Planning a Successful Business Event: Preparing for an Upcoming Event

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A business event needs to be successful, and when you are holding any sized event, you want it to be as worthwhile as possible. If an event is unsuccessful (or it doesn't run as you had planned), it may well impact your business or future operations. The details matter when you are planning an upcoming event. The more time and preparation you can invest, then the more chance of success you have.

 

Think About Who Your Target Audience Is

To avoid jumping in at the deep end (and causing yourself an unnecessary amount of stress), you need to think about your target audience. Focus on who your business event is going to appeal to, and get a feel for what your target audience wants and needs. Building an event around your target audience is crucial because you want to ensure that you are providing value at all levels. If an event is not focused on (or around) your audience, then you may miss the mark completely. When it comes to thinking about your audience, try to put yourself in their position. What are their expectations and needs from a business event? Do they need to save money? Are they looking to reach out and make new connections? Or, are they looking to diversify and target a new market? What is important to your target audience when they are attending an event, and how are you going to fulfil their needs?

 

Plan Well and in Advance

A well-executed business event is going to have been organized months in advance (not weeks). When you begin organizing early, you give yourself the time and the opportunity to make changes. If you are leaving everything until the last minute, you may find that you are having to make several compromises. You may also find that the event never runs as smoothly as you anticipated it would. When you have a longer timescale or event timeline to work towards, you find that planning becomes easier. You also find that you cover all possible avenues and bases. When you do this, you can ensure that you have a plan B and even plan C to fall back on.

 

Building a Support System

Business events (no matter how small or large) can be stressful to organize. They can also consume you, and your time in many ways too. To help you get what you want from an event, you need to start building a support system of service providers to ease your workload and allow you to focus on what is important (concerning your business, and upcoming event). These will be those that can help you elevate your business brand and event. Look at who you can work with to create a spectacular event. Also, look at how you can liaise with other businesses to utilize their platforms or even their services. If you are trying to do everything by yourself, you will find that you will spend your resources quickly and cause yourself an unnecessary amount of stress. Try to spread both your energy and your investment into your event by reaching out to others, and by seeking support from other (non-direct competitor) businesses.

 

Choose the Right Venue

An event that feels right (and looks right) is going to have a higher chance of success. If a business event venue is not right for your business, it will harm what you are trying to do and achieve. When it comes to choosing the right venue, you need to be clear about what you want and why. For instance, is it the size of the venue that is crucial to you and your upcoming event? Or, is it where the venue is located? The location you choose must be accessible and in a central location. Create a list of wants and needs for an event and a venue. When you do this, you can start creating a shortlist.

 

Decide How Long the Event Will Last

There is no specific time a business event must last for it to be successful. Timings can also vary, depending on whether it is a virtual event or even a physical event. However, when you are thinking about the duration of an event, it mustn't drag on for too long. If an event is running for a whole day, then think about how you will break up the event into more manageable chunks. If an event is too short, the attendees may start to question its usefulness and value, and this is of course not ideal. To establish the right length for your event, then start looking at what you want to achieve. Break down the minutes and the hours and be specific with blocks of time. When you can do this, you can start to see what can be included (or emitted).

 

What Is the Purpose of the Event? Goals and Objectives

All good events need to have a purpose. Attendees need to know why they are investing their valuable time into your event and business. They also must know what they will get out of an event. When you have goals and objectives that you and your event are working towards, you then have a purpose. Without this purpose, you may find it difficult to secure conversions. Or, to increase awareness of your business, brand, or service. When you are setting goals and objectives for your event, they must be measurable and realistic at all times. If they are not realistic, you are setting your event up for failure. When setting objectives and goals, try to aim for a couple at a time. If you try and work towards any more than this, you will find that your attention, time, and effort will be overstretched.

 

Introduce Keynote Speakers

You are not going to want to do everything by yourself with your business event, and this includes speaking too. Attendees and guests do not want to hear your voice solely. They want to feel like they are getting a good and varied roster of speakers. They want to feel that they can reach out (and align themselves) with several speakers, and not just you. When it comes to introducing keynote speakers, you must be sure that useful and valuable information is provided. If speakers are not adding value to an event, then what are they doing? Look at utilizing well-known keynote speakers. Those that are visible, and highly relevant to your industry or marketplace.

 

Looking at Previous Events

If you have held an event previously, then try to learn from them where you can. What has been successful, and what hasn't worked so well? Do you think that your previous events were inclusive enough? Do you feel that they had a valuable message on offer? Or, do you perhaps feel that there was (and is) room for improvement? If you do not look at previous events you have held (or even attended), then how can you begin to filter out what those elements of success look like?

 

Create a Format or Schedule

All memorable and effective events will follow a format or schedule. If there is no format in place, you will find the event will have no direction. A schedule or format will help you lay out what will happen during the event, and why. Without a schedule, you could well find that attendees lose interest in your business event. You may also find that you struggle to achieve the goals and objectives (that you have previously created).

 

Don't Overlook Your Budget

Business events can be costly, and if you are not careful costs can end up spiraling out of control. It is always wise to focus on your budget and look at what you want to achieve for your budget. You want to get good value for money when it comes to your budget, and you want to be sure that funds are spent and distributed as fairly as possible. Having a budget in place is, therefore, critical, and something you must start working on as soon as you can. Within a budget, you will need to allow enough (plus contingency) for venue hire, literature, and material production, as well as the cost of hiring service providers.

 

Market Your Event

Letting others know about your event is crucial. If you do not start marketing and promoting your event (as soon as possible), then how can you confirm numbers? When it comes to marketing your event, you need to think about the media and channels your guests will use. For example, will social media campaigns be enough for you to reach out to your target audience? Or, do you think you will have to utilize email marketing, or even print marketing to get the message out there about your event? Marketing and raising awareness of an upcoming business event can take a while, and it is often best to start the process in the months leading up to the big day.

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