Hosting a successful event is an art that you can master. Even though it is hard to execute when you are new, successfully, it is something that you can perfect if you choose your starting point carefully. Starting with small events. For seasoned event hosts, the need to improve separates the winners from losers.
To be at the top, you need the desire to learn and improve over time. You will meet people who have lovely ideas along the journey. Be ready to learn from them. Sometimes you will have great success, and some other times you will get mediocre results. Thanks to these secrets, you can make it a habit of making your events successful at all times.
Below are the worth-sharing secrets to having a successful event.
Start with proper planning
This is only a secret if you think that running an event is easy. Some people are quick to dismiss other people’s work. They are good critiques when it comes to others. When it is their turn, they crush under the weight of expectation.
You will plan your event because it is not optional. You will also prepare your event because failure to do so is one way of welcoming failure with open arms. A simple plan should suffice, but I am sure if you are reading this, you want more than modest returns. You want to be in control of something beautiful.
The only way to achieve that is through proper planning. You can find many resources that can help you plan. The resources are scattered everywhere online.
Set a theme
The events attract people from different backgrounds. However, the most successful events are not always the most-attended. Good attendance does not mean that you are successful either. Every day you will need to prove yourself all over again. Start with a theme.
A clear theme brings and attracts people who share a thematic topic that you have sent. It also makes it easy to do targeting and specialization. It is also suitable for branding and the future marketing of your brand.
Stay within budget
Make those tough choices that want to eat on your resources without giving you the results that you need. If you are hiring an entertainment group, set a price that you believe is fair. If the cost escalates, look for cheaper alternatives. However, do not water down an event. It might ruin everything else.
Budget deficits can hurt you significantly, especially after the event is over. You might end up with unpaid bills, or losses in the process. It can also cost you your reputation if you are unable to honor your financial obligations. So, ensure that your event is properly budgeted. If not, look for sponsors, partners, or even charge guests to make the event successful.
Get a forecast through reservations
Before the event starts, you will already know if it will be a success or not. If you have enough bookings, the event is likely to be a huge success. If you are struggling to get people on board, you will need to evaluate your value proposition. It is probably not attractive to as many people as you thought. You may need to revise it or step up your marketing and promotion efforts.
People love attending events because it is a chance for them to make meaningful networks. However, rational people will look at the benefits of the event before they pledge to come. So, make it worthwhile for people to come.
Work on the event promotion
How do you promote the event? Do you sell them to the event? Or do you sell them the opportunities that they can harness to make themselves better? The latter is the best approach. Let people subscribe to a specific theme or topic. They will want to go to an event that presents them with an opportunity for them to succeed in their lives. Your event promotion should be all about the value that you propose to offer them. If the value is good, then you will not have trouble convincing the target market.
Utilize social media
Social media usage can turbo-charge your outreach quite easily if it is used effectively. You can gain traction by using industry leaders as key influencers to your campaign. You can also opt to capitalize on the existing social media dynamics, such as hashtags. Give social media some professional touch, such as finding relevant images, infographics, memes, and videos where possible. Consider having a dedicated hashtag if you want to gain traction before and after the event. You can use paid promotions to help you with targeting and outreach.
Consider getting some automation
To make the event a blast, you need to promote it decisively. You can automate routine tasks. You don’t need to make several posts. You can create one blast of emails or social media posts and schedule them. If you are using email, you can automate the whole email marketing campaign, including measuring open and click-through rates.
Find the magnets
Who is attending? Who is speaking? Who are the other delegates? These are some of the questions that most delegates will want to know before they commit. They will call you requesting information about the event. Ensure that you have the magnets that will make people be compelled to show up. So, ensure that your speakers have a significant influence. Also, give a chance to industry disruptors. Don’t be tempted to lie about the attendance of an industry hotshot to sell the event.
Get event security
We are in different times when there are many security threats. Host the event in a secure place where it is easy to monitor entries and exits. If you are hosting a large crowd, you may need event security. Celebrity speakers will also demand extra personal security during large events. Some criminal elements might infiltrate your event if they notice security lapses. Ensuring that everyone is secure is paramount.
Take good advantage of collaborations
Good events are a work of different and complementary teams and groups. If you want to give the event a boost, consider partnerships and collaborations. They help bring the overall cost of hosting the event down. Find partners who share similar goals and aspirations. Finding partners within the industry can work if there is no direct competition among players. Preferably, choose those partners who complement the event.
Research about the kind of event you will conduct
Proper planning involves significant levels of research. If done well, you are unlikely to make rookie mistakes. Understand your audience and their needs. Success is not mostly about attendance; it is also about the impact. If the goal is to have many delegates, you will look for those things that will appeal to the masses. If you want industry leaders to attend, the targeting will be different.
Learn correct targeting
You cannot host everyone in your event. Some events will be private, while others will attract strangers. Successful events will ensure that everyone who attends the can give it a positive review. Your reputation matters as an event host. If your targeting is off, you will have many attendees yawning and wondering what they did to deserve a boring event. Ensure that you screen people at reservations to be sure that you are attracting the right crowd.
Follow-up and get feedback
Follow up helps you improve future events. You can provide delegates with review cards to gather their thoughts. You want them to tell you what was right so that you can repeat those things. You also want them to say to you all those things that they didn’t like so that you can improve on them. You can also do follow-ups to invite the delegates to future events.
Set up professional coordination efforts
An event should be run neatly so that things run smoothly. You want to ensure that there are no gaps. If an event is slated to start midday, most delegates will have arrived by then. You don’t want to keep them waiting. You also don’t want to bore people with unnecessary entertainment. Some entertainment is good, but it should not replace the core of the event.
The trick is to be professional about coordination. Ensure that you have delegated every function to a person so that there are no lapses. You cannot be a one-person show in a big event. You will end up with undone or poorly done things.
Provide a recap of the event
The social media recap is the most preferred option because you can update people in real-time, engage them, receive their feedback, and keep the event alive. However, a professional recap will be great, especially for those who missed the event. You can also consider hosting it live online if you have the resources to do that—high-quality internet and compression tools. At the end of the event, you can provide a detailed report that you can share on your website.
Funding an event is a challenge for most event hosts. Expecting the delegates to foot all the bills might force you to charge an arm and a leg. Sponsors are always willing to come on board as long as there is a viable target market for them. However, do not sell the soul of the event just to get the money. Work with sponsors who add value to your audience. If you are hosting home service technicians, you may take manufacturers’ money as sponsors because they will complement the event with industry-relevant promotions.
Have a contingency plan for every part
Things don’t always work as they should, and it is good to ensure that you look for alternatives. Do not be rigid about the venue, entertainers, and such things. If things fail, you need to have a backup. Some people can fail you at the last minute. So, be ready to snap up another supplier immediately. Do not, however, depend on this approach. Ensure that you have everything at least a few days before the event.
Focus on the perfection of the smallest things
Attempting to make complicated things happen can destroy your chances of hosting a successful event. Instead, focus on making small things perfectly. Make the small refreshments great. You don’t need a bouquet if you cannot afford one. Trying to get cheap options of great things will always land you with crooks or newbies who are not tested.
Make a mock test of your upcoming event
Testing something ensures that you have understood what is likely to happen in reality. At least you will learn about the problems that you are likely to run into. Extrapolate the issues that you encounter during the mock test. You can harness the power of volunteers to set the mood for the upcoming event.
Stay sharp throughout the event
You will need to be on top of your game throughout the event. If you are not, you will end up with lost opportunities. After hosting a great event, most people start soaking in the glory instead of capitalizing on it to make those elusive networks. They also miss an opportunity to lay a foundation for future successes. So, no matter the level of success or failure, stay sharp.
Is there another event that could compete with yours? Is there another venue that could host a similar event? Do you have enough delegates? Is the budget enough? Make sure you answer the questions using evidence. You can support the answers with receipt slips for payments and cleared invoices. Do not assume that you have something unless you have inspected it and are satisfied with its quality and quantity.
A good event is the work of the organization, coordination, planning, execution, and promotion. It is also a work of careful choices about each aspect of the event from the venue to the theme. If you manage to bring together all the resources required to host an event, you have the task of ensuring that those resources are utilized optimally. Ensure that important issues, such as security, are sorted long before the event starts so that all precautionary efforts are successful. Finally, make sure you benefit from the event, too.