Events are an effective way to offer a direct experience to the customer and are critical to the overall marketing strategy of most businesses. They may take the shape of a workshop, seminar, conference or roadshow. They offer valuable opportunities for improving business connections, client relations and gaining new business interests.
Here are 10 things to work on to successfully run any small event for a business:
- Answer the all-important question first: ‘What do you want to achieve with this event’? Then use that answer as your overall goal to set the tone and direction for the event. For example, you might choose to run a roadshow to increase awareness for a new product, a conference to provide a platform for interaction or workshops to demonstrate expertise to your target audience.
- Find a good time to schedule the event. Find out whether there are other industry events scheduled at the same time, and factor in availability of support team members as well. In a small market like Singapore, having one other big event in town at the same time, targeting a similar audience, might significantly affect the turnout at your event.
- Create a budget and work out a financial plan to incorporate as many details as possible. Be flexible with changes in location or event details based on the budget as you proceed.
- Know your audience and plan to address them directly in your messaging. The attendees will eventually be your ambassadors, either through word-of-mouth or social media. So reach out to the right target audience for maximum impact.
- Plan an agenda that will keep the experience relevant, meaningful and stimulated. Rope in experts or offer expertise yourself, so that the attendees take away special knowledge and believe it is time well spent.
- Create a detailed marketing plan including digital marketing, social media outreach and include incentives for signups to draw attendees in. Clearly list the benefits of attending your event. The target audience should be able to identify two or three strong reasons for attending.
- You may decide to get media coverage for your event, particularly if you are hosting one that is significant to the wider industry or has high-profile speakers involved. If so, it is important to know how to present yourself and the event to the media. Prepare a little cheat sheet with key points that will speak for you. Use this to set the tone for other face-to-face interactions as well.
- For the day of the event itself, pay attention to every little detail in planning, and put care into arranging for the comfort of people involved. Food and facilities contribute to the overall experience of your event. These need not be expensive, but must be well thought out for customers as well as staff.
- Have clear allocation of responsibility among the team, and accept that every team has its own limitations. Prepare a contingency plan for when things go off-course and share it with the entire team.
- After the event, remember to follow up with attendees and build on any traction garnered. If you’re meeting a lot of people at the event, it might pay to arm your team with an effective business card management software such as Sansan, to allow them to quickly keep track of all the people they may meet. This will be valuable when your company wants to keep in touch with those who attended your event.
By putting care into details for planning, budgeting, marketing and executing your event, you will deliver a good experience on the day and make it worthwhile for everyone involved.