Recently I was invited to a product launch where the all the presenters were male, the food was cold (without vegetarian options) and Chardonnay was the only white wine served. First world problems, I know. Without meaning to be a princess it was pretty disappointing given the product and the people were awesome.
However, for marketers and demand generation specialists who are responsible for events, an activity that takes up almost 30% of marketing spend, there is an “Event ROI” mandate. Event marketers are now being asked: How many leads did we get from this event? How many will convert into opportunities? How much revenue did we generate? In short, what are the numbers?
Not getting it right is a waste of finite resources, and it can impact your brand and your customers’ perception of your offering. Paying attention to the small details can make all the difference in engaging your guests and making your event memorable for all the right reasons.
These are elements of event planning that are often glossed over. But with thought and consideration, they can really help you lift your game.
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression and the way that you welcome your guests can be hugely impactful. You should know who is coming and who in your organisation they are connected to. Add extra team members at the door to welcome everyone and direct them to your designated team member upon arrival. Take the opportunity to thank them for coming.
Opinions vary on the need for name tags, but it is proven to facilitate networking and enhance engagement between guests and organisers.
2. Drinks list
You can’t please everyone all the time. However, you can cater for most by being thoughtful in your selections. Bubbles (sparkling water and sparkling wine) are a must, always. As for red wine a Shiraz is a moderate option and appeals to the majority, and a Lager or Pale Ale are middle of the road beer choices.
In winter think about something to warm guests as they arrive; a mulled wine or chai tea are great options. For summer, a homemade lemonade or iced herbal tea make for refreshing selections.
Note: consider cultural sensitivities and RSA when it comes to alcohol. At minimum, offering an equally thoughtful non-alcoholic beverage will always be well regarded. Always give consideration to whether the provision of alcohol is consistent with your event and organisational purpose.
3. Gender balance
The aforementioned event included introductions by two male founders, followed by testimonials from three male clients. During the course of the presentations I was approached independently by four different women, each commenting on the absence of females in the line-up.
Note: Consider your content from the lens of your guests.
Does it reflect the diversity of your clients and prospects?
It’s important for you to be consistent with your organisational value set in all your approaches to the market.
4. Presentation – position and time
Not all spaces easily accommodate the typical PowerPoint/KeyNote presentation. Ensuring everyone can easily see the slide deck you have pored over for hours is so important. Creating a small stage at the front of your space will elevate the speakers and ensure everyone can see. If you are not providing seats, no more than 15 minutes is reasonable to asks guests to stand and listen.
5. Post-event survey
Feedback is integral to learning, and marketing is a continual evolution of testing and refining. It’s not always possible to get honest feedback on the day. Sending out a simple 2-minute survey within 24 hours of your event will solicit feedback and allow you to evaluate your event’s success. It also lets you consider individual elements - location, catering, timing, speakers etc - to determine what your guests enjoyed.
The post-event survey is also a powerful tool to use when planning for future events (particularly with those who hold the purse strings).
To make your life easier when events grab the FREE V|CMO Event Planner here
Vicky Mann, V|CMO Principal, is an old-school generalist Marketer with a passion for strategic frameworks, digital process automation, and data analytics to drive sales outcomes. V|CMO provides freelance services to companies wanting to move forward. Whether you need to do more with less, or are busy boot-strapping your business, V|CMO can help you deliver your business objectives (without the cost of an FTE). Get in touch