Running an event can be an excellent way to raise the profile of your business. Thinking out of the box and trying to be original will help make it a success. If you have never organised an event in your life before, don’t be afraid, it’s not rocket science! It takes hard work and effort, however and careful planning is the key. Set out your objectives, understand your target audience and build an event that will attract them. You need to give them a reason to be there, it will need to be inspirational and memorable so they will act as great PR people for your next event. Whatever you plan to do remember, you need to connect with your audience, make it empowering and motivating ensuring connection with your brand. Ultimately, the event is a vehicle for you to promote your brand, products and services so don’t forget to make it fun!
Your Essential Planning Meeting
Success lies in the planning, always. Your first planning meeting is the time when you will share the objective of the event with your team and allows you to nail down every single aspect of the organisation of the event from start to finish. Ensure you have set a budget as everything will be driven by how much you have to spend on the venue, catering, speakers and entertainment.
Choose the date for your event carefully. Research other events that are taking place within your industry, try to avoid school holidays and of course your date will be driven by the availability of your preferred venues. The choice of venue will depend not only on its availability but on the size and type of event you plan to run. Do you need a theatre layout, do you need a large open space for an exhibition or do you need breakout rooms for trainings and seminars? Getting the venue right is essential as not only does it need to fit within your budget, it needs to suit the size of your event, you need to consider transport links and availability of parking and whether the area has suitable hotels to suit all budgets.
The Devils in the Detail
Next you need to plan an outline agenda or running order then start to work out what speakers you will need, ticket prices and how to sell them, whether you are going to offer incentives or run a promotion or offer sponsorship. Are you going to offer goody bags and will the catering be done in-house or by an external company? Build a schedule with timelines and deadlines, allow a little flexibility as things never run 100% to plan and make sure your team have access to work from it to ensure an efficiency and consistency of effort.
Use an Event Company
Organising corporate team building events is a huge job and one that will take over your normal role regardless of the size of the event being planned. If budget allows, you might want to consider hiring a professional event team to take over the running of the event for you. They will guide you from start to finish from locating a venue, working out a theme, work on staging, booking speakers, liaising with all the external suppliers including the AV team and catering company. They can make the bookings for you and can take over the running of any aspect of your event including the timing of the agenda. You can also arrange for them to manage the event to allow you and your team to relax and network with clients and look after VIP’s.
Sell, sell, sell!
Promotion needs to start as soon as possible so release the date as early as you can so people can get it in their diaries. Use email, social media and your company’s website to get the message out there and drip feed information to garner interest. Don’t forget to invite customers, prospective customers as well as your suppliers and providers and heavily promote your keynote speaker to get fill up seats. Consider how you are going to take bookings. There are several good dedicated booking systems that offer a simple and efficient way to deal with ticket purchases. They are easy to set up and will give you a dedicated page for your event which can be branded, a unique URL, a chance to set up several types of tickets, use discount codes and take dietary requirements. Promote heavily and reveal as much about your event as possible to give your target audience a reason to be there. Whether you have a celebrity host, the hottest trainer in the business or a strong keynote speaker, giving them a reason to attend will ensure their attendance and the success of your event.