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.

She found that her role as coordinator throughout the event gave her time to watch both the presenters and the audience. All of the carefully planned elements of the conference could be tested and she could gauge whether they produced the effect that was expected.

The results of a successful (or disastrous) event can be as much of a marketing tool as the event itself. Writing up the proceedings may be something that you have promised delegates anyway but don’t miss an opportunity to send a summary to trade publications and other interested media. If you have the opportunity to include case studies of delegates experiences before, during and after the event, this adds the extra human interest angle to the story.

Use the event branding and produce a range of versions of the event outcomes for different audiences.

Produce a one page press release that can be circulated to all of your chosen media contacts. If you don’t have any contacts yet, here is a short list to get you started:

• Editors of trade publications

• Editors of local press

• Editors of local current affairs TV and radio

• Editors of national press

• Editors of national current affairs TV and radio

If you have a marketing or PR department, they may want to manage this process.

• Produce an edited version to be circulated to delegates.

• Produce a full version for your company archive and also to be published on your organization’s website.

Celebrating success

The very last but definitely the most important task you will have is to celebrate the success of your event with your event team. Organizations vary in the way that they do this. Surprisingly, some companies don’t celebrate success at all but you will want to encourage your team to work with you again. So, make a point of popping a bottle of bubbly, having a blow-out meal, passing round the chocolates or chilling at the local spa. Whatever you choose don’t forget to say a big thank you for the long hours and the unending skill and patience everyone brought to the event.

Quinne typed the last full stop on her laptop. The conference summary made excellent reading. She was sure she could get some space in the trade press and get some good forward publicity for their next round of conferences.

Finding the rest of the conference team, she helped them with the last of the tidy-up, and, remembering that an army marches on its stomach, she invited them all to a blow-out supper at a local hostelry.

© 2011-

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