Whether you want to engage with existing customers, attract new prospects or reward loyal staff, hosting an event can really help to promote your business.
But how do you ensure your event is a success?

Here we outline our Top Ten considerations when planning an event.

1. Objectives

Start with a clear idea of you want to achieve. Taking time to write a set of ‘SMART’ (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable, Time-sensitive) objectives before you start will mean you have direction right from the word go. Every subsequent decision should support these objectives. By continuing to refer back to this document throughout the process you’ll ensure you’re still on the right track. You’ll be surprised at how useful this initial sense check can be.

2. Team

There is nothing more important than having the right people to work with. Think very carefully about your team, and where possible pull in help from colleagues you trust to share your vision.

3. Budget

Be up front and honest, with yourself and your suppliers, about your budget. Costs can quickly escalate as details are added, and you need to ensure you make maximum use of every penny you spend.  Every budget will mean compromising on something. A clear view up front will help you to focus on what’s most important to you, and where you will get the most ‘bang for your buck’ and where you might be able to make savings.

4. Promotion

Whilst you’re busy planning your event, don’t forget to direct some of your time, energy and budget towards promoting it to potential delegates.  Even an in house conference will benefit from communication with those attending to ensure that they are prepared, inspired and looking forward to coming. Consider emailing teasers, using an internal blog or magazine, or even distributing physical invitations in order to create a buzz of excitement leading up to the date.

5. Audience

Take some time to really think about your audience. Consider their interests, likes, dislikes and the tone of voice to address them with. Once you understand what really makes them tick you can tailor details such as venue, entertainment and presentation content to really motivate them. The more relevant the even to your audience, the more engaged and animated they will be and ultimately the more successful your event.

6. Consider your Key Stakeholder

Whilst your audience should be forefront in your mind, don’t lose sight of the key stakeholder in the event. Who initiated the event? Is this the CEO of your company, the Head of Sales? Who is the single person that you really need to impress, and what does ‘success’ look like for them? Ensure you keep their needs in focus.

7. Be Everywhere

It probably goes without saying, but as an event manager you need to really need to have ears and eyes everywhere as the event unfolds. You need to understand what is going on where at every stage. What is happening in the reception area whilst people are leaving the main conference room? Is the buffet ready to serve in ten minutes? Are the stewards fully briefed to manage the crowd?

Ask yourself questions and have the answers at your fingertips. And be as prepared as possible for any last minute glitches.

8. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?!

Of course, everything is prepared down to the smallest detail, your team is briefed and ready, and your event is going to run absolutely smoothly without a hitch. Even so it’s still worth considering what possible issues might arise, and having a checklist of potential solutions for a variety of scenarios. Think like a boy scout and, Be Prepared. The chances are it will never happen, but if something does go awry, it’s good to know you have a plan of action at your fingertips.

9. Integrate Your Event With Social Media

Communicate with delegates in their preferred ‘online environment’. Talk to them where and how they like best – and be sure to enable them to share your content there as well!

Create a Twitter hashtag and publicize it to enable delegates to share views and experiences before, during and after the event. This will make for a truly holistic experience. By encouraging people to enter into conversations you will to deepen the reach of the event, and extend the experience well beyond the date itself.

10. Choose the Right Event Company

Most importantly of all make sure you pick the right Event Company to deliver your event. You may have a trusted and loyal supplier you have been using for years, but if you are looking for a new company to work with, make sure you ask all the right questions before you start. (See our article: How to Choose an Event Company)

Whoever you engage needs to have the experience, the reach and the technical expertise to really fulfil your expectations. It’s important that they understand your vision, your budget, and the way you like to work.

A great event company can be your most valuable asset. Make sure you find the right company for you.