When I start working with a new client, or when an existing client asks me to organise an event for them, I ask lots of questions. Important questions. Not just about preferred dates, target guest numbers or venues they prefer but questions that dive deep into the heart of their event.
The answers I receive tell me a lot about the event itself and about the client.
A good events manager will always want the event they are running to be the best it can possibly be.
And a good events manager knows that good event needs to have a purpose, it needs to be forward thinking and it needs to be relevant to today's audience. They know the following 3 statements will kill your event...but here's how you prevent that happening:
"We're doing an event because we can"
Your Event Purpose - aka what's the point of your event?
Just saying you're going to do an event isn't enough. You event needs a purpose, it needs a reason for existing.
Is it to educate, to engage, to entertain...or any combination of these?
Just doing an event for the sake of doing event is pointless and a waste of time for you, your guests and a waste for money.
When running a business event for your company or association ask yourself how does that event fit into your overall business strategy. Events are used as marketing tools so how does it match up with your other marketing efforts?
Consider the reason for your event very carefully, when you have this firmed up in your mind your event will get focus, clarity and achievable goals that you and your team can work towards.
"We've always done it that way"
Be Forward Thinking - Don't Get Stuck In The Past
If I had a £1 for every time I heard "because we've always done it that way" OR "we always use the same venue" I could sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of my life. This mindset is the biggest killer for companies or events departments.
Don't get comfortable, shake it up.
When I first starting in this industry the biggest question I asked was "Why?"
Not because I wanted to be that awkward and annoying member of the team but I wanted the events we produced be current to the market.
There's so much opportunity in the world of events management to be at the forefront of new trends and new technologies. If you always go back to the same event style, the same venues the same kind of speakers your audience will get bored find what they are looking for somewhere else.
As event professionals we should be constantly looking to the horizon to see what's coming and pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
Having said that don't change for change sake either...events like networking events need consistency. Using a venue on repeat for example can be useful but if you ever feel like things are getting stagnant then mix it up.
"We just want bums on seats"
Quality not Quantity - Don't just get anyone to attend
Similar to your events purpose you should be clear on who your target audience is.
Who's your ideal audience member?
In the planning and design stage of your event your target audience should be clearly defined so when your event registration opens you are targeting the right kind of people.
Don't waste your money and time with a scatter-gun approach.
Knowing your audience will also help you with the content of the event, once again keepingyour event relevant and appropriate to the audience. Not turning them off and making them look else where.
When you are planning your event I challenge you to shake things up a bit. Try something different, do something new. Really consider your guests, your audience and think about what they want to experience. Give your event more focus and you will find the ROI will be greater.
Key to this is make your event innovative...don't shock!