Ten recommendations for planning, organizing and holding an event:
- Innovate, be creative, think differently. Since most of your listeners will have attended dozens of conferences and events, make yours memorable.
- Make sure that participants socialize and participate in networking because one of the main goals is to help them interact and get to know each other. And since it’s always hard to “break the ice” and meet new people, consider organizing dynamic sessions and/or harnessing the power of “gaming” (Integrate game mechanics into a meeting or event for real pleasure can bring strength, impact, and concentration).
- Get to know your audience and tailor the message and content of the event to them. The people who attend your event are your customers, so you need to know them well in order to offer them an experience that meets their expectations. In addition, you should always have a question period after each presentation or session.
- If you have little or no experience in event planning, join a qualified professional with a long history of success in the industry and have experience but do not want to spend money to hire a professional, there are literally thousands of tools on the web designed to help you plan every aspect of your event.
- Establishes clear objectives and methods for measuring success and return on investment (ROI).
- When it comes to choosing a location, check their Wi-Fi network. Having Wi-Fi does not mean it’s a robust and reliable network. And speaking of the Internet, if you can not offer it for free to participants, consider providing free basic bandwidth and, for those who need it, quality paid service.
- Include sustainable initiatives or CSR in the event program: despite the extra effort, you will be surprised how important they are to a growing number of people.
- As soon as a firm decision is made to organize the event, make sure that an attractive and informative website about the event is launched as soon as possible (including PC, mobile and tablet versions) and put updated regularly; The Internet is the most powerful marketing tool you have.
- It harnesses the power of social media to promote the event before it happens and to extend its lifespan
- Record videos of the exhibition space, with interviews of exhibitors and visitors, which can then be posted on the event’s official website, as well as on their profile on social media, to show people who could not attend what they missed.
The 10 things not to do when organizing an event
Ten mistakes that should not be made in planning, organizing and holding an event:
- Do not pay for internet access, parking or lunch, as these extra fees are very irritating. Participants hate having to pay separately for internet access, parking, coffee, etc., so make sure the registration fee covers everything.
- Do not just talk about yourself and/or the beauty of your event, because its success will depend largely on the delegates /assistants/guests and that’s why you have to stress it.
- Do not go too far with the maxim “do more with less”. If there is no budget for a face-to-face event, organize a virtual event; it’s always better than giving a bad impression, and do not always accept the cheapest budget to rent a space or rent services. As for used cars, the cheapest is almost never the best.
- Do not forget to inform participants if you decide to implement sustainable initiatives; their active participation is very important.
- Do not forget to ask participants about their dietary needs; at major international events, there will surely be vegetarians, people with dietary restrictions for religious or health reasons, etc.
- Do not rely solely on volunteers to meet the staffing needs of your event. Although they are usually very willing to help you, you will also need a team of competent and reliable professionals.
- Do not always choose a trendy but noisy space for your networking events; many people really want to be heard over the clutter; and do not organize social programs without options, because not everyone likes paintball or yoga.
- Do not improvise the day of the event; almost no one will thank you.
- Do not overload participants with too much-printed material. In the age of the Internet, paper information is already out of date and will surely end up in the trash anyway.
- Do not forget to follow up after the event; Feedback is vital to the success of the event.
- Determine the main purpose of the event.
- Identify the target audience and decide on the message to be transmitted.
- Decide who will plan the event, whether it will be internal or external.
- Preselect at least two dates for the celebration of the event.
- Establish a program (preliminary agenda) for the event.
- Define the promotional strategy, if any.
- If the organization needs to be external, prepare a detailed budget request.
- Send a first notice to potential participants.
- Study the proposals before hiring.
- Hold (in person, by videoconference, etc.) a meeting with the contracted event agency to finalize the details.
- Be in permanent contact with the contracting agency.
- Design a detailed program for the preliminary organization, identify and assign tasks.
Choose the space and make an inspection visit, especially if you do not know the place and/or destination. Make sure space has everything you need: audio-visual, Wi-Fi, support staff, catering, and more. If not, make a list of things and/or people to hire.
- Negotiate rates for accommodation, support staff, food, transportation and accommodation, food, additional activities (spouse and recreation, entertainment, etc.), as applicable.
- Design, develop and launch an adapted website with a registration system and, if applicable, an application for the event. It may be necessary to use a specialized company to perform both tasks.
- Keep the website up-to-date with recent content (reviews, news, videos, etc.).
- Hire keynote speakers and send invitations to the press
Send a second notice to potential participants, including details of the event and, if applicable, the registration process.
- Start preparing the forms, if necessary.
- Ensure the event (at least against civil liability) and the security of the contract, if necessary.
Prepare a plan for unforeseen situations.
- Make the final list of participants a few weeks before the event.
- Confirm all reservations and check all details.
- Specify the registration procedure on the site, if any.
- Close the accounts.
- Thank the sponsors, speakers, personalities, etc. for their collaboration.
- Publish photos, short videos, and testimonials on the event website to maintain interest in the event.
- Start planning the next edition.