Hosting a business event can be a stressful endeavour, especially if you’ve never had to do one before. Whether it is a sales event or just a promotional introductory event, there are still a number of things you will need to do in order to make it a success. Here is a step by step guide to hosting your first business event.
1) Set a budget
This is a business event so budget is extremely important. Before you can do anything, you need to know how much money you have to work with. Every single one of the following steps is dependent upon having funds available. Make it realistic as you don’t want to go broke hosting a business event.
2) Set a theme
Having a theme is very important. Are you hosting an introduction to a new product line? Are you looking to extend your client base? Themes need to be planned against the backdrop of the type of event you are planning. For example, if you are looking to extend your client base, any ‘get to know you’ theme would be ideal. Everything from decorations to small group meets will be contingent upon the theme you have set out.
3) Set the Date
Next you need to set a date for your event. Are you waiting for the development of a new product line? Keep the date far enough out into the future so that you can iron out all the kinks and have time to find the perfect venue, speakers and entertainment.
4) Find a venue
Finding a venue may not be as complicated as you think because you can search online. Sites like venuesearchlondon.com have huge selections of popular venues but make sure to book it early so that it isn’t taken on the date you have selected for your event.
5) Plan food and beverage
Many venues have catering on staff that can provide food and beverages for your event. Is it going to be a single day or perhaps a weeklong conference? Nothing makes for a great experience like delicious food and a few cocktails, so plan your menu accordingly. Your venue may even have an event planner to help you choose food and drink that is ideally suited to the type of event you are hosting.
6) Book entertainment
Also, entertainment needs to be booked well in advance and make sure to have several options in case your first choice is already booked. Entertainment should be geared towards your audience, so keep this in mind when searching.
7) Book guest speakers
If you are holding an event that is informational, guest speakers are a must. They lend credence to your brand and product line, but some may be in high demand. Book guest speakers early as well. If it’s someone within your organisation it may not be so critical to book them in advance, but at least have them lined up so you can have a solid itinerary early on.
Advertising your event is key to its success. Use whatever means you need to employ in order to spark interest in a wide audience. You can use conventional advertising such as radio and television spots or you could use online digital marketing. In any case, get the word out to ensure it will be well attended.
Of course you are advertising but nothing works as well as personal invitations. When you send a personal invitation you are telling that person (or business) that you value them and you would be honoured by their presence at your business event.
10) When all is said and done – get feedback
Finally, since this is your very first event, don’t forget to get feedback at the end. Ask attendees what they liked about your event and whether there are any aspects they feel could have been handled better. This is all part of planning and when you know what you did right or wrong, next year’s event will be a piece of cake.