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A guide to planning successful events: Part 3

 

 

 

Applepie recipe

- Amy Nebons owns event management company Blink Events LLC.

Phase 3:  CREATIVE LOGISTICS:  “What is the recipe I follow to make this Apple Pie? 

At this point, you have set some solid ground work during Phases 1 and 2:  You have your big innovative and creative ideas, you’ve developed your clear event objectives, you’ve assembled your team and assigned them their designated roles, you’ve set deadlines and you now have a working event program.  So now it is time to get into the nitty-gritty. 

Phase 3:  CREATIVE LOGISTICS:  “What is the recipe I follow to make this Apple Pie?”

  1. Nail down your venue & final date: Establishing this deadline will light a fire under you and hopefully fuel your excitement to power through this phase of planning.
  2. Engage Your Out-of-House Team: This will be all of the experts that you don’t currently have in-house (outside of your event planner, who should already be involved at this point).  These members might be:   an A/V production company, marketing & graphic design company, décor company, caterer and any other special groups that will assist you in executing other elements of your event. By engaging these vendors you will begin to understand the overall cost of your event.  Once you have a complete budget, you can always look at each line item and value engineer where you see fit. Treat your vendors like the experts they are and ask them how they can work within your budget but still achieve your objectives. Your vendors will perform best when they are given the freedom to own their own role. Remember you hired them for their expertise so avoid the temptation to micro-manage-it will only stress you out.
  3. Refine Your Event Program: Finalize your schedule. Be mindful to the flow and view the program from the eyes of the attendee. Avoid long expanses of content delivery where attendees are tied to their seats for hours. Incorporate frequent breaks so the blood can continue to flow. Think about how you can deliver messaging in varied ways so to avoid monotony and maintain attendee engagement. Any elements that you can incorporate into the event that are unexpected but add value are encouraged. Delivering your content by using a variety of tactics will increase the chances of your message being received and retained by your attendees. This will also avoid the chances of brain fatigue. Variety is the spice of life-so use it to make your event unique!
  4. Marketing Outreach Strategy & Momentum Building: Spend some time developing a strategy on how you are going to engage your attendees and begin to build momentum prior to the event.  Perhaps it is through a social media campaign or event specific app, but whatever it is, make sure it is purposeful.  The most successful events are the ones that everyone is talking about before it begins, exceeds their expectations once it arrives and holds their attention after it is gone.  This type of reception doesn’t happen by accident, it needs to be strategically planned and diligently executed. 
  5. Determine ROI Measurement Strategy: Your ROI strategy will be intimately tied to the efforts of your marketing strategy.  Leverage the power of social media and engage your attendees early.   For example, associating a hashtag with everything these days is common practice –so come up with something creative and work that hashtag.  Implement an intentional social media plan.  Pose questions, provide visual and interactive “shareable moments” and incentive your attendees to share.  This will increase your social media participation and thereby increase your event reach AKA- FREE marketing!  By vocalizing your hashtag early (prior to event) you can also start to build momentum for the event itself, getting attendees excited for what is to come.  Likewise, you can utilize the hashtag following the event to sustain the excitement and encourage attendee feedback.  Make sure you are encouraging pointed attendee participation throughout the event and asking specific questions about what your attendees are responding to.  Guide conversation but allow organic feedback to surface.  Be the facilitator of participation but don’t overly interfere.  Create a fine balance between encouraging the conversation while avoiding contrived and somewhat superficial dialogue.

    In addition to social media event specific apps can be employed to build a community around your event.  As the event organizer you can post updates and information to attendees prior to, during and following events.  These apps are also equipped with detailed analytics that can demonstrate how active attendees were and gauge overall reception.  If you want to get really detailed on seeing quantitative results on how your event was received, you might consider adding an Advertising Agency to your team of gurus to implement a more detailed strategy.
  6. Details & Logistics: The devil is in the details: Be thoughtful in everything!  Don’t ever let something be “good enough,” when it could be great.

Phase 3 can be a bit overwhelming, so creating a reliable and capable team to delegate tasks to is vital.  Next time we will watch our event come to life as we talk about Event Production and ways to review our event's success. 

As always please let me know your thoughts and if you need more clarification!

 

Contact me by phone: 617-840-5073 or email at anebons@blinkevents.net. Find me on LinkedIn , Facebook or at my website www.blinkevents.net.

 

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