Hosting a business event top tips
Tips For hosting a business event
Five key things to consider when hosting a business event
By Katie Mallinson – Scriba PR
For many companies, at some point in their lifetime a decision will be made to stage a corporate gathering. This could be a one-off occurrence or lead to a regular stream of such days – either way, it should be carried out effectively to ensure high numbers, return on investment, and a worthwhile venture for those in attendance.
Here are five key things to consider before starting out…
Be clear on the purpose
There will be a reason why the event is being held, for example to attract new business, generate sales, boost your brand or even launch something new. Whatever the motive, this should be at the forefront of the planning process, as this will help dictate the venue, the number of people you wish to have in attendance and the format.
The reason also needs to be communicated to all staff and other volunteers – or outside event planners – who are helping to run it. Having everyone onboard and understanding the overall aim is a key element in making sure it is a success.
Ensure a plan is in place
The best time to start preparing depends on the scale of the project, but promotion of the event needs to begin around six to eight weeks before – so the sooner you can, the better.
The earlier you get going, the more likely you are to get the venue of your choice, acquire a decent caterer, ensure more ‘bums on seats’ and secure a guest speaker or equipment hire – such as a social media wall.
Once your plan is clear, it also enables the smooth delegation of all relevant responsibilities involved in the lead up, and the day itself.
Maintain strong levels of communication
To ensure a successful event, communication is key. Maintain this at all times – holding quick and regular catch-up meetings and sending daily emails to everyone involved – to ensure there are no last-minute issues which could damage your reputation.
Never assume that everyone is on the same page and up to speed. As well as face-to-face meetings, having a regular ‘live’ point of discussion, such as an online messenger channel, is a great way of preventing any mishaps. Speakers may cancel, the caterer may be ill, but as long as the communications strategy is strong, these are issues which can be dealt with.
This doesn’t need to be complex, but it’s key.
Prepare for all eventualities
Although it isn’t possible to plan for every possible thing that could occur on the day – there may be a last-minute problem with the trains for example – there are some which you do need to think about, just in case.
If you are using technology during the event, ensure you have contact information for – or attendance of – the providers of this at all times, in case of any connectivity/electrical issues which may arise, for example during a speaker presentation. You don’t want a lack of digital knowledge to ruin your hard work.
Should a speaker cancel on the day for any reason, ensure you have a contingency plan in place. It may also be possible that last minute delegates turn up without a space and wish to join the event. Rather than turning these people away, allowing people to register on the day is a good idea – so have some spare chairs available and ensure you order extra food when doing the planning!
You may think your event has gone amazingly well, but unless you get feedback from all delegates, you don’t really know if that is the case.
For that reason, always provide a feedback form. As well as showing your attendees that you actually do care about what they thought, it enables you to work on any negatives and help when preparing for next time.
Often, the first event you hold will be a major learning curve. Don’t put it off, stick to the key tips – but most of all, enjoy it!