According to a report from the International Association of Conference Centres, “Meetings objectives have stayed the same, but the physical design, inclusion of technology, and emphasis on ‘experiences’ will play an integral role.”
In our previous blog, we showed you ways to structure your budget and strategic event partnerships. After the budget has been put together, action items need to be created to ensure the event starts taking shape. In the third part of the blog series, we show you how to mould the perfect event by narrowing down on possible venues and initiating marketing efforts.
Site surveys help you understand what aspects need to be fulfilled and tell you what the event planners deem most important. Events venues need to facilitate productivity and interactivity. For this reason, the choices of event venues have a direct impact on the environment. When your site survey, ask pertinent questions. Have a sit-down with vendors and take their inputs on what their necessities are and what they need to know. Ensure your questions are not in the gray.
Once you have all the information you need, make a dream list of venues that fit your event’s criteria. Collect feedback and start converting them into specific action items to double check at venues. Schedule site visits. If need be, take vendors along so that they have a more visual feeling of the venue. This will help them plan their stations better.
Narrowing down on the venue
Start the process of inclusion or elimination based on what you have visualized. Keep in mind what you have learned from vendors and your site survey, and condense your list to one choice that fits all your requirements.
Ensure it has enough space to accommodate your estimated audience and has ample parking space. And finally, do a litmus test to see if it qualifies visually, physically and acoustically. Once you feel that the venue fits the bill, read through the contract thoroughly. Make sure you are in complete agreement with the terms and conditions of the venue.
Now that you have most of your framework in place, marketing efforts need to come together to put your event out there. Start with an effective email campaign. Attendees will find it easier to RSVP and send in their responses through online media. You will also find it easier to validate responses and plan your event based on projected versus the actual attendance. If your event requires ticketed admission, identify ticketing partners and start ticket sales immediately.
Using the right channels
The first step is producing an effective landing page and/or website where attendees can obtain information, gauge the event and purchase tickets. Next, map your demographic. Use channels that not only offer opportunities in terms of reach but help you effectively target your audience. Organize a Twitter and/or Facebook campaign to gather publicity and use the email campaign to supplement it. Do not be afraid to stray from the conventional. If it plays to your advantage, utilize an ambush marketing campaign to gather momentum.
Building your story
The primary aim is to invoke a sense of anticipation and intrigue. Give your event a cause that audiences can relate to. Showcase what your event is going to involve and consistently spread the word with the website and social media. Appeal to influencers in your industry. If done right, they will not only feature you in their articles but may even act as advocates for your cause.
Working with the Press
Last, but certainly not the least, get the press involved early. Tie up with media partners to make sure your event is covered sufficiently. Good press initiatives will help highlight your build-up activities. They would especially want to be present if your event is tied-up with NGOs or community reach programs. Lastly, draft a press release and pass it over to those members who cannot make it.
Millennials are more interested in a multi-sensory experience rather than attending a few mundane presentations. They are more likely to attend an event that offers them an immersive and interactive phenomenon than they are to a monolog demonstration. For this reason, choosing a venue for your event cannot be taken for granted. Event planners should consider this task as a collaborative effort with vendors, venue organizers, and internal teams.
In the next blog post, we highlight the importance of logistics and how to go about getting them in place for your event.
For more insights on corporate event planning and event marketing, visit the Jifflenow blog.