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Unless you have been avoiding the news and any social engagements for the past number of weeks, you are likely aware of Covid-19 (aka the Coronavirus) spreading to pandemic levels, causing disruption to the lives people across the globe. As of the time of writing (3rd March 2020), 93,574 confirmed cases with 3,204 deaths reported. While the world tries to make sense of the short and long-term impacts of the virus, and continues to find ways to contain the spread, the effect on the global economy and businesses all over the world creates unanticipated difficulties for many companies.
Forced and voluntary travel bans have impacted global business travel and trade, which in turn has severe consequences affecting the airline, hospitality and logistics industries. The impact has also been felt across the events industry with many high-profile trade shows, exhibitions and conferences being cancelled.
Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, one of the beauty industry’s largest events, was postponed from March 2020 until spring 2021 to avoid the congregation of large groups of international visitors at such an uncertain time. Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna was not the only organizer to take the decision to cancel or postpone events in order to stop attendees gathering in confined spaces. Many others followed suit, including –
- Top Hair – Die Messe, Dusseldorf
- Beauty Dusseldorf
- Beauty Forum Swiss, Zurich
- Cosmopack, Bologna
- ShopExpo, Milan
Other international events cancelled include:
- CIBE (China International Beauty Expo), Guangzhou
- BeautyAsia / SpaAsia / HealthAsia / NaturalAsia, Singapore
While the financial implications can be frustrating for many, the broader effect of these cancelled events are on businesses that depend on trade shows, conferences and exhibitions to meet industry peers, lead generation and ultimately develop their businesses. Although some events are still moving ahead for now, the challenge that many organisers will face is the likely fall in attendance numbers. The consequence of reduced attendee numbers will naturally lead to a decrease in industry networking and potential sales opportunities, which in turn may have a detrimental impact business performance and growth. In the short term the disruption caused by the virus is likely to continue, however for many companies now is the time to consider their existing business processes and continue to function normally in the face of unanticipated events such the spread of COVID-19.
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???????? February 24, 2020 – BolognaFiere Cosmoprof SpA, organizer of Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, has officially announced that the 2020 edition will be postponed from 11 till 15 June 2020. The 2020 program and special initiatives will not undergo substantial changes. In particular, the activities outlined in recent months are guaranteed to optimize the business opportunities of the operators attending the event in Bologna. • • • ???????? 24 Febbraio 2020 – BolognaFiere Cosmoprof SpA, società organizzatrice di Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, annuncia ufficialmente che l’edizione 2020 sarà posticipata dall’11 al 15 Giugno 2020. Il programma e le iniziative speciali dell’edizione 2020 non subiranno sostanziali modifiche. In particolare, sono garantite le attività delineate nei mesi scorsi per ottimizzare le opportunità di business degli operatori presenti a Bologna.
What Ways Can Businesses Generate New Sales Opportunities?
Companies in B2B beauty space that rely on cross border trade and industry events should look to assess their options in order minimize disruption to their business. Allowing your team members to continue to travel on behalf of your business creates risk that should be seriously considered. There are however alternative solutions available to your business, and in some ways more cost effective, to generate leads in the absence of industry events.
- Digital Marketing
While a physical presence may not be possible at large B2B trade shows, buyers are likely still interested in the products or services your business has to offer. In this case your prospects may turn to search engines or industry-related websites to help identify new partners or suppliers. Companies therefore should consider investing in online advertising through search and display adverts on platforms like Google, native adverts on social media platforms or branded banner adverting on beauty industry websites.
- Digital Conferencing & Webinars
In the absence of business travel, many companies will seek to find alternative solutions through technology to connect sales teams with potential customers. Investing in creating content that can be used within digital conferencing should be a priority for suppliers who are looking to communicate their value proposition to potential clients. Short product or explainer videos can add exceptional value to clients who you are looking to do business with, as well as regular webinars where many of potential customers can be presented to.
- Email Marketing
Although email has existed in some form since the internet became part of everyday life, it’s still growing and improving. Email marketing is still very important; however, its success relies on (1) the quality of the database (2) the quality and relevance of the message being shared. There are many software’s and applications on the market to enable email tracking and create effective workflows or a lead nurturing process to help sales teams qualify potential candidates.
- Account Based Marketing (ABM)
Account-based marketing is becoming a mainstream strategy for B2B marketers. This method allows businesses to reverse-engineer the sales and prospecting process in order to target high-value customer accounts with personalized content designed to generate quicker results. ABM complements the traditional, short-term marketing goal of generating leads with efforts aimed at driving long-term revenue growth.