Holding events for your organisation, whether a seminar to raise awareness of your organisation or an open day for clients, can be a great way to raise your company’s profile. Your Event marketing strategy should provide opportunities to showcase your product or service away from competitors at exhibitions, and also to help potential clients get to know your product or service before they decide to purchase it.
Events do, however, require a huge time commitment in order to be a success, and they can take even longer if they aren’t planned properly. Many first-time event organisers can find the task highly stressful, but with careful planning you and your team can make the most of your resources to carry out the plan successfully.
Here are four essential steps in creating the perfect event:
1. The people
Form a team of people to keep informed – this should include relevant organisers such as the host, venue, catering staff, other members of the internal events management team, sponsors (if appropriate), and of course the attendees.
Regular meetings – the type of people involved will dictate the frequency and level of detail of the meetings needed. For example, the venue will need to be kept informed regularly whereas attendees probably only need to be informed when they book and/or just before the event, with details such as the event’s location, how much they’ve paid (if at all) and so on.
Good communication skills – these are essential, as they will enable all members of the team to participate fully in the task and work towards goals agreed at the meetings, particularly staff at the event’s venue who will need to be updated on a regular basis.
2. The format
Key aspects of the event should be established as early as possible in the planning process. These should include:
Venue/seating area – one of the most important aspects of the event is arranging an appropriate venue to host the event, and in particular whether it will be a ‘private’ space reserved only for your event’s attendees or whether it will be open to the public. This ensures that you fully understand the possibilities and restraints of the venue that has been booked; for example if the event is at a restaurant, whether attendees will be seated in a private room or with other members of the public.
Themes – does the event have a specific theme in terms of the items being discussed/sold, or the attendees’ dress code? Also consider how the event will be marketed and how to convey the theme through the various channels being used, for example images on social media, or perhaps appropriate voice-overs for radio adverts.
Who will be invited – the types of people invited will depend heavily on the event’s theme as well as what you aim to achieve from it. For example, networking events may want to attract a wide variety of people from the business community, whereas a seminar for law firms would probably only want to invite legal professionals. Another consideration should be whether the event will have any special guests who are speaking and/or VIPs, and whether they will need to purchase tickets or attend for free.
3. The budget
Start sketching out a budget – Be sure to include both money and time, although the latter may be in short supply and needs to be protected as carefully as your cash reserves.
Creating a ‘paid-for’ event – when it comes to income, try to set realistic but ambitious targets. If you’ve held this event (or one like it) before, use your figure from last time to set a target, for example your best past result plus 10%.
Estimating the money & time – with expenses, it’s always better to overestimate and have funds left over than to underestimate and run out of money. Conventional wisdom advises that you should overestimate your budget by 20%-50%, but when it comes to estimating time you should use your best judgement and try to factor in any possible hold-ups or hiccups.
4. The documentation
Researching – it is good practice to research all the documentation that you may need to run your event, including licences, permits (food, alcohol, etc.) and other paperwork. Remember to allow plenty of time to apply for and receive these documents, as some can take a while to be processed and/or printed.
Risk Management & Insurance – this will need to be considered, since many large-scale events require each of the exhibitors to have ‘public liability insurance’, and for a copy to be supplied to the organiser.
Media – In addition to hardcopy documentation, it is a good idea to think about content for promoting on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms in advance of the event, as well as other promotional materials such as flyers, roll-up banners, or signage. These will help amplify your event, and ultimately persuade more attendees to book themselves on.
In conclusion, no matter the kind of event you want to organise, with careful planning you and your team can utilise your resources to hold a successful event.
If you would like us to help you with Event Organisation, please give us a call on 01903 530787 or click here to read about our event management service and Outsourced Marketing Support