Much like the conductor of an orchestra, you have to juggle lots of elements to ensure that come the date of the event, everything is in place. There are lots of individual component parts that require a lot of thought, time and money.
Obviously an event isn’t an event without attendees so the events timing becomes an important consideration. Choose a date too soon and the people/companies invited are likely to have existing commitments, select a date too far away and you could fail to generate interest at the outset. So you’ll need to make allowances so that your own marketing will have a sustained effect.
Today’s marketing environment has numerous channels for generating interest in your event. Social media is currently the most utilised but this often takes a lot of time to build relationships with people and companies. Equally you can’t be certain that the social media account is being directly managed by those you hope to garner interest from, it could be sub-contracted to the client’s appointed external agency. We often find that the traditional direct mail campaign is still very effective, particularly if you’ve taken sufficient time to plan the creative aspect so that it stands out from the usual business mail. Campaigns that are quirky and out of the ordinary are a great way to capture your audience’s attention; in fact we’ve followed up on campaigns and even had others within the department know all about the event when we telephone.
That being said, in you’ll need to plan more than one mailing campaign to overcome other mailings, so continual drip-fed messages work best. People generally need to see something three times before they actually ‘see’ it. We find it’s better to send three mailings to 300 people rather than sending one mailing to 900 people.
This also helps with gathering data, self-qualifying through telephone research is important, but a reduced list makes this task all the more easier. Yes, gathering it yourself will be very time consuming but the quality of the data will be significantly better if those doing the work can spell and type accurately as they build the list. Alternatively, if the data is required for a large campaign you could of course purchase data lists from a data bureau, but remember to take due account of the market/s, their geographical location, company turnover, employee count, position of target and multiple names within each company to improve the quality of your data. This can be faster, but expect to enter dialogue with your selected bureau until you’ve tweaked the data to a level you are happy with. Most professional bureaus will be only too pleased to help here.
Another effective way to allow your event to gather some traction is to secure an event sponsor; a large well respected company can add worth, act as an endorsement and increase the number of people who will see your event. Consider which companies will have something to gain from headlining the event for you, for example they may simply want an increased level of exposure, association with your event if it can elevate their position. They may want an opportunity to network with the guests or to present an award but it’s certain they’ll want something in return.
Then you’ll want to cover yourself through suitable legal agreements for venue hire such as hotel accommodation, food, drink, additional transport etc. Is the event inside or out, if it’s the latter bear in mind fluctuations in the British weather, even in the summer! So if you want a successful event that people will talk about positively, don’t leave anything to chance, make sure when the bookings are taken you provide a set of fair and realistic T&C’s that serve everyone’s best interests. Spending the time to write fully encompassing T&C’s will pay off in the future should it be necessary. Finally, speak to insurers to ascertain that your Insurance is valid for the event and that insurance documents are immediately available to show upon request.
Organising an event is a great way to meet people of similar mentalities but it can be a challenging process that will put additional pressure on you and your teams, but when has anything that’s worthwhile been easy?
In truth, these things take far longer to plan than you might first think, so double or even treble the time if you have a fairly limited number of people to help with the organising, you’ll need every bit of it!
If you’d like to discuss what we could do for you with regards to event planning, please get in touch by calling 01788-815327.