When planning an event, you always want it to be the best it can be. Often, it can be all too easy to get ‘bogged down’ into the logistics and planning, without actually considering the value the event brings to the audience – the delegates. That’s why we’ve put together a list of event planning tip to help you do just that.
An event is created to ultimately bring people together albeit to educate, motivate, exchange ideas, network or develop new strategies. Your delegates are key to an event’s success and if you exceed their needs and expectations, your event will really stand out and be successful.
So, how do you make an event stand out? After all, isn’t a trip to a venue, often with food, overnight accommodation and travel thrown in not enough? Well, actually no. Delegates’ time is precious and asking them to invest time in your event is often an incredible investment. As such, your event really needs to pack a punch of value.
Here are our top event planning tips to making your event really “Stand Out”:
- Firstly, consider your event location. How easy is it for delegates to get to your event? You might have a cracking venue but, if delegates cannot get there quickly and affordably, then your event will quickly disappear. We always identify delegate departure points before commencing a venue find; this way we can source locations that delegates can easily get to within the time frame of the agenda.
- Once your location is identified, look for venues that fit to your agenda and event brief. Always shortlist three locations as there may always be a chance that what you need isn’t available – especially true for larger events. Although this may involve some hard groundwork, the end result will be a venue that suits the agenda but also suits the delegates – see below!
- Understand your audience. Understanding the needs and requirements of your delegates is vitally important and often overlooked. Put yourself in your delegates’ shoes. What is it that they need (and expect) from this event? Do they need motivation, sales education or development?
- Again, putting yourself in your delegate shoes, what does the event journey look like? What will the experience be at the actual event? Will there be free time for emails? Will delegates be able to connect to Wi-Fi? Will there be interaction, networking and social time?
- Considering the above, it’s important to ensure your delegates are given inspirational knowledge. Think about how you will communicate your information. No event should be ‘death by power point’. Rather, think of interactive ways to ‘engage’ with your delegates. Presentations should interact and provide excitement, motivation and interest.
- Use social media! Social media can be used pre event to encourage networking, build excitement and also canvass for ideas and information. It can also be used onsite. We use Twitter for interactive delegate question and answer sessions. This proves a much easier and effective way to gauge opinion, connect with speakers and share knowledge (check out our article in C&IT magazine)
- Embrace online delegate registration and keep it simple! Using online registration allows delegates to access all event information in one central place, whilst allowing for registration in quick, easy steps. Creating complication creates hassle and delegates soon switch off. Keep information simple, concise and to the point!
- Consider enhancing your online presence. One excellent way of doing this is to allow for online networking and appointment scheduling. Give delegates the ability to interact with peers, speakers, exhibiters and sponsors. Allow for networking, appointment making and business making pre, during and after the event.
- Consider having a social element to your event. No one particularly likes ‘forced fun’, but a social programme that includes networking, entertainment, food and a possible opportunity to see the location they are in is always fantastic! Forget treasure hunts…Ban them!
- Invest in an Events Agency. Event Agencies are the pros. They will be able to get under the skin of the event very quickly and help create an event that is both empowering and stands out from the rest. They understand what works and what doesn’t. They have their fingers on new technology which can really enhance the delegate experience. They have access to suppliers and rates that you don’t, which means more bang for your buck and more budget to play with. The cost of using Clearwater Events is nearly always offset by the savings we achieve.
We hope you’ve found our event planning tips helpful. If you’d like to discuss an event with us, or you think we’ve missed something from this list, don’t hesitate to get in touch!