When running a business, you always have one eye on the next business opportunity, on the next potential client, on a new way to increase revenues.
Admittedly, most of us will keep this one eye on our screens, and try to be as active on socials as we can, and try to learn more about digital marketing. However, meeting people face to face is still the more powerful way to sell products.
While it is true that these people actually have to be potential customers, or at least leads – not random passersby – there is a way to reach these people and have the opportunity to sell them your ideas, without it becoming too pushy or too salty.
The answer lies in hosting events – people love attending them. There is a catch, however. The event needs to be really well thought out and really well executed. Otherwise, you will not actually be leaving the impression you are looking for.
Here are some of my tips for putting together a great event – based on our most recent one:
Plan on Time
This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you. Depending on how big you want to go, you should start planning at least several months in advance. There will be a space of time where you are actually not doing much – between securing the venue, catering and inviting everyone and the actual execution – but you can’t skip that part in the middle.
All the best places will be booked in advance – especially true of all larger venues, so make sure you start booking on time, and you will have a better shot at doing things right.
Learn to Delegate Efficiently
Every event manager will tell you to delegate – that’s a given. You actually need to find a way to delegate efficiently, if you want things to actually run smoothly.
If you have someone on your team who is good at decorating and paying attention to the minute details – task them with the décor. A people person should be the one doing the calling, the person who is good at negotiating should go talk to venues. Find a task to fit everyone’s personality and skills, and you will that way be sure things are running along better than had you wanted to do it all yourself.
Think Outside the Box
After a few events, all of them will start to blend into one. So if you are someone who has been to five this month, and has five more of the same to look forward to, you will likely not exactly be bursting to invest.
This is why your events need to stand out – and be that much better than the rest.
We tackled this point by taking our event out of town. First of all, this meant inviting a very select few guests. It also meant a bit of a different sort of expense account, but it all worked out marvelously.
We had a splendid night in Prague – and since none of us lives there, we enlisted the help of Prague Every, a local DMC, who was great in handling all the finer points. Needless to say, we did manage to convert a few of our leads to actual paying customers after dinner, so the ROI in terms of spend was great – however, it did take us quite a long time to prep.
Back Things up
As ever in life, something is bound to go wrong. The trick is to convince yourself not to panic, and make sure you have a backup plan. You don’t need to back everything up – but the most important points do need a safety net.
If you are having people speak at the event, make sure someone is ready to jump in, if one of your guests can’t make it. Factor in the weather when choosing the space, and make sure there is an alternative at the ready.
Don’t sweat the small stuff – save yourself the stress.
Rehearsals are Important
Before the actual day, make sure to run a test – at the actual location. See where people are coming and going, foresee potential bottlenecks, and make sure everybody knows where they need to be at what point. This is the only opportunity to see what you may be missing and to devise an actual plan of action for the day itself.
When that time comes, stop planning, and go into event mode – smile, shake hands, and actually enjoy the event. Don’t spend your time thinking about the things that could have been done differently. The time for that is gone, and you should focus on the present, not dwell on the past.