How can networking and events function despite cancelled face-to-face meetings in the F&B, lifestyle and tourism sectors?
Due to the Corona virus many events, trade fairs and exhibitions were cancelled, and with that also a central sales channel for many companies. The challenge is to find a new way to reach partners, consumers and target groups without Internorga, ITB, press trips or editorial visits.
Is it worth investing time, money and resources in online marketing, social networking and digital PR now? As a PR and marketing agency working in the food&beverage, hotel and tourism sectors, we can answer this question with a clear “yes”! Communication, marketing and PR need rethinking!
Online instead of offline events
Meeting consumers and industry contacts in person and informing them about new products in the food, beverage and kitchen equipment sectors at trade fairs or events is not only the most enjoyable, but also the most direct communication tool. In our PR work for food, wine, travel and lifestyle, we also prefer to meet editors and journalists from F&B, travel or lifestyle media offline during press trips, press events or roadshows. But in times of social distancing, it’s important to get creative, because classic networking events cannot be realized in the current situation. This makes it even more important for companies to be flexible and take advantage of digital opportunities. In the F&B sector, for example, Intergastra launched a digital program in 2021, which is usually a gap year for the fair, and travel trade fair ITB has also announced an online presence.
Best practice: live online wine tastings
Those who don’t want to cut events from their PR work can plan digital alternatives. A good example is the concept we developed for our client Elfhundertzwölf right at the beginning of the Corona crisis – even before this form of alternative events became common. Live wine tastings took place on Instagram together with online food media and food influencers, where questions about wine, winemakers, production and tasting methods were answered. In the process, the Elfhundertzwölf expert virtually tasted the wines with the viewers and shared a lot of knowledge. For the community, the virtual alternative of a face-to-face conversation took place via the chat function of the social media platform. A win-win situation for everyone, our clients, well-known media partners such as Foodboom.de and Chefkoch.de and of course their respective communities.
Lockdown as an opportunity for digital training
It’s a fact that people have never before spent so much time on the internet and used digital communication channels as extensively as they do today. While the time spent on blogs and social media has increased enormously, many classic forms of advertising have to accept losses. It’s time to go ahead with digital strategies and to optimize one’s own online presence. Starting points for this are, for example, the following questions about online communication in the areas of F&B, lifestyle, design or travel:
- How does my company generate leads or new followers and retain them in the long run?
- How do we combine public relations with search engine optimization (SEO)?
- What are my most important social media channels?
- How do we approach influencer and blogger relations?
- What can we do to manage crisis communication?
- How does my company use social networking platforms like Xing or LinkedIn on a professional level?
Maintaining contacts and being visible
A company profile on LinkedIn or Xing is not a guarantee for successful networking. However, it is important to be present and actively maintain contact. Basically, the more channels used and filled with content, the better, but the content must fit the target groups. In this article, you will read why the principle of storytelling is an extremely important marketing strategy for brand positioning. For a professional social media presence, it’s important to use the channel regularly and creatively and to actively pursue community management. Do you need support with this? Then get in touch with us! If you have projects in the area of online communication, social media marketing or influencer relations, Click Connection offers you solutions that exactly fit your company’s needs.
Online events and networking despite Corona
As professionals for digital presence in food PR, travel PR and lifestyle PR, we know how important it is not to be idle now! Despite Corona, it’s possible to generate new business, be visible and draw attention to your services. Online trade fairs and digital events make it possible. Social networks, blogs, podcasts and websites are also essential channels for brand positioning. Together we build your brand, generate target–group–relevant and transparent content and ensure digital dialogue with customers.
Do you need creative ideas for your brand or product in the areas of food, wine, travel or lifestyle? Get in touch with us! We offer customized concepts for digital PR, social media, product launches and more.