Whether you are planning one event or 100, you need an event strategy. This keeps you on track while providing a roadmap as you move forward. A good event strategy can help you create something stunning that will leave your customers wanting more. However if your event strategy is found wanting, you are likely to end up with an event that overspends and underperforms. So how do you put together a great event strategy for 2018? The experts at Glaziers Hall are here to help.
Make A Goal
The first step is to identify your goals. If you don’t know where you are going, you will never know when you get there. Try asking yourself why you are organising an event. If the answer is “I don’t know” you have some work to do. An event can generate leads, foster customer relationships, engage with potential employees or improve brand recognition. Whatever your goal, make sure it is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Results-Oriented). Once you have a goal to aim for you can start to move forward.
You have your goal, now you are ready to start planning your events. Before you get too carried away though, make sure you know how you are going to measure your success. You need a way to benchmark your event. The best way to do this is by setting specific KPIs for each event and the event planning process. For instance, you may want to have an event website up and running no later than two months before your event takes place. You may also want to set a goal for the number of registrations your event will receive. You should make sure your KPIs are well defined and understood by your entire team. That way everyone knows what you are working towards and what success looks like.
Budgeting and Supplies
Your next step is to look into how much budget you have and what you need. If you are planning an event at the 02 Arena and you only have a budget of £1,000 you are in trouble! The best way to work out your budget and supplies is to make a list of what you need with cost estimates. Once you have that you have an idea of the minimum pricing for your event. You can compare that cost to your budget and make adjustment where necessary. If you skip this step you are likely to go over budget or forget a crucial piece of the event.
Marketing Your Event
With the groundwork laid you can now start to plan your actual event. That means booking venues and interviewing caterers. But alongside all that you need to be thinking about your audience. Your event can be perfect but if no one is there to see it, you just threw yourself a very expensive party. Your event will need a website, social media outreach, a hashtag and outreach on behalf of your sponsors. That is not a complete list but you get the idea. An event needs good marketing well in advance to be a success. You need to identify your target audience, find out the best channel to reach them (often referred to as finding their watering hole) and then start engaging.
Creating a Buzz
The last step covered the basics of marketing an event but the best events go further. If you have an email list of people you would like to attend, let them know about your event. Just make sure your website is live first. Before your event website even goes live you can start to build buzz by posting a blog about the event on your company website. You can also send out press releases to all of the applicable news organisations. Other great ways to build buzz are social media advertising, video advertising or viral videos and influencer marketing.
The Run-up To The Event
Once the event is planned and the marketing is done, there is still no time to rest. In the few days before the event, you should be sending out reminder emails, hitting social media hard and pushing out advertising through all of the channels you want to target.
The Day Of The Event
When the day of your event finally arrives you want to be ready. The first email your customers receive on that day should be a welcome message from you. It needs to have contact and location info, itineraries and insight. Basically it should be a one stop shop for everything they will need to navigate your event. If you are using an app as well for you events you should encourage people to download that as soon as they register but send them a remind of the app on the day of the event.
Another necessity is social media monitoring. If guests are having problems at your event, they will turn to social media to vent and they will probably use your hashtag. If you are monitoring social media you can catch any issues early and solve them. You can also engage with influencers and generally seem more connected to your attendees.
The Day After
Your amazing event is finished but you are not! Make sure you send out a thank you email to all of your guests and don’t forget to encourage them to attend your next event.
It is also important to look at your event analytics. You set goals, tracked your progress and measured everything you did. Now it is time to put all that great data to use. Analyse your data to see if you met your goals, which channels were most effective at reaching your audience and what part of your event is generating the most buzz. All of this info can be used to make your next event more successful so don’t waste it.
Congratulations On A Great Event
Now you are done with your event and you can rest. At least until you need to start planning for your next big event.
However, if all of that seems a bit overwhelming, Glaziers Hall can help. Our event experts can help you streamline the events planning process. Call us today to find out more.