if I can help!

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