As we move into 2018, undoubtedly many of you are going to be planning for and executing conferences, events and or tradeshows. If you have an event this year and haven’t already started the planning process, January is a good time kick things off.
We’ve compiled some best practices for event planning based on working with hundreds of clients and have broken them down into 5 key step that can help you organize and execute a great event.
1. Set Clear Objecitves
Be clear about the purpose of the event and what you are trying to achieve (e.g. press for a new product launch, new leads, closed deals, etc.…). This sounds elementary but many people lose sight of this as they get deeper into the planning process. Creating clarity around objectives helps you stay focused on what’s important and allows you to maximize your time, energy, and resources. This will also help you measure and merchandise your success after the event.
2. Break It Down
Big events are complex and have many moving parts. The best way to manage and complete large tasks is to break them down into more manageable steps. We have had great success with our eight-step timeline that divides an event into short and long-range goals to keep your planning on track and on budget. Download the Check-List here.
3. Leverage Quality Partners
Partners can make or break your event so be sure to check the following to understand how a partner can either add value to your event or if they may pose a risk.
Once you find a great partner, ask them for insight into your project. They are specialists in their field and can help elevate your initial ideas while looking for ways to maximize your budget.
4. Generate Awareness and Interest
With all of the work that you are putting into the event itself, don’t overlook the need to drive people to it. Leverage all of your marketing channels – website, social properties, printed materials, direct mail – to create awareness and drive traffic. Make sure to put a real effort into ideas that will help your company stand out from all of the competition and become a must-attend destination for conference attendees.
This is about assessing whether or not you hit your goals. A Post Event Evaluation is a critical part of ensuring future event success. Not only does it help you identify what worked well in order to build on it, but it can also help you recognize what didn’t work and either fix it or exclude it moving forward. This is a powerful part of the process for driving successful events and shouldn’t be ignored after an event is over.
May 2018 bring success and prosperity to you, your company and your events.