Planning and hosting a business event can really reap you benefits if done right, from making connections to gaining publicity. The process that lies before you may seem daunting, especially if it’s your first time, but with a few tips you can end up enjoying yourself while pulling off a successful event that makes an impression.
Give yourself enough time
The single biggest stress inducer when planning an event is the worry that you’re running out of time to get everything organised. Give yourself enough time to get everything done that you want to. Remember that everything will take longer than you think. Six months, even a year, is not too much time to give yourself.
Choose a venue first
People often make the mistake of thinking that the first step is to select a date for their event. But after publicising the date, they might realise that an appropriate venue isn’t available. It’s far easier to first choose what venue you want, and then see what dates are available in the general timeframe you want the event to happen.
Know your purpose
There are many goals you can have for a business event or conference. From offering a platform for top tier energy industry executives to network at oil events, to gaining publicity for your new software product. Settle on what you really want to accomplish, and don’t lose sight of that by trying to make your event cater for everything.
Know why people are attending
On the other hand, it’s not all about you. Bear in mind what your target audience’s reasons for attending might be and try to accommodate that where you can. For instance, you might want to facilitate networking opportunities for them, as that is a popular reason to sign up for conferences and events.
It’s not all work and no play
Yes it’s a business event, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be dull. You still want your attendees to have a good time, because that generates more positive feedback and reflects well on your business. Consider providing some entertainment in the form of music, an MC who knows how to inject some humour into the occasion, or a meet-and-greet dinner.
Be true to your theme
Having a theme can be very useful. A theme will make branding your entire event much easier, giving you ideas for everything from the invitations to food. Having the right theme can also help you draw in attendees and target a niche market.
Use social media
To get word out about your event and boost attendance, it’s vital that you make use of social media channels. Don’t make all your posts or tweets about your brand or event details – the majority of what you put out there should be meaningful and engaging. Also, take note that the different social media platforms – Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook etc. – each have their own culture.
Even if you don’t think of yourself as a natural event planner, with these few tips, you can put together an event that will reflect well on you and your business. One final piece of advice, try not to stress too much about it. Enjoy yourself on the big day – you deserve to.