I’m sure many among us have had to face this dilemma: execute an event though we aren’t qualified or don’t have the experience in event planning or management.
It’s not a fair world and you gotta do what you gotta do. But you’re not alone. Many organizations don’t have a SPOC for event marketing and management planning. However, here are some handy tips to more than see you through the day.
Ready, Marker, Whiteboard!
Regardless of the event type, you need to have a strategy. Determine the goal of your event. Is it a new product launch or a congratulatory party? Are you running a presentation or demo for prospects? Or maybe hosting an annual meeting for the employees and clients?
Whatever be your end goal, you would want to whiteboard a strategy. From targeting key influencers to presenting to your executives, consider your audience and the kind of message that will drive home the point. Plan how to measure results as without the right metrics, you’ll never know the success or failure of your event.
Draw up a budget
After outlining your goals, the next most important parameter is to determine the costs to meet these goals. It’s best if you can list every single item required to execute the event. Maintain this checklist throughout and note the cost of even the minutest resource, including the name tags.
Also keep in mind the associated costs: the website developer’s fees, graphic renditions like billboards and signs and giveaways. Recount the last event you’ve been to and think of the nitty-gritties which were involved.
There’ll always be things you can do without and those that are absolutely essential. Include these in your checklist and create a price tag.
Time and place of your event
Is your event integral to brand awareness? Are you looking to generate leads? Whom do you want to reach out to – managers or executives?
The answers to the above questions will determine the time and venue of your event. Evenings are ideal for a networking event, over cocktails and dinner. A presentation is best held in a conference room or hotel banquet. Busy executives would probably prefer a fancy breakfast.
Our surroundings have a big impact on our attention spans and also the kind of communication that tends to resonate with us. Finalize the time and venue accordingly for maximizing the impact.
Your event invitation plays a very crucial role in the overall planning process. You would obviously not want to sound too eager and send out the first invite too early. Contrarily, wait for too long and risk being unread or worse, make way for another event!
Three weeks is a good time to send out invites for featuring in your attendees’ calendars, though you may have to do it earlier. A dinner event is complemented with a detailed invite but keep things simple and to the point for demos and presentations. Add directions to the venue, including any available modes of public transportation. Make it really easy for your guests.
It’s best to segregate your invite list. Use a marketing automation software that can customize the content as well as the timing of your outbound marketing communications. You can’t afford to send a researcher event invite to the CFO, more so as you’d want to follow up. Those who have been RSVP’s should be sent reminders with different message and timing than others.
Walk in your guests’ shoes
Make it a point to be at the venue a day before your big day. Try to imagine what type of experience you want to give to your attendees. What do you want to portray to them when they first enter the venue? Do you need to put up signs for your attendees’ convenience? Where do you station the staff?
It’s a good practice to envision what your guests will go through – from walking into the banquet hall or conference room to the registration desk to the actual event. The whole experience matters; and the best way to anticipate your event’s feel is to walk in your guests’ shoes.
What are the things you keep in mind before organizing an event?