At this unprecedented time for the industry, keeping positive and being proactive can be a real challenge – especially when it comes to marketing. One of the best ways to stay active, visible and engaged at this time is to consider running online events.
These events can keep your name out there, show that you care, and even provide opportunities to establish other revenue streams.
If you are an established hotel brand, then raising awareness about your events and promoting them shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
However, if you are still trying to get established, you might want to consider partnering up with other businesses, from your community, in order to reach more people.
I strongly believe in community over competition, as this can be a great way to make your event more successful, and to also build brand awareness. As an added bonus, you can create partnerships that you will benefit from in the future, and at the same time you can help out other businesses from your community.
When you are thinking about creating online events, it’s important to keep them relevant to your core business. While I am encouraging you to be creative, I also have to underline that your online offer should be an extension of your physical services and aligned with your brand.
If you are partnering up with other businesses to create the event, make sure those partnerships are on-brand for you, and that they are associated with your core values and mission.
Encouraging self-care practice and exercise
If mindfulness, relaxation and well-being are part of your brand values, then this section is for you.
Being in quarantine, practising social distancing and having very restricted movement is something that a lot of people have still trouble to cope with.
With so much around in these challenging times, many, many people are feeling anxious right now. That’s a problem that you can help with.
There are plenty of free workout videos on Youtube already, but don’t let that stop you because we are in a very specific situation here.
We are locked in our homes, all gyms are closed, so having motivation and discipline to work out at home regularly can be tough.
Identify your audience’s pain points, explain how your event can help them and why they should go for it.
You can host one-off events – or make them more regular, for example, every other day to help your audience build your events into their routines.
You can organise your event live, or upload and send recorded versions. Focus on workouts and exercise that require minimum equipment, and specify what level of fitness it requires.
You can add more value to it by providing some nutritional tips, meal plans, and so on – of course, if you have a nutritionist that can help you with that. You can also partner up with local fitness instructors and bloggers to make it more interesting.
Yoga and Meditation
If your brand’s mood is more calm and relaxing, then focus on helping your audience to stay calm and mindful. Yoga classes are the first thing that comes to mind, and you can also include meditation sessions and breathing exercises for a full package.
Just as with the previous, you need to include storytelling here, while promoting your event to stand out. Educate your audience about the benefits yoga has, and how your sessions specifically can help them to cope with the new way of living and reduce anxiety.
Chances are you’ll want to aim your class at beginners.
For some people, gardening is the ultimate relaxation – if you are a green hotel, it could be a nice fit for your brand as well.
There are so many things you can cover on that topic – indoor gardening and houseplants, growing kitchen herbs and spices, composting, vegetable gardening, drying and preserving herbs, herbalism, floral workshops…
However, be careful with the requirements. When you are planning the workshops, structure them in a way that anyone can participate with what they have in their homes, since shopping is quite limited at the moment.
Learning new skills
Sharing is caring, and this is a perfect time to share your skills and knowledge with your audience.
In addition to keeping your audience engaged with your brand, you are also building your reputation and strengthening the position of an expert in your field, so this can be a double win for you.
Whether you are a hotel, restaurant, coffee shop, take your customers behind the scenes in your kitchen space.
Teach them how to make perfect latte art, make the most popular meal from your menu, how to make homemade chocolate, pasta, how to decorate a cake like a pro, or anything relevant to your regular offer.
Many hotels in Europe have started offering online cooking classes with great success – the main chef of Hotel Il Salviatino in Florence has been teaching people via social media channels how to prepare traditional Italian dishes, while eco-hotel Ecocirer in Mallorca offers private online classes on how to prepare healthy food.
They are great examples of how the same offer can be adapted to brands in different ways and bring amazing results.
Hobby & Crafts
Support your community, reach out to local artists to create various workshops and courses.
From calligraphy, painting, photography to macrame, crochet, jewellery, the list goes on. Again, keep it relevant to your business though.
Do a Google search of your local area, and look for the small businesses who are likely to be struggling right now. Reach out and ask if they would be interested in putting on a virtual event with you.
Supporting a good cause
If you can, consider donating a certain part of earned profit from your events to support a good cause.
The pandemic has put health care systems around the world on a big test. The pressure that hospitals and medical workers have been put under is tremendous, and we need to help them so they can help us.
Obviously, staying at home and respecting all measures to stop the spread is something we should all be doing not only to flatten the curve but also to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
But if you have the opportunity to go an extra step to help, don’t hesitate to do that. Remember that in this situation, no act is too small, so even your little can mean a lot.