Recommendations for DMOs During the COVID-19 Crisis

As I’m sitting here writing this, we are all faced with so much uncertainty and uneasiness in the meetings and conventions and travel industry surrounding COVID-19. While Digital Edge’s senior team has been through 9/11 and the Great Recession, no one has ever experienced a situation like we are in right now. Traveling and conducting business is a vital part of the American spirit and I do know we will rebound, when the time is right.

We are following the news, reports, industry assessments and facts to ensure our clients are positioned well now, tomorrow and several months from now. Digital Edge is committed to being your partner and our team is working as hard as they can to provide solutions and insights to support you.

While we are in the middle of the self-distancing, closures, postponements and cancellations, we have some recommendations we hope are helpful to you and your team as you make the best decisions you can for your business. And, if it is possible in your community, seek emergency relief funds to help your destination rebook groups, re-enter the market with a strong campaign and position your community for success after COVID-19.

COVID-19 Recommendations for During the Crisis:

  1. Pause all media and campaigns as meeting planners do not have the mental capacity to take in messages about choosing a meeting location.
  2. Develop a resource page on your website to point meeting planners to and keep it up to date.
  3. Pause all social media and email marketing as planned to shift your focus to this new situation and to keep your destination top of mind in new ways.  Develop content strategies to reach out to meeting planners with information that showcases your support for what they are going through, information they can utilize now and tools to help them during the crisis along with inspiring messages to keep your destination awareness.
  4. Take the time to audit your tools and resources with the goal that these can be developed, created and expanded during the crisis for launch later.  This is a great time to tackle marketing items on your to-do list that you have been too busy to tackle prior.
  5. Evaluate the meetings messaging for when you plan to go back to market and ensure the message is still relevant, timely and eye-catching.  Start developing any creative and make adjustments to your campaigns now so you are ready to launch when the time is right.
  6. Develop email marketing strategies to effectively communicate to planners.  This can include segmentation strategies, automation strategies and content strategies for your email campaigns to take them beyond the newsletter to effectively engage planners, post coronavirus.

While we are all struggling with what to do, how to manage this situation and figure out when we can all go back to normal, take the time to evaluate your programs, messaging, content and develop strategies that will strengthen your meetings and conventions marketing after this is all said and done.  

Find the hidden treasures and gems in the situations to make your CVB’s approach stronger and more effective. And, know that we at Digital Edge are here for you, and are doing all we can to ensure that meetings and conventions, destination marketing and the travel industry are restored as soon as it is safe. Our partnership/relationship with your CVB means a great deal to us. Hang in there, do your part to flatten the curve and take this time to regroup. We hope to be seeing you and all of our CVB friends at a meeting or convention very soon!

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