I have been producing corporate events for over twenty years, in that time the the way we deliver events have changed but the principles remain the same. Remote working and video conferencing bring these principles into more focus today when we do bring people together events simply have to deliver lasting connections, tangible and quantifiable results.
So here are some questions we like to ask:
An obvious question to ask but sometimes not so easy to answer. Setting clear objectives for your event makes everything else fall into place. Once you know ‘ why’ the right tools for the delivery can be put in place, some of these tools will need to be used to check if you have met your objectives and goals. It might even be with asking if an event is the right way to achieve your vision, could different technology be used?
2 Share the Why….
The key to success can often be sharing your vision. If you share your vision with your chosen agency they can share it with whole team. A simple example you want everyone at the event to smile, you discuss this internally and everyone agrees that this would be a great devise at your event. You arrive with a big smile on your face, your executive team do the same but the team that deliver on the ground have no idea what is going on. To be honest they think you are all a bit strange! If however the cloakroom staff are smiling the catering team are also smiling, the front desk is smiling even the crew are smiling – that becomes infectious!
Sharing your vision with the team you are working with brings your vision to life, creates checkpoints in the process and ultimately delivers you a fantastic event.
3 Money can’t buy you love
Money buys you first impressions not lasting connections. The guest experience should be your focus. When planning an event is is very easy to become embroiled in things that mean very little to your audience. Do you want them to remember the experience, the content, the networking, the emotion or the flowers? Sure part of the experience is to feel valued and looked after-we recommend more time being spent on what the event feels like rather than looks like. Your brand needs to be presented correctly but your brand values need to be a priority too.
4 Tech Check
There is lots of technology to choose from to help with your events. However it must help, not a gizmo for gizmo sake, a sense check is recommended. When considering social media for example it is often tempting to reinvent the wheel for each event, make full use of the networking tools your business has in place already. If after evaluation the tools available fit with your vision make sure you embrace them fully. Do you need a printed agenda when you have made one available on line? Also remember the poor presenter they often need help with technology too and less is often more.
5 Time to breath
Leave space in your agenda, events are about making connections there is no excuse for lengthy presentations, short lunch and coffee breaks extending late into the evenings. The time your audience spend talking to each other is often as valuable as the time you spend talking to them. Try to make your agenda their agenda engage them in the process. Also remember everything over runs and the frustration of people having to leave the room creates embarrassment for speakers and delegates alike.
6 Listen and learn
Remember you can’t get everything right or please everyone. Detailed planning for all eventualities enables your event to run smoothy even when things do go wrong. Spend time with your agency on ‘ just in case ‘ planning, if you have a plan its not a problem. One voice on feedback is only one voice learning is key but one grumpy delegate does not mean everyone was grumpy.