One of the most rewarding things about working as a creative is that the job allows us to use our imagination and the RIGHT side of the brain to the fullest!
Our team at Refined love to get involved in event management – big or small, we will make sure your event leaves a lasting impression on your audience.
An event – whether it’s face-to-face or a webinar – is a great way to connect with your industry, retain customers and, of course, ultimately generate business.
Over the years, I think it’s fair to say many industries have seen a change of behaviour with how much time people are willing to give up to attend. A contributing factor to poor event attendance is easy to access digital resources and an increase in networking online. Both have proved to make things challenging when you are encouraging attendees to your event.
Throughout this blog, the Refined Team have noted a few things for you to consider when planning your event.
Engaging with your audience on both an industry interest and emotional level is the goal for any successful event regardless of whether you are hosting an event or sponsoring an industry seminar. When you are designing your objective, remember that your audience doesn’t want to hear a sales pitch – thought leadership is the key.
Let’s go back to basics!
Your audience needs to hear a consistent story from your brand, one that explains why they would choose to engage with your business. We say this all the time but will repeat it here – like with any marketing investment you make, ensure you align your events with your business strategy and marketing plan.
When planning events, sometimes we can get over-excited about promotional items or after parties forgetting the initial objective that we initially set out to achieve. We encourage you to work with the sales team and set measurable goals such as the number of attendees, follow-up meetings and new business. Agreeing and making a plan at the start will help you measure the ROI after the event; subsequently supporting your strategy, especially if you choose to repeat the event in the future.
Our team at Refined are excited to share with you our top tips and industry tools we use to support our client’s events;
Research is essential in every aspect of event planning. In particular, your area of the market, ensuring that your event is on-trend with the interests of the industry. Your research will pave the road to staying on budget and making sure your event is a successful one.
2. Clear brief
A clear brief will help when working with the broader business and getting your planning underway.
3. Assign an events team
Internal onboarding helps for an event to be successful. By choosing the right team to support the event, you will encourage others in the business to get involved.
4. Event Goal and Objectives
Establish a tangible goal and objectives you want to achieve – this will help when reviewing the ROI for the event.
Define an agreed budget from the start, which aligns with your marketing plan; this will make decision making a lot easier!
6. Set a Date
Sounds so simple…I almost left it out, but setting a date early shows commitment and will give you time to plan.
7. Create a timeline
Once your date is set, you can start putting the timeline together. Like any project an event has deadlines to adhere to. A few items you may include; collateral printing, a communication plan, decision making for catering, a cut-off date for RSVPs.
8. Promote your event /audience
Promoting your event will start with your initial save-the-date and or invitation. It is essential to get the invitation right. With compelling content to hook your guests in, they will want to come to your event.
Stage your communication over a few weeks to entice your attendees and keep them interested. Your comms may include a nurture email campaign, with agenda descriptions, an introduction to the key speaker, and a designated landing page on your website with a countdown. Remember to tie in your social media platforms to widen your reach.
9. Follow up & Evaluation
After the event aim to follow a robust communications plan. The days following the event are the most important for business generation. Your attendees have you fresh in their minds; they are excited and want to learn more. Carry on the conversation, arrange an appointment with the attendee, or send out an invite to a follow-up event. Creating some added value content for after the event works well and keeps the attendee hooked This could include a piece of resource which the attendee will appreciate from the event. The one big mistake is to do nothing!
Refined Marketing use a few tools to help us create the best we can for our clients;
Trello is an app which is so simple, but genius! A great looking project management tool which works on adding cards to a shared board, so everyone can see what needs doing, the stage of progression, and what has is completed. Trello can be used from your phone, tablet etc. so there is no excuse for your events team to miss any deadlines.
A free cloud-based email marketing platform, which is so easy to use!
The platform has reporting software to track analytics of your email campaign and versatility to integrate with your other online tools, including Google Analytics.
One of our favourites and another free tool! Eventbrite is excellent, and we highly recommend it. Managing an event can be stressful, especially with a high volume of attendees that have multiple dietary requests!
Make things simple and save hours of time, headaches, and potential loss or duplicated data.
If you need help to plan a successful event then please get in touch – our team are waiting to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org