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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. 

How to stand the **** out – Louis Grenier, Everyone Hates Marketers

Everyone explains that standing out is critical. They get your creative circuits firing. Your future depends on it. Nothing matters more.
But how do you *actually* do it is another story. Yes, there are some books around positioning for brands with big ad budgets or for B2B software companies, but what about the rest? How do you actually do it if the product or service you’re selling isn’t remarkable in itself? How do you actually do it if you want to start small and make just one of your blog posts stand out?

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