You don’t need to leave business events to the giants of your industry, and there’s nothing stopping you from creating an incredible conference, seminar or other event for yourself. In fact, many small business owners have enjoyed a huge boost from putting on a good show, and it’s a great way to get your name out there – not just within your industry, but also within your local community. That said, it’s important to get your planning right if you want the event to succeed. Here are some clever tips and savvy advice on how to make sure things go off with a bang, not a whimper.
Your business event might have a clear purpose – a store opening or product launch, for example. But the main takeaway here is that there has to be a clear business reason why you are holding it in the first place. Yes, business events and conferences are an opportunity to get your name out there, but there needs to be a goal – or goals – involved.
Are you looking to generate leads? Do you want more exposure for your company’s brand image? Do you need to find new business contacts? Or do you just see it as an opportunity to make some money? All of these ideas are fine, but it is essential that you are clear with your reasoning, or the chances are your event will result in a mess.
First of all, expect to put aside some significant time to the planning and creation of your event. While it can bring a lot of success, it’s not easy – and will take you away from your desk a lot more than you might think. It’s important to establish your limitations, and also to sketch out a basic strategy.
Ask yourself what you want to achieve with the event, and also how you are going to measure success. Finally, look out for your industry’s calendar – and that of your local community. A similar event from a bigger competitor on the same day – or even the same month – could blow yours out of the water.
Find Your Target Audience
You might think you know exactly who you want to come to your event, but it need a a lot of consideration to ensure you define the right people. Make sure you do this first, as everything else will be informed by your decision, from the format and content of the event through to the prices and location.
As http://www.labcreative.ca/never-fear-defining-target-market/ point out, once you have laser-focused on your ideal audience, you’ll be able to talk to them in their language, address their pain points, and fine-tune your event to the smallest detail.
Make A List
Next, it’s time to start thinking about what will make your event a success. Write down everything – even those things you don’t think will be achievable. It’s a wish list that will need to be pruned, but having everything in front of you will help you make wise choices regarding what makes the cut – and what doesn’t. Think about everything from lighting to public transport, and refreshments to the ideal venue. It all counts, and every detail could make or break the conference.
Now, it’s time to start making your bookings. The earlier you start this part of the process, the better. The venue is the most important aspect, as where you host it will define everything else – you don’t want to book a huge guest speaker and end up struggling to find a suitable location. Once the venue is sorted, then you can start making your other plans.
Look for authority figures in your industry who are willing to speak – these are the people that can really help you fill up some spaces. Consider food and refreshments, too – both will need booking up earlier rather than later. Ideally, you will have all this planned at least 2-3 months beforehand, and then it’s a case of starting the marketing for your event.
Order The Small Stuff
Don’t forget to order your promotional materials nice and early, too. A quick look over at customlanyardscanada.com/lanyards/printed-lanyards reveals you can expect a quick turnaround on some products, but it’s best to have everything sorted out early to avoid any last-minute nightmares.
Think about getting branded pens, special t-shirts printed for the event, and maybe even some USB data sticks with some special offer loaded up on them. While your event could raise your profile, it’s these little promotional items that can remind the attendees about you at a later date.
Make A Marketing Plan
Now the planning can really start, and it’s a good idea to sketch out a few ideas of how you are going to market the event. It’s going to be a lot of hard work and effort, but having that plan in front of you will help you tick everything off the list. Ultimately, the more organized your marketing plan, the more successful your event – it’s that simple.
Your first step is to establish why people should come – what problems are you going to solve, or what entertainment will they be unable to resist? Never assume the benefits are obvious, either – you’ll really need to drive home the reasons for attendance in all the marketing materials.
Get The Word Out
Brochures, leaflets and flyers are all a good starting point for getting the word out about your event. Social media is a solid choice, too – presuming you have a healthy amount of engaged followers. But if you really want to get people interested, it’s worth drawing up a list of people and sending them an invitation.
It’s a personal touch that might help people feel more wanted, and a tactic that can often get you great results. Finally, don’t forget to notify the local press and the wider media. If your story and event gets picked up by the papers or industry journalists, it could be a great way of getting some huge publicity.
OK, so there you have it – a very basic plan of action to ensure your small business event goes off with a bang. Good luck – I hope it’s a great success!