Easing delegates into the event

Attending a major conference in a big city like London was a daunting prospect for Geri Hunter. She was always pretty nervous about these events anyway, although she realized the enormous benefit she received from networking and keeping up to date with the latest trends. The recent terrorist bombings didn’t add much to her peace of mind either.

Because you won’t know exactly what frame of mind your delegates are in as they await the beginning of the event, it is important that the presenters opening words orientate the audience to the reasons for holding the event. They should refer back to the original objective and should cover the following:

Don’t neglect those seminar rituals

Once everything is in place for your seminar, workshop, conference or other event and all of the finishing touches have been applied to the main venue room, make a point of testing the delegate experience. Run a presentation or a video on the screen and try out seats in all corners of the room to check for screen and text visibility. Test the sound level at the furthest point from the stage and remember to compensate for the deadening factor of the audience. You will also want to find areas that you feel may be problematic once the audience has arrived so that you can quickly make adjustments.

Event delegates are lifetime friends

Customer relationships are meat and drink to Gary Chapman, he runs a consultancy company that trains and informs corporate organizations about Customer Relationship Management (CRM). His company runs public seminars around the country on a weekly basis, dealing with thousands of delegates every year; here is his advice to you if you are planning a similar event.

Profit from your event – define your payment rules

Frank Richards is a Business Management Consultant who specializes in Service Level Agreements. Last month he ran four seminars in major Australian cities but he’s finding that the ticket money does not cover his costs.

In these days of instant payment you would believe that the problem of unpaid registration fees is a negligible issue. Unfortunately the days of instant payment do not coincide with the days of red-tape-free purchase ledger

Nobody ever knows they got joining instructions

It’s true! Ask any delegate whether they got their joining instructions and they’ll look at you blankly. If you explain that we sent you a letter describing the event and how to get here; a small glimmer of light starts to burn. This piece of event jargon is one of the few technical terms that delegates don’t really need to know about.

To give your delegates complete confidence that your event is well organized and that their every need has been considered, it is well worth the preparation time to design comprehensive joining instructions. Not only should this limit the number of calls and emails to clarify small details about the event, it will also help to orientate the delegates to the venue and the overall shape of the event before they arrive.

Managing registrations and payments for an event

In a company of 25 people; putting on a marketing event and charging an entry fee could give the event administrator a severe headache. Patricia Thomson was in this position only last week. Her normal job of Marketing Assistant still had to run while she organized the seminars and she realized she could be handling hundreds of enquiries over the period. This was their first venture into this type of event and the company’s accounts department was not really set up for a mass influx of small payments.

Does your event have a big enough door?

As soon as you have planned, designed, organized and advertised a workshop, roadshow, seminar or event that works well, your next priority is to get people through the door. The best advice you will ever receive about putting actual bums on seats at your event is to charge an attendance fee. Those with long experience of running events know this is very basic psychology. If you have to pay for something, it must have value. If something is free it is, by definition, valueless and, even if you book a place, there is no loss if you fail to turn up.

The art of free event advertising?

Jo knew that events could be advertised in the Trade Magazines linked to her company’s line of business but, as a newcomer to event organization, with a non-existent advertising budget and with no marketing expert at her elbow; where should she begin?

Some of the best advertising you can get is editorial written about your event or your company. Print media like trade journals, magazines and newspapers are often looking to fill their pages and you may have noticed that articles about companies and their activities are often surrounded by advertising for related businesses.

Marketing an event is easy…right?

– What advice do you have about marketing an event to achieve a successful outcome? – Maggie was a veteran in event organization terms. Andy was a novice and he had approached her to try to avoid what he believed were elephant traps waiting for him.

– If you are running an event as a profit-making activity – Maggie began – then it is vitally important that you maximize the attendance. Where the event is educational or promotional, you should keep a keen eye on covering your costs which generally means that there will be a minimum audience at a certain ticket price. To ensure that your event enters the consciousness of your target audience you need to know who they are and something about their reading, watching and listening habits. This sounds really technical but it’s mostly common sense.

Product placement makes events memorable

The CEO had just breezed through the office for his monthly back-office visit. Stopping briefly at Charli’s desk, he seemed to be mesmerized by the pumpkin shaped stress ball that had been sitting on Charli’s printer since she came back from the team-building seminar. The discussion soon turned to one about the value of team-building and how the CEO had been considering something similar for the senior managers.

– So, what was the name of the provider for your team building, Charli? – the CEO asked.

– Umm, I think it’s printed on the stress ball. – observed a relieved Charli.

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