Here our team of Event Management, Public Relations and Social Media pros share their top five tips to delivering an exceptional event:
Holding an event provides the perfect platform to engage with existing customers, reach new audiences and raise brand awareness. However, whether big or small, a successful event comes down to so much more than what happens on the day.
Whether it’s a charity lunch, the launch of a restaurant or a business conference, the principles of running a successful event remain the same:
- Get ahead with the planning
Begin planning as early as possible. Set a clear strategy and the overall objectives in place and ensure everyone involved is working towards the same plan. At this stage, the more detail the better, but before speaking to any suppliers, look at the following:
- Fix a date (check the calendar and make sure it doesn’t clash with any other notable events that night)
- Determine the size of your event
- The location (think like an attendee – how will they get there and back home, is public transport an option?)
- Your target audience
- Plan for the unexpected
Maybe the caterers have cancelled or maybe your key speaker is running late, whatever happens it’s important to have a contingency plan in place to cover all the ‘what if’s’. It most likely won’t happen, but if it does, you’ll be able to deal with it calmly and quickly and no one will suspect a thing.
- Visit the site of the event
Everything becomes a lot clearer when you see it in person. Website photos can look quite deceiving so it’s important to know everything there is to know about the space you’ll be working with prior to the event taking place.
- Share, share, share!
Social media provides great platforms to create a buzz around an event. Whether it’s in the run-up to the event to build a sense of anticipation, or during the event itself, a digital presence is invaluable. Don’t underestimate the time required to do this well. Make sure you have a team member monitoring the social media channels and engaging with the attendees. Create a unique designated event hashtag, add it to any event collateral and make sure to use the hashtag in the run-up to the event so participants are aware of it in advance. This activity helps to build an online community and also reach people who didn’t make this event, but are now interested in hearing about the next one.
- Follow up
While the logistics of the event may be over, it’s important to use this window to follow up with attendees and thank them for coming. If appropriate, ask for their feedback. Use this information and revert back to your original set of objectives and see if you’ve managed to achieve each of your goals. Nothing is ever perfect, so use this as a learning experience and a way of keeping open channels of communication with the attendees.
A thought piece from Karol – the forensic PR people.