Events are planned with the hope of achieving some type of goal. There is a right way and a wrong way to start the planning process. The wrong way is to pick a date for the event, print invitations, order the food, deliver the invitations and pray for something good to happen.
Let me start with the fact that I believe that a well-planned event is a great marketing process as well as an opportunity to build relationships for your business. The following is a simple plan to help create a purposeful event.
- Why is this event being scheduled?
- Who is the target market for this event?
- What would entice your target market to attend?
- What is the best way to reach your target market?
- How man contact points will your target market receive?
- What research has been done to determine how many invitations have to be sent out in order to get the desired attendance?
These points are the building blocks to create attendance. Each one of them requires careful consideration and implementation.
The second part of the process has to do with the day of the event. Just as the preparation required a lot of planning, so does the actual day of the event. The following are things to plan:
- How will the attendees be greeted and by whom?
- How big a support staff is needed to handle the anticipated attendees?
- What training has the support staff received?
- Will there be a “packet” to give to the attendees when they arrive or when they depart?
- What does it contain? Is there a useful item that can be taken back to the office that more than likely will be kept?
- How will you get the names and contact information of the attendees?
- What I the follow-up process.
There is always a risk when an event is planned, but that risk can be minimized with proper planning. Take the time necessary to answer all these questions, and you will greatly increase your chances for success.