The key to successfully growing bigger and better events is to set up what’s called the Marketing Cycle. The first part of the cycle is to promote your event in whatever way you can, such as traditional advertising. The next step is critical. You must collect names and addresses & email addresses when people book. At this point you should confirm their booking, but importantly from your point of view, use it to ask them to tell others.
Brand your Exhibition Stand for Maximum Impact
Rita Davenport had been given a free hand to design and manage an exhibition stand for her company. The Marketing Director had briefed her extensively on the overall idea and left her with an open brief to produce something that would attract customers, dealers and the trade press. Rita walked out of the meeting feeling inspired but not quite sure what to do next.
Once you understand clearly what the sponsor needs the stand to achieve, you can go about the business of designing and branding your presence.
What on earth are trade exhibitions for?
As a Sydney-based exhibition designer, Ove Prado often conducts his own survey of trade shows. He tries to work out, from what he sees, the purpose that each stand is playing in that company’s marketing strategy. All too often, he says, the message is confusing and some designs actually drive customers to walk straight past
Renting space at a trade exhibition, designing a stand, having it built and staffing it for the duration of the exhibition shares some of the essence of running other types of event but differs in some significant features.
Is an event over when it’s finished
As the last delegate left the conference, Quinne McLachlan sat down at her laptop and started to write a review of everything that had happened. She was the event organizer and all through the proceedings she had been taking scribbled notes about the main points of interest, delegate questions that had not been fully covered by presentation material and presenters who had been well-received or those who had courted controversy.
How not to review your event to death
Running a conference, a seminar or a workshop can be great fun. The day of the event is guaranteed to be a hive of activity with all of the arrangements coming together over those few hours. Problems will arise and be solved in one way or another and the delegates will leave in various states of motivation. If this is your first or your one thousand and first event you should never stop learning how to improve the next one. One of the most effective ways to draw out all of the learning points from the entire event is to hold a review meeting after some thorough data gathering including financial analysis and delegate feedback.
Managing the reputation of your event
As a Consultant in Quality and Customer Service, Roberta Meier often attends seminars and workshops as a Mystery Shopper. As well as checking out how well delegates are catered for by the training teams, she also takes great delight in testing how tenaciously event organizers pursue her for her true opinion about their reputation.
If and when they do catch up with Roberta, how do they quantify reputation anyway?
The easiest thing to do is to use the happiness sheets (event evaluation forms) and the post event questionnaires, remembering that this is not a popularity contest but a search for factual information.
Evaluate your event to accumulate profit
If you are running workshops, seminars or conferences like Oslo , Norway based Ulrika Fredrikson you won’t be doing it as a charitable act. Let’s face it, even if you were a charity, you’d have to cover your costs somehow. Ulrika runs a combination of sponsored and paid-for events which improves the ticket price for delegates but increases the pressure on her to fill seats to satisfy the advertising benefit for her sponsors.
Follow up to get quality event feedback
– Well, how did it go? – asked the CEO as he wandered past Siobhan’s desk on his weekly tour of the offices. He was referring to the conference Siobhan had organized and run to involve their industry in standardization guidelines. Although her first impression was that the conference was a real success, she knew that she only had a small proportion of the total feedback. I’m still in the middle of collecting feedback data, admitted Siobhan,but the initial data looks more positive than we hoped. I’ll have the full results at next week’s review meeting.
The workshop was over. The delegates had long gone and Margaret Kerr was recovering with a cup of coffee. The room was strewn with sheets of flip chart paper, the debris of the buffet lunch and countless empty coffee cups covered every horizontal surface in the room. Margaret was drained. The workshop had been a tough one for a trainer; the delegates had all been sharp and smart; they had challenged her knowledge and demanded long explanations of the reasons behind the theories she was asking them to buy into. She looked at the bomb-site that was once an orderly training room and knew she didn’t have the energy to do much more than crawl to her car. After all, she reasoned, the conference center cleaning staff would tidy up, wouldn’t they.
Event management, body language and qualified release
Stuart Burns was having a bad day. Not only had he arrived late for the seminar because of the server problem at work last night, he was finding it difficult to concentrate because of the stream of text messages coming in to his cell phone. He couldn’t bring himself to turn it off just in case something catastrophic was happening back at base so he set it to mute and tried to keep an eye on it while he listened to the presenters. Now the effects of his disturbed sleep were catching up on him and his extreme body language shouted that he was in the wrong place.
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.
It’ll be all right on the night
There was only a week to go before the major product launch and Sara had a concern; a phrase she used when she was shaking in her boots with sheer panic. She had been checking with all of the presenters to make sure that their presentations were well into development, if not complete and, although she had not heard or read them all from end-to-end, she could tell that there was an unacceptable amount of repetition. The audience was in danger of walking out after the first hour if she could not convince these high-flying executives to modify their approach.
Simple Headache Cure For Event Managers
Managing or administering a seminar, workshop, roadshow or other type of event, even the seemingly simple, can provide you with headaches that you never thought possible. Being crystal clear about what you and your company actually needs the event to deliver at the earliest possible stage is critical to so many issues.
Although holding an event like a seminar or a workshop often evolves out of discussions about sales, marketing and even technical issues like product failures, it is almost always critical to establish clearly in everyone’s mind what the true purpose of the event is. This can have a substantial effect on:
Planning Your Next Event: Can All Speakers Talk?
Although it was flattering to receive an invitation to speak on his specialist subject, David Johnson had never presented to a large audience before. He was nervous, not only about the reception his ideas would receive but also about his under-developed presentation skills. The invitation provided him with no help on either topic and asked only for a written version of the talk on disk in advance of the event.
Some seminars are simply a list of guest speakers following one another onto the stage to describe their experiences or to stimulate controversy with a new theory. Other events will invite a single guest speaker to add authority to the subject matter and to give the audience a change of face and a change of pace.
Planning An Event: If You Think You Can’t, You’re Right
It was their company’s first ever breakfast seminar. Sally Thompson had never designed a seminar before. She knew the start time, the finish time and had a list of presentations that had to be made but could she make it fit?
Remember that, for maximum impact, each hour of an event should be divided equally into one third listening, one third discussing and one third doing. So, for every hour you really only need a script for twenty minutes and, if you are using a PowerPoint type presentation, a well-paced speaker will “talk to” one slide of the presentation every 3 minutes on average. You therefore need around 7 text slides each with no more than 7 bullet points to generate a one-hour chunk of the event.
Event Catering; The Most Primitive Form Of Comfort
Nancy did not consider herself to be fussy. She was just trying to eat a healthy diet which included herbal teas. The trouble was; when she attended seminars and workshops, a frequent part of her job, she was always offered coffee in the breaks and rarely, if ever, her chosen beverage. Even when she brought along her own herbal tea bags, the venue could never seem to be trusted to supply boiling hot drinkable water to complete the infusion.
The dietary requirements of your delegates can be very complex. You may have to deal with vegans, vegetarians, fruitarians, those on a raw food diet, those with nut allergies, wheat intolerance, dairy intolerance and, who knows, maybe the occasional carnivore.
Do You Have The Right People To Organize Your Event?
Jenny Jones would never have considered she had any skill when it comes to running seminars. She was just quietly and competently doing her job when she was asked to organize an event to help promote the services that her company provides. Fortunately for her, she recognized instantly that she did not have all of the necessary skills herself and, by borrowing some tips from her recruitment experience, amongst other things, she saved herself from a great deal of stress and put together a team that delivered the goods, and more.
Conferences and Events: Don’t Agonize, Organize
Planning paralysis was creeping up on Phil. Every time he looked back at what needed to be done to complete the event successfully, he found himself tinkering; changing and adding activities that did not really add any value to the event he had been tasked with managing. He had to grab hold of this project and move it along.
Once the planning is done and you have your team, a venue and a workable framework for the timetable; it’s time to get organizing. As the event manager the buck stops with you but that doesn’t mean that you have to do everything. Make sure you delegate tasks and activities effectively and you will end up being less stressed and more productive.
Selecting The Right Venue For Your Next Event
We’re running a conference in three months”, said the CEO, “Find me a really good venue and make sure we don’t break the bank”. So, in around twenty words, you’ve been promoted (or demoted) to Event Manager. You may have little or no experience in this field and training is definitely on-the-job and it starts now!
Just about everyone with space to rent is into providing a venue for all types of event. You can choose from purpose built training facilities, hotels, mansions, castles, conference halls, exhibition centers, art galleries, museums, universities and colleges. You can be sure that every one will be different and will have its own particular attributes that will make it attractive for your event.
I Remember Going To The Event But I Don’t Remember Much Else.
Hey, Jack! That seminar I sent you to last week? Any chance you can give us all an overview at the team meeting?” Jack’s boss had just delivered his worst nightmare. Not only had the event been tedious and disjointed, he couldn’t find the paperwork to remind himself of the key points and his memory was not providing any brilliant clues.
Ted had been to events before where he could not get satisfactory answers to his questions and was disappointed that he could not get to grips with the theories that were being promoted.
Who Do You Blame If They Learn Nothing At Your Seminar?
Ted, Alice, Pete and Rita are all attending the same seminar. They all expect to learn something, after all that’s why they are there. Trouble is they each have very individual and different ways of learning, so this seminar had better take this into account or some of them may come away disappointed.
Ted had been to events before where he could not get satisfactory answers to his questions and was disappointed that he could not get to grips with the theories that were being promoted.
Is Structuring An Event Like Building With Jelly?
Designing the timetable for a workshop, conference, roadshow or seminar when you have never done such a thing before may seem like juggling jelly but you can take some tips from the professionals and make your event a real success.
There is nothing too technical about designing a timetable for a half-day or one-day event. All you really need to do is look at it through the eyes of the delegates.
For example a breakfast workshop might provide the following experience: