Here’s the dilemma: You need to plan an event, but you have no background in event management planning. Somehow this duty has been thrust upon your shoulders.
Relax. We’re here to help.
Many organizations don’t have a dedicated point-person for event marketing management. Yet, an event can make or break a campaign. Here are some handy tips to help you from planning process through the big day.
Whether your end goal is to get in front of key influencers or present before a group of executives, you’ll want to whiteboard a strategy. Look at your ideal audience, what message will resonate with them and how you are going to measure results. Remember, you’ll have no clue whether your event was a bust or boon unless you have the right metrics.
Once you have your goals outlined, you need to consider how much it will cost to accomplish those goals. Personally, I make a checklist of every single cost item I need to make an event happen. This can include signs, invitations, graphic treatments for the website, food, beverages, music, giveaways, etc. Think back to events you’ve attended and imagine all the little things that were involved. What do you absolutely need and what can you live without? Make up a checklist and start developing an overall price tag.
Are you hosting executives or managers? Is it a presentation or a mixer? Is this event part of your demand generation strategy or about brand awareness?
The answer to these questions should determine when and where your event is held. If you’re targeting busy executives, for instance, you’ll want to plan a fancy breakfast. A networking event is best served in the evening with cocktails. A presentation feels forced in a bar. Better to hold that kind of an event in a hotel or conference room.
Be aware of how our surroundings influence our attention spans and the type of message we expect to hear.
Also, you’ll want to segment your invite list. Marketing automation can help immensely in this case. An invite to analyst event will just junk up a CMO’s inbox. And you’ll want to follow up. Those who have RSVP’d should receive reminders that differ in timing and message than those who haven’t.
Visit the venue the day before your event. Envision how you want attendees to experience the event. What signs need to be in place to avoid confusion? Where should you station staff? Basically, you want to understand what your guests will see from the time they walk into the venue to the registration table to the actual event. Feel matters. And the only way to anticipate how your event will feel is to walk a mile in your guests’ shoes.
Now that we've covered the essentials, I'll leave you with one of the most helpful tips to drive leads. Download the white paper Busting Common Myths of Marketing Automation. With this in hand, you will become equipped to bring marketing automation to your event planning, execution, and follow-up.