How To Organize A Memorable Business Event In 10 Steps
How to organize a public or private event on behalf of your company? By relying on the best practices. Indeed, there are many professional events (fairs, congresses, open houses, seminars, team-building, company evenings, conferences, training sessions, cocktails, etc.). In that case, it is possible to identify the different phases of creation.
Respecting these steps gives you a clear vision of the organization of your professional event and brings you peace of mind. A good organizer knows it: poorly organized, an event can become a path strewn with pitfalls. Discover our checklist of good practices in organizing events to protect yourself from certain pitfalls!
Step 1: Set Your Event Objectives And Format
Questions To Ask Yourself
The first question to organize a professional event is to ask yourself: why are you doing this?
- Increase awareness of your brand.
- Share your expertise with your peers.
- Communicate on a product launch?
- Convince potential investors?
- Work to improve your employer brand and your talent retention rate.
Setting your goals largely determines the event’s format and the overall strategy to adopt. Indeed, a convention is a good opportunity to discuss with professionals in your sector, while contact with your customers will be better established during a gala or a festive evening.
What About Online Events
More and more events are also organized online. And for a good reason, this option offers many advantages:
- maintenance of meetings in the event of the impossibility of meeting, such as during the confinement linked to Covid-19,
- reduction of organizational costs,
- development of the visibility of the event, etc.
In addition, the multiplication of online events is made possible thanks to the development of numerous dedicated tools, which aim to bring together the same conditions as during a real event. Among these tools, we can cite the following:
- Hivebrite this community management platform offers features to simplify the organization of events (online ticketing, calendar, etc.) but also to hold and animate the online event. Thanks to videoconferencing or direct access via the event page, ensure the link with your community in all circumstances.
- Loom. events This user-friendly and extremely easy-to-use event management solution accompanies you from creating your website to registering your participants. Use a modern, intuitive interface and innovative features to create, manage, and animate your online, hybrid, or face-to-face events.
- Sofa collaboration This collaboration software makes it possible to virtualize meetings by recreating the spaces of the event online, but also the possibilities of interaction between the participants. Finally, find in Sofa Collaboration different tools to animate your events (whiteboard, document management, etc.).
Step 2: Identify Your Audience
Who Is Your Audience?
The definition of the target is very important when organizing an event. If your event primarily targets a BtoB audience, it will differ from one aimed at a BtoC audience. Understanding your target audience is key to achieving your goals.
- What is the target that best corresponds to the objectives set? It’s important to stay realistic and make sure your event will appeal to the audience you want to reach.
- What will your event bring to the public? Determining the tangible benefits that will entice attendees to engage and attend your event is necessary.
- How many people can or do you want to invite? The number of participants will depend on your budget and logistical capabilities. It is important to evaluate the size of the event according to these constraints.
- Which target would be ready to pay for a non-free event if this is your project? If your event requires paid attendance, understanding what portion of your target audience would be willing to pay to attend your event is crucial.
By clearly defining your target audience, you can adapt the nature of your event, choose the right topics, the appropriate speakers, and create a relevant experience for your audience. In the context of BtoB events, event organization requires a specific approach. They can take different forms (conferences, trade fairs, webinars, workshops, etc.). To adapt your event efficiently and optimally, it is strongly recommended that you equip yourself with software adapted to managing BtoB events.
Eventbrite, for example, is a reference software for organizing BtoB events. It is a 100% Made in India, an innovative and all-in-one platform dedicated to managing professional events, offering the necessary tools to create, promote and manage your event efficiently. GDPR certified, the solution allows you to manage the entire life cycle of your event thanks to advanced functionalities: Management of invitations, registrations and participants; creation of websites and mobile applications dedicated to your event, distribution live or asynchronous; detailed post-event analysis and much more!
Step 3: Calculate Your Budget
Have the objective and target of your corporate event been identified? Setting your budget becomes the most important thing… and perhaps the most difficult if you do not have experience or are not supported by an event agency.
And for a good reason, there are many expenditure items to plan for:
- location rental,
- hosts and hostesses,
- caterer, if you are planning catering,
- sound equipment,
- insurance, etc
It’s up to you to quantify what you can put on the table by asking yourself the right questions:
- Do you have an unlimited or imposed envelope?
- What are your possibilities for using external sources of funding ( grants, sponsors, etc.)?
- What is the average rate for the various expenditure items to be expected?
- Are you considering paid access or free access to your event?
- Are you looking for balance or profit?
- Is your budget fixed, or can it change?
Keep a document, an Excel spreadsheet, in which you record your cost estimates, cash inflows, outflows, etc. We advise you to reserve a margin essential for unforeseen expenses. Traditionally, when you organize an event, plan an envelope of 15% of the overall budget. Prevention is better than cure!
Step 4: Choose The Right Date
What a pity to devote energy to preparing a professional event … then to notice on D-Day that visitors are scarce for lack of an appropriate date. Pay particular attention to the choice of this date.
- Avoid certain times, such as school vacation periods, public holidays, Mondays, periods identified as busy depending on the sector of activity, etc.
- Watch your competitors’ event calendars to avoid scheduling your event at the same time as them.
- If you are planning an event outside working hours, for example, in the evening, make it friendly. Who wants to focus during a reflective meeting after a day’s work?
- Deal with the different constraints of the actors of your event, whether it’s your service providers or the teams you plan to mobilize.
- Pick a date that is neither excessively near (give speakers and visitors time to coordinate themselves) nor excessively far (to keep away from oversights and, like this, flake-outs).
At long last, contemplate the span of the appearance. If the subjects to be discussed are various, make sure of your occasion north of a few days so the speakers can present and discuss in extraordinary circumstances.
Step 5: Choose The Location Of The Event
The location of the events plays a major role in their success. Give special importance to the reservation of the room.
Type Of Place
Reception hall, exhibition center, municipal hall … Opt for a place adapted to the expected attendance, especially in size. The different facilities and amenities available in the rooms also enter into the equation, depending on the type of event envisaged: do you need a podium to give lectures? A kitchen to provide food for your guests? A location that can accommodate a refreshment bar? From a car park?
It must remain easily accessible. Nothing is better to annoy or discourage visitors than to place your event far from any transport infrastructure. Startups, such as Kactus, Bird Office or even Snapevent, can efficiently search your room. We recommend that you take the time to visit the place before D-Day. Avoid unpleasant surprises and get a better idea of the place’s possibilities.
Step 6: Establish Your Retro Plan
At this stage, it is a good idea to start establishing retro planning, a calendar built from a deadline. In this case, it is the date of your event. Use this document to plan and monitor the progress of all the steps before D-Day and thus anticipate any delays. Suppose an Excel spreadsheet, as in the example above, can be suitable for planning the various operations to be carried out before an event.
In that case, a project management tool brings additional benefits: resource management, deadlines, interdependencies between the different tasks, budget, etc. In addition, this type of software, accessible to everyone in SaaS mode, facilitates collaborative work and coordination.
Step 7: Build Your Teams And Select Your Service Providers
Call On Reinforcements Within The Company…
Depending on the size of the professional event you want to organize, you may need to rely on reinforcements within your company. This is why we suggest that you set up a team in which everyone knows their role precisely and the deadlines for their missions. Use your retro planning, or your project management software, to organize the logistics and have visibility on all the resources necessary for developing your project!… and outside.
Volunteers, animators, caterers, hosts and hostesses … depending on the nature of your event, you will call on external service providers and speakers. Define upstream, with the help of your team, all your requirements. You can even write a specification. Then, once your needs have been determined, proceed with the selection. There, certain qualities are to be privileged:
- Meet 100% of your specifications;
- Be responsive. Indeed, if your interlocutors are not when you contact them, this does not bode well for the more intense moments to come;
- Demonstrate the ability to adapt because events remain a field renowned for its many unforeseen events;
- Offer the best price. This is why you must plan well in advance to obtain the maximum number of quotes and compare them.
Some platforms facilitate the search for service providers, such as EventAdvisor or Committee. In recruiting volunteers, you can also be accompanied by dedicated tools. Let’s mention Recruiter, a solution intended for the efficient management of volunteers: the creation of positions, recruitment, communication, coordination during the event, and management of meals and accommodation… all your processes are simplified and automated. Plus, you can use white-label software to customize your event further.
Step 8: Communicate About The Event
To attract people, plan a well-oiled event communication strategy. Again, it all depends on your budget and your target. Nevertheless, several communication media should be considered.
- Your website: easily relay all the information about your event and benefit from good visibility, particularly through natural referencing.
- emailing: this is the appropriate channel for sending invitations to the previously selected segment of your database.
- Your social networks: they make it easy to communicate with your audience and distribute information to people with interests related to your event via paid advertising. No need for a big budget; a few tens of euros are sometimes enough to reach several thousand Internet users. It would help to choose your network according to your positioning and target: Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Twitter Ads, etc.
- Other networks, such as meetup.com, bring together their members around themes, often professional. All means are good to give visibility to your actions.
- press and public relations: you must write a press release containing all the essential information.
Some event software supports you in the dissemination of your communication. This is the case, for example, of AgoraEvent. This solution takes care, among other things, of creating a responsive web page for your event and customizable to your image. Then, AgoraEvent covers the follow-up of participants, from registration to sending emails, through the management of accompanying persons.
Step 9: Brief Your Teams
Take the time before D-Day to brief all the teams and your service providers. Everyone must know their role precisely. Also, plan to set up a communication system to exchange during the event easily. For example :
- walkie-talkies, very practical in case of unforeseen events,
- Collaborative messaging is available on a mobile application, such as Slack.
Step 10: Welcome Your Guests And Host The Event
Welcome Your Guests The Right Way
Your event must leave a good impression on your visitors… right from the start! No way to appear disorganized and incompetent. Checking your guest lists using a paper listing is time-consuming, and you risk seeing the queue at the entrance to the room get longer. This is why the use of event software saves precious time. With Prezevent, you easily create, personalize and send access badges to your guests. Then, the application’s intuitive interface facilitates check-in: a visitor shows up. Scan their badge or fill in their name, and that’s it.
Animate The Event
Consider animations to make your event attractive and interactive. Some ideas :
- Games (quizzes, draws, etc.) to win prizes for your visitors. For example, why not offer support from one of the professionals present during a business creation fair?
- Surveys to give the floor to the public and collect feedback on your event. Which workshop did you prefer? Which speaker convinced you? etc
- Photo or video stands to broadcast live or later on your various media.
Moreover, we live in the era of the web and social networks. You must therefore ensure your presence there, even during an event. Your visitors, and those unable to attend, expect interactivity and information. What could be better than a Tweetwall (wall of tweets) showing the messages posted live on the network on a television or a giant screen? By communicating on the event’s hashtag and distributing it, you encourage its use… and, therefore, virality!
Organizing A Professional Event: 8 General Tips
You now have the keys in hand to organize memorable professional events. Before you get started, here is some general advice:
- Always keep your objective and the expectations of your target audience in mind, as a common thread, throughout the organization of your professional event.
- Deploy all means to arouse the interest and commitment of your guests. The content (by carefully selecting your speakers, for example) is to be preferred to the form.
- Anticipate, organize yourself well in advance so you don’t get overwhelmed.
- Respect your budget and deadlines as much as possible.
- Think about the technology and software solutions developed to support you throughout the organization of your event and make it unforgettable.
- Never hesitate to ask your teams for help and to be accompanied by external service providers.
- Be sure to spread a positive and professional image to your audience throughout the event, from sending invitations to the debriefing, including the animation.
- Be original and creative.
After The Event: Don’t Rest On Your Laurels
Your event is over. It went well… but your work doesn’t stop there. First, you must continue communicating about the event, even after the fact. Continue to ensure a presence on social networks by sharing videos, and photos (ask Internet users to identify themselves if they recognize themselves), by thanking the participants and the speakers for their presence.
And, of course, remember to reply to all comments. Also, take stock of your event. For example, send your guests a questionnaire. Use the post-event reports and statistics generated by your work tools. This work is important because it alone will allow you to identify areas for improvement to prepare your next edition better.