The ABC of successful event planning
Putting on an event can be a daunting prospect for would-be hosts, but when done right, they have huge potential to generate new business and help build your brand. As such, they play a vital role in the marketing strategies of businesses of all sizes.
We’ve put together a list of some of things you can do to make your event a success and ensure you get the most out of your investment. It really is as easy as ABC…
- 15th January
A – Attendees
Know exactly who you want to attend, and shape your marketing around this: will they be stakeholders, prospects, existing customers or a mixture? Your marketing strategy and content planning for the event will vary based on who you’re looking to attract.
B – Branding
Give your event a strong identity. Be consistent with your company brand guidelines but use events as an opportunity to create something fresh. Powerful branding can turn a one-off event, into a recognised series of events.
C – Content
Great written content with an enticing call to action (CTA) hooks in potential attendees and helps convert them to confirmed guests. Create a unique voice for your event and use it consistently across any web content, emails, copy for printed collateral, and social media posts.
D – Design
Build a set of design assets that help to bolster your event’s identity. An event-specific colour palette, an eye-catching logo and some social cards with your event details are the best place to start.
E – Email marketing
Eye-popping emails make your event communications appealing to prospective attendees. Tailor your emails to specific recipient groups to make sure they receive a message that hits home with them about why they should attend.
F – Follow-up
Your event’s impact doesn’t stop when attendees walk out the door. Thank them for coming and send a survey to capture any feedback. Use this opportunity to get them excited about your next event.
G – Giveaways, goodie bags and gifts
Everyone loves free stuff. Fact. Cleverly chosen gifts won’t languish unused in a desk drawer, and they don’t have to cost the world either.
H – Hype
Create a buzz around your event on social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Build on your event identity by creating an event hashtag so that staff and attendees alike can join the conversation!
I – Invitation
Create an invitation with clout and make a big first impression with invitees. Whether this is a physical mailer, an email, or something else entirely, it needs to set the tone for the event and pique people’s interest.
J – Joining instructions
As your event draws close, send out digestible joining instructions to all your guests. Keep it clear and concise. Tell them where they need to be, when to get there and any other essential information.
K – Know your onions
On the big day, make sure the whole team is fully briefed and prepared for any potential attendee queries; have WiFi details to hand, know where the bathrooms are, memorise the event itinerary.
L – Location
Carefully consider what you need from your event venue. Are you looking for convenient travel-links? Are you picking a destination venue that will be the hook that makes people want to come?
M – Mailers
Why not keep the postman busy and send some snail mail? In a world of email communications, inventive physical mailers grab your recipients’ attention. We’ve sent out everything from Jelly Beans to energy-saving lightbulbs, and our unusual ideas don’t stop there…
N – New ideas
Offer your attendees the chance to be ahead of the crowd with speakers and content that explore fresh ideas. Work with your team and partners to devise content that attendees haven’t heard before.
O – Objectives and outcomes
You can put on the best event in the world, but if the event outcome isn’t aligned with your business objectives, then you’re not getting the most out of your time or investment. Are you looking to entertain, to educate, or to celebrate? Are you trying to generate new leads, or are you hoping to strengthen bonds with existing customers? Knowing what you want to achieve will help to develop a programme that delivers on all your key objectives.
P – Professional photography
This may seem like an unnecessary expense but trust us on this one. Event photography is the gift that keeps on giving, as it can be used to promote future events and to generate both web and social content for your various feeds.
Q – Quips
Where appropriate, injecting light-hearted humour or puns (oh gosh, we love a pun) into your communications breathes life into your content and helps your event feel more approachable to attendees.
R – Ready for anything
On the day, there’ll always be something that you haven’t planned for. If you’re as prepared as possible, then you’ll have the headspace to deal with anything unexpected that crops up.
S – Social media
Generate new attendees by launching targeted adverts across various social media platforms that allow you to reach outside your existing following and connect with new, and relevant, audiences.
T – Theming
Don’t roll your eyes at the idea of theming! Theming can be done terribly, but when done well, it can be oh so effective. You can go as subtle, or as all out as you like, but if you pick a theme – commit to it!
U – Use your team wisely
Know your teams’ individual strengths and weaknesses and assign on-the-day jobs accordingly. Having clearly defined job roles will result in tasks not slipping through the cracks.
V – Vendor support
Channel partners can apply for event funding from the relevant vendors through Marketing Development Funds. Having a vendor presence and sponsorship at your event adds credibility and attracts attendees.
W – Welcome
No attendee wants to arrive to a disorganised and lengthy check-in process. Speed things up with an event check-in mobile app.
X – (e)Xecution
Ok, we’ll admit we struggled with finding something for X, but don’t let that undermine the importance of good execution. If your team are happy and relaxed, there’s a good chance your guests will be too.
Y – YouTube
Events are a great place to generate video content for your business’ YouTube channel. Video content can also be embedded into your website.
Z – Zen
Follow all these steps and you’ll finish your next event with a zen-like state of satisfaction!
Get in touch if you’d like to know more about how you can host IT events that leave people wanting more.
Elly Lee is a Junior Marketing Executive with Asgard Marketing and has extensive experience running events of all kinds and size.