On Tuesday, November 4th, 2014, OLC attended Event Organizers & EventProfs event at RocketSpace ink. Where Olivia June Poole spoke about how to prepare and host a successful event.
6 Basic Rules of Event Planning
Know your audience
Know your goals
Know your brand
Know your strengths
Prioritize like crazy
Surprise and delight
1. Know your audience
This is very crucial step. Know your audience of your product, as it should be the same as your event. You have to remember that you can’t please everyone. This can be hard to swallow.
You should think about what your attendees expect to get out of this event. What are their goals for coming. Is it networking, learning or joining in on a discussion? Think about those types of questions when preparing for the event.
2. Know your goals
Just as the first step, you must think about your own goals of this event. There could be quite a few, some of the basics are: brand building, engagement, revenue or just regular old attendance.
Think about why you are trying to gather these people, what do you want them to walk away with?
3. Know your brand
Depending if you already have an established brand, then you’ll want to follow your current brands guidelines and mission statement.
That means having the proper logos, copy, website design, promo items, backdrops etc.
If your brand does not have an identity, create one.
Your brand can be reflected by the types of food you provide as well.
Brand is about the full feeling, how will this event make me feel when your guests leave.
4. Know your strengths
Each company or event organizer will have their core strength, it’s good to stick to that and reach out for help in areas that are not your specialty.
You barter and or make deals with other companies that are better at the other things you need to get done.
Cross-promotion can be a good one. Co-host an event to get more reach and a larger audience.
Do some research and look for small companies that are looking to get their names out there and have them provide a service and a few minute pitch at the beginning of the event.
5. Prioritize like crazy
Nailing down the first three steps are key. Once you have those things in place you can start promoting your event even if you don’t have all of the details of who’s going to be speaking or be at the event.
Just do your best to deliver whatever you claim. So, be sure to choose your words wisely.
6. Engage your audience
It can be hard to keep people’s attention these days. Here are some stats on how people’s attention is at events.
20 minutes attention span for one speaker or topic.
60-90 minutes longest people can sit in the chair without a break.
50/50 people attend your event, 50 for content 50 for meeting other people.
Keep that in mind when setting up the structure of the event.
Don’t forget about social media. Create a hashtag and have people submit realtime questions.
7. Surprise and delight
There was supposed to only be 6 rules, but this 7th is a surprise and that is what it is focused on.
Do the unexpected, deliver ice cream sandwich mid event as an example. Think of something cool that is unique to an event and surprise all your guests.
Going above and beyond will usually help facilitate this 7th rule.
How do you promote your events?
Depending on your audience will depend on how you get the word out. According to Olivia, email marketing tends to be the most successful. Other ones to think about are social media, paid ads, flyers and signs and old school cold outreach to the community.
How do you find speakers?
This can be a tricky one. Having an intro is always best, but if not. Twitter and LinkedIn are great places to start reaching out to people to get them to speak at your event.
What tools do you use?
There are endless amounts of tools out there to help you create tasks and keep documents all organized.
Google Docs for documents and Asana is a good one for task tracking. You may have your own set, but have some tools and processes in place help keep things going.
Tips for cutting cost
Having a partnership would be the best option. Leverage the power of your audience. People are normally excited to help out. If you are going to spend money on one thing, make it good food.
Tips for when your plans get f*cked
This stuff happens from time to time, as a event host, you must do your best to refrain from showing the stress. Depending on when issue goes wrong, do your best to act quickly and strategically to get things back on track.