Are you thinking of running an event to promote your business, products or cause?
We’ve put together this short guide to help you create a top experience for your attendants, making it an event to remember.
So whether you’re organising a pub quiz, a blogger meet up or a business conference, follow our 5 top recommendations for success:
When you are planning your event, it’s important to explain the main benefits of attending your event to your target audience. What is in it for the attendant? Why should they give up their time to come to your event? The answers to these questions should be made clear in all of your communication around the event.
Carefully consider the content of your event including details such as speakers, partners, topics that will be covered, and any opportunities for attendants to meet certain people. These are all potential pull factors to get people along to your event so should be emphasised where possible.
Before your event, you should publicise it in a way that your target audience will relate to. Whether that’s email, social media or traditional flyers (or all three!), think about where your target audience will look to find out about upcoming events to attend. If you already have an online community or email database then ask people to share the event with their friends to spread awareness and hopefully gain a higher attendance.
Marketing is the area where you may wish to spend some budget, as making the event seem credible is key to its success. If you are marketing your business or cause directly to event attendants, a great way to do this is through goody bags that contain postcards with your businesses information, or by leaving postcards on the tables around the event room. If you are looking to get a little more creative, and to really stand out, some branded beer mats could be just the right level of sales messaging at your event.
Whether you love it or hate it, networking is a useful reason to attend an event and you should give your attendants good opportunities to do this before and after your event. To get people in the mood to network, it’s always better to get the wine and beer flowing. We’d recommend asking some larger local businesses about sponsoring the event, which means you could have enough budget to buy everyone their first drink or to put some bottles on the tables.
If it is a business-focused event, you could let people know that there will be specific half hour of networking after the event, to encourage them to arrange meet ups with existing contacts and to stay at your event for longer.
If you’d like your event or meet up to be talked about in social media, giveaways are a great way to encourage online discussion. Pick a simple and self-explanatory hashtag for your event, such as #SurreySales2015 for an annual sales professionals meet up in Surrey, and use this across your marketing and communication prior to the event. Once you are at the event, make an announcement saying a prize will be offered to the best tweet. This should help to encourage more tweets, as everyone loves a competition, and will help to get your event noticed on Twitter as people will be talking about it.
If you are looking to expand your email database, you could also run a business card raffle competition where attendants drop their cards into a bowl and a lucky winner is picked at random. This could be a more suitable competition for an audience which might not be comfortable using Twitter.
After the event, a summary blog post is a great way to finish the event. This will also allow people who couldn’t attend to see how it went, and get a feel for any future events you might run. If you had a lot of social media mentions, Storify is a good tool to pull them all together into one blog post. Don’t forget to follow up by email too, thanking everyone for attending.