A business event is one of the best ways to publicly announce a new product, service or partnership within your company. Business events are extremely difficult to put together properly. There are many logistical challenges involved and it requires a lot of money and teamwork to pull off.
This is why there are many dedicated event planners for hire that will help you manage your business events, but if you’re looking to do it yourself with the help of your staff, then here are a couple of tips that will help you throw a memorable business event for your clients, customers and investors.
#1: Don’t forget the importance of your message
Your message is going to resonate throughout the entire event. You need to have a reason for planning a business event and inviting people to attend it. If you don’t have a clear message to send, then it’s going to be seen as a waste of time or a silly attempt to pander towards your investors in order to gain favour. Instead of going in blind, plan ahead. Take at least a few months to determine what your message to the crowd will be and what you plan to share with them.
Some obvious examples include showing off a new product or giving a demonstration of a new piece of technology that your company has developed. Keynotes are also a popular reason for businesses to host an event. These presentations typically announce a new product to a wide audience, mainly the press, in order to gain some publicity for a product before it’s officially released to the world.
If you don’t have a message to send to the audience, then you should still consider your business event something that is designed to draw attention to your product.
#2: Plan entertainment for everyone
Depending on what kind of business event you’re planning, it’s never a bad idea to prepare some entertainment for the masses. For example, hiring a band to play music is a great first step to engaging with the audience. If a band doesn’t fit your needs, then perhaps hiring a DJ to play music and coordinate with the event is a better idea.
You can also hire machines or other types of services to help you keep your guests entertained. A fun example could be a cash grabber hire. Not only do cash grabber machines draw attention, they also provide your audience with a bit of fun and entertainment between breaks in your presentation. They might also attract the attention of people who are walking past and completely oblivious to your event.
If your business event is to draw attention to a children’s product, then you could hire people to create mascot suits of your company’s iconic characters. If children are going to attend your event, then having stalls for snacks and sweets could keep their attention in addition to your main event.
#3: Your location and venue are important
A business event doesn’t need to held at a trade show or a convention centre. In fact, it can be an informal meeting held at a park, a restaurant or even your office. Assuming there are enough amenities and services to entertain your guests, you should have no problem deciding on a location. However, here are a couple of examples that you can follow and get some ideas from.
The first (and most obvious) place to host an event is at a convention, trade show or exhibition. This is a fantastic idea for when you aren’t a well-known company and you want to gather interest for your product, services or more. Exhibitions and trade shows are perfect for networking as well because they allow you to speak with investors, competitors, and other companies that could give you a hand with your upcoming challenges.
Another great place to host an event is in a large park or open area. This is better if the product or service that you want to demonstrate is large, requires a lot of open space, or if it’s the summer and staying indoors is proving to be uncomfortable. Outdoor events are usually quite open and easy to spot, so they’re sure to draw attention from locals.
Lastly, hosting your event at a restaurant is a fantastic idea if you’re looking to please investors. Picking a high-class fine-dining restaurant is a sure way to please the people you invite, and due to the more relaxed and high-class environment, it’s the perfect place for quiet chatter, deal-making and networking.
#4: Ensure your samples and services are in working condition
If you’re going to show off some new software, hardware or another type of product, then make sure whatever you want to demonstrate is in working condition. The last thing you want is to be on stage generating excitement for your product, only to see it fail in front of an audience of judgemental investors and consumers.
Thoroughly test your products before hand so that when the time comes, there’s a very small chance of it failing. If it does fail, however, you’ll become a laughing stock for a long time, investors will want to avoid you, and the media is going to be all over your blunder.
This will attract attention, but it’s not the type you want. You want people to see that you’re a professional company with standards, attention to detail and a hardworking team of staff, not an amateur business that can’t host a business event to promote their products.
If your product can be made into samples to be handed out, then don’t forget to prepare a large batch. For instance, maybe you’re selling cosmetic products or a new type of food item. Get lots of samples ready and hand them out to everyone that walks past your event, booth or members of staff.
#5: Pick the right time and date
If you’re in a competitive market, then the last thing you want is to split the consumer’s attention between your product and a rival’s. If you host your event on a date which is close to your rival’s presentation, then you’re going to force a lot of journalists, customers and even investors to make the decision between visiting you and your competitor. Forcing competition can be a good thing, but only if you’re confident that you have an upper hand against other companies that are providing similar services or products to you.
Another thing to consider with the time is your target audience. First, consider what time of day would be best for your event. If your event is targeted towards customers and consumers, then pick a time during the day on a weekend when most people make plans to go out.
Try to avoid evening times if you’re aiming your event at the general public. However, if your event is a private one targeted towards investors, then there’s no harm in setting up an evening dinner meeting to act as your business event.
Picking the right time and date will make a huge difference in not only the interaction between attendees, but also drastically increase the number of visitors should you decide to target your event towards consumers.
#6: Don’t skimp on service, treat your guests well
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to gain favour with investors or show the general public that your product is higher quality than your competitors. Every single guest that you invite to your event needs to have a good time and that means providing an excellent service for them. During the event, ensure that you’re speaking to everyone and anyone. Don’t just target high-priority influencers, be social and present yourself professionally to all of your guests.
If your event is going to last for a long time, then give your guests a break between long speeches. Allow them to stretch their legs, serve them tea and coffee, and set up a snack bar to make them feel like valued guests instead of cattle. It’s worth bringing along a few members of staff in your team to interact and network with guests that attend your event as well. This is useful to help you collect information and opinions on your product to gauge how successful your event is.
Make sure that you follow up with your guests by contacting anyone that you had a chance to network with. The only way you can tell if your event had a positive effect on the audience is to speak with them individually after the event has concluded. Consider asking your guests to answer a survey once they leave, and offer them an incentive to think about your brand once they leave. For example, you could hand them coupons and track the usage of those coupons to judge how successful your event was.
Calculating the exact return on investment for your business event is tricky, but don’t be upset or frustrated if there isn’t an immediate increase in your brand’s popularity or sales. It could take days, weeks or even months until you start seeing a positive change. Once the media start to talk about your event, you’ll quickly see a rise in sales.