How to plan a business event
Posted on 24th January 2020 at 10:44
Whether you're planning a full-blown exhibition, product launch or a local networking event, we've put together some of the key questions that you should answer before going ahead to ensure the highest chance of success.
Creating, filling and delivering an event can take a lot of time, dedication and resource to accomplish successfully. So, before jumping into the boat, make sure you learn how to swim and consider the following points:
• Who is the event aimed at?
• What is the reason for the event?
• When are you planning to host the event?
• Where will the event be hosted?
• Why should people attend?
• How much time and resource will you need?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be ready to start planning your event, read our event planning checklist to ensure you have everything you need prepped and ready in time for the big day!
Who is the event aimed at?
This might seem like a really obvious question, but you’d be surprised how many people start planning an event without a clear idea in mind of who they’re actually targeting.
When planning any kind of marketing campaign, it is crucial that you speak directly to your target audience, otherwise your messaging can get confusing and you end up without any clear purpose or structure.
BLUK’s top tip: We recommend drawing a stick figure of your ideal clientele, write about their likes, dislikes and struggles – consider what problem your event is going to solve for them.
What is your reason for hosting the event?
Event marketing is perfect for increasing brand awareness, launching a new product or service and gaining membership subscriptions – The possibilities are endless!
What’s the point in hosting yours and how is it going to benefit your business?
You don’t necessarily need to be benefiting financially from your event. However, at the very least, you should ensure that you are supporting a worthy charitable cause or boosting your brand awareness, otherwise you’ll be putting in a lot of work for very little reward.
BLUK’s top tip: Try making a list of your products and/or services that could be beneficial to your target audience then consider how you can subtly promote this leading up to and on the day of your event – Just don’t over do it; no one likes being heavily sold too!
When are you planning to host your event?
When it comes to hosting your own event, timing is everything; not only do you need to consider a date and time that suits you, but also what will suit your audience.
For example, if they work 9-5 then it would make sense to host your event in the evening. However, you also need to consider that some people may prefer to save their evenings for seeing family and friends, in which case a breakfast or lunch meeting could be more appropriate.
BLUK’s top tip: Research what other events are happening around the time and make sure you don’t pick a date and time that is going to clash with any other major events – the last thing you need is for no one to turn up to your event because they’re going to someone else’s!
Where will the event be hosted?
Location…location…location… It is important to choose one that is easily accessible to both yourself AND your audience. Consider how the location is going to reflect on you and your business.
Locations like London and Manchester are generally more suitable for larger events as they are easier to access, have a solid business reputation and a wide variety of large venues to choose from.
BLUK’s top tip: For local events, why not try hosting at an independent pub or café? They will appreciate the exposure and you’ll be helping to support your local community.
Hotels are a really good choice when hosting larger events because they usually have ample parking spaces and catering options too.
Why should people attend?
Now we’ve knuckled down what’s in it for you, it’s time to focus on what’s in it for your audience – Why should they bother coming?
Unfortunately, saying something like: ‘come along to my event where I’m going to tell you all about how I can help your business and why you should buy my stuff’ probably isn’t going to draw people in – We wish it did!
Instead you need to revert back to the problems that your audience are faced with and focus on how attending your event will help.
Try putting yourself in your audiences’ metaphorical shoes – what would make you want to attend your own event?
BLUK’s top tip: try to incorporate some form of educational content into your event as this will demonstrate value to your target audience and make them feel more inclined to attend.
How much time and resources will you need?
The answer to this really depends on all the factors listed above, and of course the overall size of the event, because the bigger it is, the longer it will take to fill.
For events hosting up to 80 people, we generally like to give at least an 8-week lead time to ensure we have enough time to prepare everything and there isn’t a huge panic as time runs out.
Most people won't book onto the event until two weeks prior to it, so you'll need to dedicate the most to promotion in this time to ensure your event is filled.
BLUK’s top tip: Remember that cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better! Sometimes it’s worth investing a little extra to protect your reputation and pull off a more successful event.
Once you have firmly answered all the questions listed above, you are ready to start planning your event! Check out our event planning checklist for a breakdown of what you need to do and when.
If you would love to host your own event but you’re sat there thinking ‘I really don’t have time for this’ – Don’t worry! Contact the team today and let us see how we can help turn your event aspirations into a reality whilst building your business and personal brands at the same time.
By Chloe Evans,
Director of Operations
Business Live UK
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