With restrictions lifted and the world slowly returning to some kind of ‘normal’, events are back on the cards! With many of OWB’s clients enjoying the face-to-face contact, networking and post-event socialising that only events can offer, we have created a handy list of everything you need to make your next event successful.
Organising an event can be stressful and time consuming, but if done correctly it can increase trust in your brand and can ultimately lead to conversions. Before you start planning your next event focus on the desired outcomes and objectives of a successful event: are you highlighting thought leadership? Converting your warm prospects? Once you have some clear goals in mind, it is time to start thinking about an overarching topic!
Once your objectives are clear set a budget and start working out the finances of the overall event. If your budget is limited you may want to scale back on attendees and choice of venue. You could even consider charging your attendees a ticket price to cover the cost.
Decide on a venue and a date early on
With diaries filling up fast, allow plenty of time to not only organise your event but also to generate interest with attendees. As a rule, we would suggest a 6-month build-up period from planning to the actual day, although longer works for certain events. When choosing a location, think about whether this is convenient for your potential audience. If they are coming from all over the country a central location such as Birmingham is great for hosting your event (but of course we wouldn’t say anything else about the great city of Brum!).
Create an outline of the event
Now a date is set and a venue has been confirmed, it is time to organise an outline of the event with timings. This should include everything from opening/arrival times, guest speaker slots, coffee and networking breaks, award dinners to carriages/closing times, giving your attendees plenty of notice to plan their journey to and from the event.
Inviting your guests
Now the organising is done and everything is set in stone (although be prepared, last minute changes always occur!) it is time to invite your guests. As a first initial contact with your attendees, we would suggest inviting them through a series of email marketing campaigns, that range from interest-building ‘to be revealed’ save the dates, to more formal emails with timings and logistics information. A strong and easy CTA is essential when encouraging sign-ups; having to go through a lengthy sign-up process may put off some visitors. Using data capture software or even create a simple spreadsheet list of those who have accepted or declined your invitation to keep on top of numbers. If you are not getting the response that you have hoped for, a personal email or phone call follow-up may do the trick and help to get more attendees on board – don’t underestimate the resource it takes to populate your attendee list! Make sure to detail a cut-off date for signing up to the event, to give you a good idea of numbers for catering/seating etc.
During the event:
Allow plenty of time to set up ahead of the event, especially if you are using technology or specific resources. Make sure to sign in all attendees (both for health and safety, but also to help you with your post-event marketing). During the event, take as many photos and videos as you can, giving you great content to push out on your website and social channels post-event, and also to drum up engagement for next year’s event! During the event you may want to also consider doing a live stream for those who were interested but unable to attend.
Once your event is complete, evaluate and measure its success. Research by inevent.com* suggests that 67% of event professionals meaure ROI based on the event attendees’ satisfaction, so make sure your KPIs are both relevant to your goals and achievable. Marketing your event doesn’t stop when the doors close; post-event marketing is as important to keep those delegates engaged and capture the interest of those who didn’t attend. Take away your findings and tweak to make it even more successful next time!
Looking to organise an event in the future? Speak to Andy today to find out how we can help you create a cracking event!