Those who attend, but do not plan events, are rarely aware of the millions of details that must come together in order to make them happen. It is a real test in sanity to successfully put an event into motion and not get lost in the planning. Even the best of us can at times, feel overwhelmed and out of touch.
With this in mind, it is always a good idea to get back in touch with some of the more important checklist items that make a good event a great event. As well these thoughts will help lesson the surprised that are sure to show up whenever a meeting planning is going on.
Over the next couple of blogs I will share with you some VERY IMPORTANT meeting planning items and to-do’s that you have to always keep on the radar and not allow to get lost in the shuffle.
- The Why: First the purpose of your meeting must be determined. An event for your top salespeople, for example, is a way of saying thank you while also giving then an incentive to keep up the good work. Another purpose of such an event might also be a company update. Another meeting purpose may be to announce a new product or service, but other objectives for this meeting may be education and to attract a new audience. Whatever the purpose(s) of your meeting may be, make sure these stay top of mind.
- Bad Budgeting: Be sure to include all those sometimes hidden or not as apparent fees, especially those those associated with travel (luggage fees, transfer fees, shuttles, etc) and lodging (resort fees, wifi, etc). Also don’t forget to capture items like insurance, printing, shipping, taxes and tips! Remember to also have an “emergency fund” in the case of unforeseen issues. Even the best of the best planners have come up against situations that no one could have avoided.
- On Stage: If you will be hiring a speaker or entertainer it is paramount that you have seen their act before, or they at least come very highly recommended – check references! A good presenter will have a reliable history with many kudos and positive testimonials to share. A speaker may be wonderful, but if they do not align with your objectives than you only create confusion. Think of how the speaker and their presentation aligns with your overall meeting objectives and that they match your attendees’ tastes and have the potential to exceed their expectations.
- Field of Dreams: Build it and they will come may work for the movies, but in real life you need to market your meeting. You want your meeting to stay top of mind, to meet the needs of your market and to lend value to the attendees. Market to those that always attend in order to remind them why they come back again and again, market to those who have attended in the past to show them what they may have missed in meetings past and that they do not want to miss again and market to new audiences to show them how you are what they are missing, that you fill in a much needed space in their world, so you can continue to grow your brand. Ideally the contact info you have and collect includes the basics like name, phone number and such, but also emails and social media credentials.
- To Market We Will Go: In order to market effectively, you need a plan – and without a well thought out plan your marketing will fall short. Create a countdown leading up to your event, complete with target dates and goals. You’ll want to decide on which platforms to utilize and use each to create a number of touches. Consider direct mail, email, social media platforms, telephone, and more. Meet your possible attendees where they are and create a holistic web of places to be and be seen.
In my next blog we will talk some additional marketing points and more!