You plan your event, secure the fund manager of the moment and curate a program to entice any advisor. But what really makes an event a success? We look at ten areas that can make or break an event despite your spectacular line up.
1. Keep them fed and watered
Quality food is a top priority for any event, big or small, and yours should be no different. Although it’s not the main focus of the event, many people rate the event based on how much food was available and the type of food offered.
More specifically, it was noted that hot meals would be appreciated rather than a small snack. So take into account the time of day the event is held, and make sure you have an appropriate selection for all preferences.
Using refreshments breaks up the day and gives attendees a chance to network and discuss the topics, creating a comfortable atmosphere, and in turn, a more enjoyable event for all.
2. Continuing Education
Offering Continuing Education certificates is a motivating factor for invitees to attend events. Many people request that an event offer CE credits. Advertising the potential credits in invite/save the date/reminder emails can increase registration and event attendance. It’s also to keep in mind that when you offer CE credits, attendees expect a quick turnaround after your event. Make sure not to wait too long after the conclusion of your event to send them out or else you risk looking unprepared.
3. Know your audience
Taking into account the feedback from your prior events will also aide the perspectives of your guest speakers. Keeping the audience interested and offering new insight re-energizes an otherwise tired (and hungry) crowd!
Keep the channel of invitees in mind and have something that benefits everyone instead of focusing on only a small percent of your audience.
4. Plan the emotional outcome
The point of hosting an event is to network and establish stronger relationships with clients, as well as establishing your business as a thought leader in the industry and ultimately establishing deeper books of business. This is all well and good, but you have to consider how you want your attendees to feel as they are walking to their car after the event is over. Consider the best event you’ve ever been to and how you felt afterward. Once you have that end goal in your head you can plan your event with that end-game in mind.
5. Location, location, location
Often people are traveling to the event or trying to make it back to work in a timely manner. Make sure your event is in a centralized location and keep in mind the location of your invitees, so you know where to base the event.
This might even mean tailoring your invitation list to exclude people too far to reasonably attend rather than irritating them by inviting them to an event that is virtually impossible to get to!
6. Arrange for Parking
This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many event planners think they have all their ducks in a row only to find out the day of that their venue has limited parking. Make sure you have a complete understanding of your event venue’s parking situation and a plan in place so your attendees aren’t starting their experience with a hike.
7. Have a feedback form!
Find out what delegates thought about all aspects of the event – from the speakers to the sandwiches. That way you know what attendees liked, didn’t like, and how to improve your event for next time. The easiest way to accomplish this without the hassle of manually distributing and collecting cards is to include the feedback form with the app associated with your event.
8. Expect the Unexpected
You can never be too prepared for a client event since, no matter what, nothing ever goes exactly 100% to plan. Have a plan A, B, and C for everything you possibly can because it’s much better to stress about something before the event than have it blow in your face during an event.
A good course of action would be to plan out exactly how much time and effort you think it will take to make your event a success (100% effort) and add at least half onto that (an extra 50%). This way, there is no chance you will underestimate how much effort it will take and if you overestimate, that extra energy will be to the benefit of your event. Win win.
9. Follow Up
Sending a thank-you-note to your guests after your event is a classy way to re-engage and remind them what a good time they had (hopefully). It is also a perfect opportunity to ask for feedback on your event.
10. Don’t be afraid to seek help
With all of the elements that go into an event, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the details and the minutia. You don’t want to ignore the small things but, at the same time, you don’t want to focus on the small things and lose sight of the big picture. There’s no shame in seeking help from a service or technology that will take a lot of the burden off of your plate and make the whole process more manageable.
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