When you’re hosting a business event, the goal should be to drive sales, get people talking and put your company on the map. Whether you’re a brand new business or you’ve got a new product you want to shout about, this guide will help you to be the best in show.
It’s not easy to plan a business event that will impress people who probably attend similar gatherings on a regular basis. You want to make sure that your event is memorable, and you want people to be talking about long after they get in a cab and head home. Think carefully about the guest list, the size of the party and the venue. You’ll probably need to bear budget in mind when choosing a location, but try and go for something a little different. If you hire a conference room, you’ll have to go some to make it stand out. If you can find a venue that’s original and unique, like an aquarium, a museum, an old cinema or even an outdoor teepee, you can capture people’s imaginations from the first moment. Make the location relevant to your product. The teepee would work well if you’ve got a new product aimed at festival-goers, for example. Once you’ve found a venue, set a date, and start spreading the word.
Make sure you have plans in place for your event. You want it to run like clockwork, and ensure that your guests know exactly what is happening when and where they need to be. If you’re disorganised and the room is chaotic, this won’t give off a very good first impression.
Marketing your event
Getting the word out there
When you’re marketing your event, it’s useful to have access to an event promotion pack, which will guide you through every step of the process and give you hints and tips to make the most of your event. Don’t leave it until the last minute to create a buzz around the event. Drum up support on social media, send out marketing emails, drop flyers through the door, and contact partners and ask them to plug the event. If you’ve got a band performing, for example, you could ask them to post a link to your website and details of the event on their social media pages. If you’re working with a caterer, you could ask them to post a blog on their website.
During the event
During the event, you need to make sure you present your company in the best way possible. Your role is incredibly important, especially if you’re pitching or presenting, so make sure you’re fully prepared, and showcase your personality, as well as your professionalism. Mingle, be prepared to answer questions, and make sure guests have access to the product so that they can have a closer look and give it a go. If you’ve got bloggers in attendance or you have a photographer doing the round, encourage them to take plenty of snaps and give you some brief interviews. You could even stream the event if you’ve got an online following.
Your presentation may be a make or break moment, so take time to rehearse. Even if you’re a really confident and outgoing person, it’s very easy to freeze in front of a crowd, especially if you’re not used to public speaking. Go through your presentation several times, practice in front of others and ask for their input, and make sure it’s interesting. Images and video clips can bring pitches to life, and a personal touch can go a long way. If there’s a story behind the product, share it with the audience.
The work doesn’t stop when the last guest has left the building. Hand out goody bags with branded products, so that guests will be reminded of your company long after the event, and send a follow-up email around. Upload photographs onto social media, and ask guests who were there to share their images and leave feedback. If people at your event promised to set up meetings, take them at their word, and get in touch. This could be your chance to get investors on board or to encourage buyers to place bulk orders that could make you an overnight success.
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Are you preparing to host a business event? Events can be an incredibly effective way of putting your name out there and getting people to take an interest in what you’re doing, but it’s essential to make sure everything runs smoothly. Give yourself enough time to do a proper job, make sure the guest list is just right, and try and be original. Market your event, work on your presentation, and don’t forget to follow-up on leads afterwards. Good luck!