No matter the scope or size of your business, planning your next event will require careful strategy. A business event is leading investment in marketing your brand alongside other aspects of your company.
Whether you are orchestrating a large conference, holding a product launch or working on promotional giveaways, it is crucial that you approach your corporate affair with the elements of business event management, including coordination, planning, evaluation, design and research. Approached the right way, your next business event should create lasting relationships with your target audience, build loyalty and brand recognition.
1) Understand the Goal of your Event
The first step to planning a successful event is by defining the end result. Why are you planning on hosting and what do you wish to accomplish? This is how you plan an event that will resonate with your audience. Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Encourage more sales? Support product launch?
2) Establish a Budget
It is crucial to create a budget to give clarity to other aspects of your event. This is one way to avoid unwanted surprises, such as running out of money for certain essentials. Map out line item costs prior to the event and keep making updates towards the finalization of the variables. This will help you get a solid understanding of the actual budget and how it will be dispersed.
3) Build your Ground Team
If yours is a small business event, you may have to handle most of the tasks. For large ones, you will need to get a team together for the execution of the day’s production. For accountability, it is advisable to designate duties beforehand. Identify one key event manager, to whom every member will report to.
4) Develop Branding
Decide on the most appropriate theme for the event and focus on the best mode of presentation. Your branding will be the tone-setter for the event. What personality about your company do you want your attendees to have long after the event? Branding is guided by the following elements:
- Name: What name do you want to label your event? It must reflect the vision of your event.
- Typography, logo and colours: Across all your marketing channels, be sure that consistency is observed.
- Theme: Create a theme to tie the whole event together. Every element of your event must support the story you are telling your guests.
Use these to solidify your message across all platforms, including social media, tickets and your website.
5) Pick a Venue
The date and venue picked will shape the direction of your business event. It is critical to the overall success of your affair. When choosing a venue ideal for your meeting, consider the number of guests, centrality and transportation, as well as, the availability of key amenities. Once you identify the perfect location, don’t be afraid to ask for a lower rate.
6) Create your Event Master Plan
After drafting your budget and setting a timeline, it is time to create a master plan for the event. This is to ensure that the schedule of the day remains undisturbed. It also makes it easy to coordinate with volunteers, sponsors and other interested parties. The master plan should have a clear view of the following:
- Entertainment and other activities
- Event promotion
- Partners and sponsors
Create a detailed timeline to ensure nothing is locked out of the schedule. What is the deadline for the submission of insurance policies and permits? At what point will registration stop and what time do you plan on ending the day’s event?
7) Promote your Event
Marketing the day’s speaker or the entertainment crew is not enough. You will need to publicise your event to get the interest of your intended audience. This promotion begins when you put out the notice on your website. Involve online platforms and give it off-line publicity. The following are some of the components you will want to engage:
- Social media
- Printed materials
- Email blasts
- The press
Decide on the tactics to use when marketing the event based on the target audience. If you are targeting young professionals, for instance, Instagram ads could do the trick. For a local audience, you will be good with geo-targeted ads. For your social media marketing, consider including guest blog posts and promo videos on your Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram updates. Draft sponsorship packages and reach out to them about your partnership proposal.
Once your event ends successfully, it is time to close any loose ends. Are there any final payments that need to be sent out to vendors? Also, get feedback from your guests and carry out a post-event debrief with your team.