Cloud Expo Europe 2020 was always going to be a slightly strange affair, unlike other events that the C8 clan are used to attending on a regular basis. While we are going to try and limit the use of the ‘C’ word – not that one – Coronavirus actually, it did feel a little more muted than usual.
Not the London we’re used to…
Held at London’s ExCeL Centre (which has subsequently been turned into the NHS’ temporary Nightingale Hospital), the footfall coming through the doors was subdued, with many opting to stay away, and instead absorb the online updates that followed, of which there were plenty.
Cloud Expo Europe ran alongside the Cyber Security Expo, Smart IoT, Big Data and AI World, Blockchain Technology World and Data Centre World, so there was no shortage of industry leaders and newcomers in attendance, who were treating the two-day event like any other – a key source of information to feed back to their business’s decision makers that ultimately helps them – and their customers – to more effectively run their businesses and explore new solutions.
While the buzz of a busy event was not what it usually is – the quality, if not the quantity, was still there. This was evident from walking around the booths, chatting to many of the vendors. It goes without saying that the keynote speeches and talks that were dotted throughout the theatres and in the dedicated presentation areas were still well attended – this layout enabled anyone to stroll by and absorb a couple of minutes of nearly anything, whether that was the best cloud tools for digital migration, edge computing, infrastructure and storage and DevOps – you name it. Combining six events into one (very large) space does provide a huge amount of variety, no matter the business problems you are looking to solve.
Meeting up with our folks from Clearvision
Alongside keeping our finger on the pulse and enhancing our knowledge, we ensured we caught up with our client, Clearvision, at the event (the smile on their faces in the attached image says it all!). The ISO 27001-certified Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner was demoing its AWS-powered cloud hosting and managed service proposition, while explaining to visitors how it can migrate mission-critical applications to Atlassian’s cloud, a private cloud or its hybrid cloud solution, ClearHost.
Quite aptly, the company was also explaining to event-goers exactly how it is keeping its customers’ businesses running as usual, and how it’s ensuring that this can be facilitated at home or remotely. Keep your eyes peeled on Clearvision and C8’s website for more on exactly how Clearvision is looking after the remote worker!
While UK convention centres remain empty, for now, there are many other avenues that businesses can utilise to get their message across. This has placed all the onus on online content, making it more important than ever. After all, despite many companies experiencing challenges, key business and purchasing decisions still need to be made.
Many of these will involve meeting the increasingly complex requirements of the end user, whether this is migrating to the cloud, preventing fraud around online eCommerce or ensuring a business’ cybersecurity is as strong as it can be. These key corporate challenges will not wait for the Coronavirus pandemic to pass.
Instead, businesses should look to divert their events budget to digital. From a content perspective, this doesn’t mean only thought leadership articles or blogs; this content can be a conversation starter through podcasts and webinars, featuring multiple guests. Because these can be listened to or viewed live or on-demand, they provide a much more flexible option for the audience, suiting our new ‘work from home’ schedule that we’re now adjusting to.
Furthermore, keep your audience engaged by hosting online panel discussions, offering viewers the chance to ask questions; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all offer live streaming. These can be planned throughout the day, week or month, enabling your audience to absorb information more gradually.
We are also doing a lot of video reports for clients and short video links with our thought leaders talking about pertinent topics.
Finally, a strong social media presence is a must. So, make sure that your employees are advocates, that you are listening to what your competitors are doing and that you have a robust strategy in place. Here at C8 we provide a very comprehensive social media and digital service, so do get in touch with us if you are thinking about ramping up your online marketing activity.
And finally, here are a few tips to consider:
- Increase your social media presence – digital is where it is at right now, so look at how this can be enhanced
- Plan to deliver as much content as possible – but make sure that you have a strategy in place
- Use this time to consider how you might deliver events and marketing activities differently in the future
- Make virtual events and content engaging – include your audience as much as possible
- Consider video reports, webinars and podcasts to engage with your audience
- Make this consumable, so short, concise, but engaging. We are all spending a lot more time in front of screens so let’s not overwhelm our audience
There are a multitude of online resources available for decision makers that will help see us through this challenging period. Before long, this new way of working will become the ‘norm’ as decision makers continue to make critical decisions; they’re just being ‘informed’ through different mediums.
For more information about how C8 Consulting can help to create compelling campaigns and kick-start conversations for your business in 2020, contact us.