Business events are a fantastic opportunity for networking and inspiration, but only if everything is well-organized. After all, when the atmosphere is friendly people feel at ease and are more likely to open up and look for interesting conversation partners between presentations or during lunch breaks.
However most business events are nothing special. Many are quite boring (to be honest) and participants only come to see the speakers, have a bite, and head home.
So, if you don’t want your event to be just another bland gathering of overworked people, here are a few tips to keep things interesting.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Surely you know by now that every successful project is built on solid plans that consider every aspect and scenario. The same goes with an event – you need to sketch everything in your head and then transcribe it on paper.
Start by establishing details such as:
- Type of event (conference, meeting with speaker, will there be entertainment, and so on)
- Estimated number of participants
- Number of guests
- Type of equipment and technical assistance
- The venue (location, parking, options for activities)
Of course, the list could go on, but you get the idea. Also, once you know the venue and type of event, it helps to sketch the floor plan to make sure the flow is just right for all the activities. For this, you can use an event floor plan layout software that will help you figure out any weak spots in the arrangement.
Set Your Goal
What is the main purpose of this event? Do you want to attract the attention of the media (for a product launch or just to raise brand awareness) or are you looking to network with possible future business partners? Of course, a business event can also be designed to attract customers and start word of mouth for your products or services.
Overall, it’s important to know what you want to achieve through this event in order to know who to invite and how to organize everything.
Select a Theme
This step is not necessary, but it will contribute greatly to the event’s success. A theme will keep participants engaged and focused on the main topics. Moreover, it is a discussion opener so people will feel more at ease about striking up a conversation.
Lastly, the theme tells participants exactly what to expect out of your event and they may even come prepared with questions and topics of discussion. Moreover, if the theme has graphic elements, you may also ask the attendees to share in the fun by imposing a dress code and serving theme-specific foods.
Decide the Budget
Whether you are preparing for a business seminar or a two-days conference, you need to know the type of funds you can use. Therefore, once you’ve drawn up the schematics and decided on the goal and theme, it’s time to discuss the event with the higher-ups and get their approval for the funds.
Advertise Your Event
Unless you have a well-developed word of mouth channel that reaches all the people you would like to see at your event, you have to advertise it. Find your target audience’s favorite gathering places (online and offline) and let them know either by social media posts, emails, direct invites, or wall posters.
Make sure the event is as visible and as inviting as possible, otherwise all your preparations may have been in vain.
Overall, the secret to a successful event is good planning and, maybe a bit of luck. Of course, a lot of things can go sideways, but this is why you also include a risk assessment in your planning. In short, as long as you are prepared for most types of scenarios, you should be good to go.