Guest post by Steve Conway.
Promotional events not only provide your business with an opportunity to grow and find new customers, but it can also go a long way to towards establishing how you are perceived by business rivals and the public at large. If your business has a forthcoming event, there are several steps you can take to ensure it runs smoothly.
Establish a budget
Given an unlimited amount of cash to spend, almost anyone can go on to create an event like no other, but if you have strict limits on spending, you need to be sure that your expectations – and those of the attendees – are realistic.
Deciding how much you want to spend in total should be one of the first jobs on your list. Even if you ultimately decide to spend more, having a figure in mind makes it far easier to begin choosing key items such as venues. As you start to break the budget down, keep in mind that many costs will be highly dependent on one another. For example, a larger venue may require more to be spent on security, catering or AV equipment to ensure everyone present can see and hear everything it is said. Your budget should also include a contingency fund for emergencies.
Take a step back from your role as an organizer and think about how it would feel to be attending the event yourself. Make use of your personal experience of past events – both good and bad – to ensure you do everything necessary to make the event as enjoyable as possible for everyone there.
Once you have chosen a venue, visit it as early as possible during the planning stage. Do so before you get too deeply into the creative process to ensure all of the ideas you have can actually be accomplished within the space available. Physically walk around the event so you can see the practicalities involved and ensure there are no surprises. Working well in advance also enables you to build in time for the inevitable delays that may occur on any aspects that are directly outside your control. If there are key elements of the event that fall into this category, spend a little time checking into alternatives, so you are prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Leave a positive image
Ensure none of the attendees leave empty-handed. Giving away marketing or other promotional materials such as printed presentation folders are a great way to showcase your company and provide a lasting impression of the quality of your brand. Hand out leaflets, flyers, folders and business cards detailing your business, what you stand for, what you offer, and most importantly, how they can contact you. Provide professional material, and they will think highly of you and your company.
Aim for perfect timing
If you can have a rehearsal for any time-sensitive elements of the events, then you will be able to put together a better schedule and work out how everything fits together. Be especially sure to work closely with any third parties providing services so that you know how long their elements will take. If, for example, the event includes an element of catering, check how long it will take those present to have their food served and to eat it, to ensure the rest of the event fits in as well as possible. Also, if you have a few speakers, then make sure you time their speeches during the run through. You don’t want your event to be too long or too short.
Steve Conway is a content marketing professional and inbound marketing expert. Previously, Steve worked as a marketing manager for a tech software start-up. He is passionate about discovering new software that will that will advance his already well-honed digital marketing techniques.