EventMojo Articles

How To Plan That Perfect Business Event

So you’ve got to organise an event for your clients and prospects that's quite important and nothing can absolutely wrong? Here is my guide on what to expect and tips that I've picked up from event management experts so that you can get the praises from everyone and remove a lot of the stress!

8 Weeks Before

Decide on a topic for the event
Have a think about your intended audience and why they would want to come to your event.

Set goals for the event
Setting quantifiable goals will help you judge the success of your event. For example, how many registrants & attendees do you expect? If you have a registration goal you’re trying to hit, you need to make sure you’re set up for success.

Create a budget
Be realistic with the budget and keep in mind the month that you are planning to hold your event. For example, prices are much higher during December due to Christmas functions, end of June/early July due to End of Financial Year functions, and Melbourne Cup day. Set up a spreadsheet where you can list down your projected costs and your actuals.

Select a date
Pick a few date options, as some of your preferred locations might be already booked.

Find and finalise a location
Choose a location that suits the atmosphere that you are looking at creating and the type of people that will attend.

Select host/speakers and map out the structure
Decide on the structure of the event. Will there be a formal presentation or just a casual short talk? What will the agenda be like?

 

6 Weeks Before

Attendee registration
If you will require people to complete an online registration, set up a landing page. For an easy option, use Eventbrite. The registration process is also a great time to collect information from your attendees that will help you get the most out your event as well as future marketing efforts. Understanding attendee demographics, the social networks they use, their occupations, their interests, and even their food preferences is extremely insightful and can help you have a better event.

Create invitations to send to prospective attendees
Email invitations work most of the time, but for exclusive smaller events targeting senior executives, physically posting an invitation works best. In your invitation, clearly explain what the event that you are hosting is about, including the value they will get from attending, and any other important event details. Also, create a confirmation email to send once attendees register to thank people for signing up.

 

4 Weeks Before

Invite your guests
Again, think about who your intended audience is and who would get the most out of the event. Leverage tools like your internal CRM and the professional networks of your team to find people you’d like to invite.

Make arrangements for food/drinks and AV
If you will be having your event at an external venue, most will provide you with their own catering options. Check with the venue to see whether or not they have their own AV equipment or if you will need to provide your own.

Promote your event
You can use email, social media, blogging and PR to promote your event. Use unique tracking links so that you can determine which of your promotions are driving the most success.

 

3 Weeks Before

Social media hashtags
If your event will be larger than 50 people, pick a hashtag for the event. Prior to your event, inform your attendees of the hashtag in emails leading up to the event. Start the conversation on the hashtag to open up initial networking and to get your audience familiar with the event’s hashtag.

Organise gifts or takeaways for the attendees
This doesn’t need to be anything overly expensive, just something that the attendees can use on a frequent basis and includes your company’s branding. Examples include coffee mugs, pens and tablet sleeves.

Organise signage
Organise an appropriate amount of signage so that you can promote your company’s branding at the venue.

 

A Few Days Before

Send out reminder emails
Get people excited about the event! Include important information necessary for attendees, including time and location, agenda, directions, and other necessary information.

Prepare name badges or stickers
Ensure that these include your company’s logo and that the names are printed in large font that can be read easily.

Have a guest list ready
Have a guest list either printed off or on a tablet to mark off names as guests enter the venue.

 

Day of Event

Day-of reminder emails
Send out day-of reminder email to all registrants. If your event happens to be a breakfast event, send it out the previous evening.

Arrive early to the event space 
Get in early to make sure you have everything ready in terms of refreshments, technology, and support materials.

Attendee networking
If one of the objectives of your event is to get your attendees to network with each other, develop an icebreaker game.

Photo and video
Take photos and record videos of the event using to include in post-event promotion. Either use a good quality camera or hire a professional photographer.

Social media posting
If your event has more than 50 people, post to social media using your hashtag, before and during the event.

Inform attendees about the next event
If the event will occur on a regular basis, inform the attendees of the next event.

 

Post-event

Send out follow up emails
Send an email to all the attendees, thanking them for coming, and a separate “Sorry We Missed You” email to registrants who did not attend. Include important follow up information, such as any content that is available post-event, and links to where they can sign up for your next event.

Send out post-event survey to all attendees
You can use tools such as SurveyMonkey to get feedback on your event. Find out what they thought of the venue, the content, the structure of the event, and what improvements that you as the company can make for future events.

Write a social media and blog posts recapping the event
Be sure to use the video and photos you took during the event.

Evaluate your event
Did you meet your goals and expectations? Why or why not?

If we have missed anything, please feel free to add them in the comments section below! And remember, if you need help finding and comparing event suppliers, EventMojo has you covered!

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