Anyone can host an event, it’s easy. Decide a date, a venue, send out some invites and provide some refreshments (we hear pizza and beer work well) on the day, jobs a good un. 

Well actually, it’s far from it.

In this podcast, Emma Honeybone, Head of Relationship Marketing for Engine Group, gives us her take on events and the process she puts into them.

Planning for success – The event process

If you want your event to be a success, you need to construct a clear, and concise process. Having a process will allow you to create a tick list and identify every little task that needs to be completed pre, during and after the event. 

By utilising this tick list you’re not spending your time thinking about stuff that should be in the background making things work. It gives you the headspace to get creative with the event and truly make it a special one.

Source: Emma’s slides

 

The objective

Identify your target audience and give them a reason to want to attend your event. Your main goal here should be to produce a take away from the event. You want them to go back to their business, their job with something to show for them having attended your event. 

Whether this is a new idea for their business or a new insight into yours, it’s important they take something away, as it sticks with them. If they go away with nothing then they’ve wasted their time.

 

The budget 

It’s important to be clear with yourself on budget. If you’re not clear you start to overlook and forget things, which can cause a lot of heartaches further down the event line. Break your budget down into sub-sections, such as; Food & drinks, speakers, location, transport and hotels, to name a few. Doing this will allow you to see clearly where your budget is going and where you can re-allocate cashflow if needs be.

 

Promotional info & the invitation process

The invitation process is a huge part of the event, you’re going to want to fill the room. It’s best to aim for a larger capacity than the room you’ve booked, as people are guaranteed to drop-out. For this to work, you need to consider where and how. 

Where are you going to tell people about your event? Emma tells us how Engine use LinkedIn for their B2B events, as the majority of their target audience is found there. However, they use Instagram for their recruitment events as their profile is all about life at Engine. 

How are you going to tell your audience? If your audience are already clients of yours then maybe an emailed invitation will be enough. If they’re not already clients then you could look into PPC, paid social or even organic social. There’s a myriad of different options to consider, but once you find one that works for you, stick with it. This way people will know where to find you. 

Pro-tip: When sending an email invitation, send them an invite that automatically populates their calendar if they accept. This way you don’t need to rely on them remembering to do it themselves.

Run campaigns after the event, targeting the attendees. You’re going to want them to feel like they’ve become a part of something special. If they feel special, they tell their friends and colleagues. Instantly your next event starts filling up.

 

Management 

It may sound simple but it’s often overlooked. List the roles and responsibilities of the people helping set up the event. If everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing and where they should be, it minimises the chances of things going wrong. Having it in a list format will also show you whether you’re running a clear timeline or not.

 

Evaluation

Phew, the event is now over. Seemingly everything went okay. But it’s time to look at what actually worked and what needs to be improved. Knowing this will ensure your next event goes a lot smoother. A few things to evaluate are:

  • The process – Templates/approach/timing
  • The engagement – Pre/during/post
  • Production – Content/tech/venue
  • Return – Sales/benefits

Emma makes a point of saying that she doesn’t look for a monetary return, as it’s hard to put an exact figure on events. What she looks for is the benefits return. For example, with her B2B events, she looks at how the relationships improve between Engine’s sales team and their clients. 

 

CELEBRATE THE 10% GLAMOUR

This title speaks for itself. If you’re event marketing then you’ll be spending an awful lot of time following the process. It’s important to celebrate the wins as they come. So pat yourself on the back, because tomorrow you’ll be right back at it again. 

BAU is dead, long live the KING – Mike Blake-Crawford

BAU is drowning us in a sea of indifference. We’re becoming part of the wallpaper. People walk past us every day, but they never stop to notice us. 

Things need to change.

In this podcast, Mike Blake-Crawford, Strategy Director of Social Chain discusses how business as usual, is dead. He also explains how killer creative, along with a purposeful content strategy can make your brand stand out from the crowd. 

Pitch like a pro – Jon Torrens

A sales pitch. Everyone’s favourite pastime. You get to waste a good chunk of your day listening to someone tell you why their product/service is so amazing, and why you should give them all of your money for it. 

Yet, it’s obvious they’ve done absolutely zero research on you, they’re not asking how their product can better your life, they just see you as the money. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. Unfortunately, it seems to be the going rate nowadays.

It’s about time we change things up.

Jon Torrens is a former stand up comic, and current-day communications coach.

In this talk, Jon tells us everything you do in a sales pitch needs to be geared towards gaining your audience’s trust. People go off their gut, if something isn’t right then they won’t buy-in, even if you do have the most amazing product the world has ever seen. 

Mastering a content strategy and the 10 best tools to help you do it – Andy Lambert

The reality of many marketer’s jobs is having to come up with multiple pieces of brand new content, from scratch… everyday. On top of that it has to be relevant, engaging and win the internet… It’s no wonder we’ve never got enough time or feel like we’ve run out of ideas. 

So, how do you fill the gaps in your feed with stuff that matters?

Well, Andy Lambert, Director of ContentCal tells us exactly how in our latest podcast. He also arms us with a content management plan, as well as a list of tools to help us execute it efficiently. 

The case for creativity – Baz Richardson

“Innovative”. “Groundbreaking”. “We’re disrupting the industry”.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… We’ve heard it all before, we’ve seen it all before. Originality is dead. Creativity is dying. Don’t you think it’s time we stopped worrying about ‘playing it safe’ and started focusing on creating quality content?

In this talk, Baz Richardson of Bravo Marketing presents his case for creativity. He shows us multiple real-world examples of outstanding creativity that delivered immeasurable results. He also explains why creativity is dying and outlines ways we can combat it. 

What is product marketing? – Ben Rees

Ben Rees is on hand in our latest podcast highlighting common misconceptions around product marketing, and the things we should consider when taking a product to the market.

The power of live experiences – Kristina Heney, Former CMO of Cirque du Soleil

Kristina Heney has spent her career harnessing the power of live experiences. Whether it’s at the NBA, Madison Square Garden, or most recently at the Chief Experience and Marketing Officer of Cirque du Soleil, she know that live experiences have the power to bond and awe.

But, how do you get your fans to not just turn up, but also be a huge part of your marketing efforts? Well… let her tell you.