A great way to nurture and maintain good relations with your customers is to organise an event. In addition to strengthening existing relationships, it also offers a perfect opportunity to invite potential customers. Make sure that you offer your guests something special and memorable! It is a golden opportunity to let customers take in your message in fun and informal ways.
You have control over what results you want your event to create. If you put on a good event, with memorable experiences for the visitors, you create good opportunities to place your business in the guests' top of mind. Read this article to get invaluable tips on how to ensure a successful event.
Before the event
Define the concept of the event
Determining the concept for your event is the first step because it will govern the entire design process. What type of event you should invest in depends to a large extent on your target group and the purpose you have with the event. Are you going to arrange a trip or launch a new product? Or is it about offering your customers a simple mix and mingle to strengthen your relationships? A successful event should entertain the visitors, as well as develop your business in a positive direction.
To achieve this, you should start by thinking about the following points:
- Who are we? Reflect on your brand, the tonality of the brand and the promises it contains. This should be the starting point in the planning.
- What type of message do we want to highlight. Consider what is important right now. A new product? An update of an existing one? Is it about a presentation of the half-yearly report, or mostly about attracting new customers?
- Who is our target group. Reflect on who your target group for the event is and what type of characteristics they have. It is essential to know this in order to design a good and relevant event.
Be sure to plan properly!
If you feel clear about the purpose of the event, it is high time to start planning both the operational and the strategic parts of it. An operational plan should include how, when and by whom everything is to be done, and it is a plan which should be revised and adjusted continuously throughout the process. The strategic planning should instead focus on the guidelines for and goal of the event. To get everything to run smoothly, communication between all parties is key.
Who should do what?
This is about breaking down all the different parts of the event and thinking about how everything should be communicated. Who is to say what during the presentation? What type of invitation will be sent out and who will fix it? Will there be any advertising? Are you going to send out information by newsletter? Make sure you have included all the parts and then distribute the tasks at an early stage. Show sensitivity and ensure that everyone’s planning is consistent with the overall concept. Then decide who will have ultimate responsibility and make a ranking for who comes after that, and in what order. Also, assign a contact person that guests can contact before, during and after the event.
Develop a running schedule
A running schedule should make clear who is responsible for what and when and how to act. All timings should be included, even though they are often not kept to in full. The important thing is that you are ready for it.
Venue and permits
Be out in good time when booking the venue, and be realistic when you decide on its size. It should not be too small or too large for the purpose. Depending on the size of your event, different types of permit may be needed. Check out, for example, if the venue has the required fire rating, and find out if you need authorisation from the emergency services. Sometimes it may also be necessary to do something about the traffic situation outside the venue.
Invitations and reminders
An invitation that comes two weeks in advance is far too late. You need to be out in good time, and two months before the event is not unreasonable planning to aim for. The guests must have the chance to book the event in their diaries in good time. Also, you should make sure that the invitation lets the guests understand what is expected of them. How much does it cost and what is included in the price? Is there a dress code to adhere to? Should they prepare a presentation of themselves or their company? It is also good practice to send out reminders a couple of weeks before the event.
Don’t forget the programme!
The guests would like to know what times apply for the evening. Make a programme where you list the main features with their approximate times. Then remember that the times you specify in the programme are the most important ones to keep to during the event. It is a good idea to try to ensure that a programme is sent with the invitation.
During the event
Food and drink - often among the most important details
For some attendees, the food is the most important thing about the event. They should therefore not have to wait too long. Make sure that you serve the food at the times that you have stated in the programme, and also keep an eye on how the drinks are served. You need to ensure that there are alcohol-free alternatives to offer, as many people travel by car when they go to a business event. It is good if the alcohol-free alternatives feel lavish and splendid.
Help the guests feel comfortable with their choice
Some people have difficulties deciding if they should go to an event or not. Sometimes they are bound by what others think or decide. By inviting their managers and partners, you make it easier for them to come, because they do not have to take the decision themselves. In addition, you get the opportunity to influence more people who have the right to make decisions.
Give all the attendees your attention
This is a difficult point, because you will probably be stressed, nervous and focused on making sure everything runs smoothly. Don’t get caught up in tunnel vision, try and wind down. Take the time to talk calmly and in a dignified manner with all the attendees and be sure to look them in the eye. Make each person feels seen and welcome. You gain a lot that way!
After the event
Be sure to evaluate it!
The best way to find out how it went is by measuring the results. In this way, it will be easier to make the right choices and tailor your next event to be even more successful. Don’t feel uncomfortable about daring to ask your guests for feedback. You have given them food, drink and entertainment. It is only natural to ask that guests should now give a little back in the form of their thoughts and opinions.
Give attention after the event, as well
It is only after the event that the results of your efforts can begin to show themselves. It is now that business begins to be discussed and your company is talked about. Therefore, make sure that you give attention to those who participated after the event, as well. Send a card and thank them for their participation, or confirm that you would also like to invite them next year. Do something that makes them feel noticed. With our online event planner software Magnet, you can get help with everything from creating and sending invitations to managing ticket sales, payment solutions and check-in of participants.