You can plan a good event or a great event. But here’s the big secret: the difference is minimal and won’t necessarily bend the budget. All it takes is thoughtful, intelligent planning. Here are a few sure-fire ways to level-up your next event.
1. Include the obvious perks
What are the obvious perks? The little luxuries that have become expectations in the business world. Here’s the short list:
- Free wifi.
- Complimentary or valet parking.
- Quiet workspaces.
- Free food and an open bar (if you’re looking for that kind of vibe)
- Free luggage or dropoff service
- Speed-charging stations for phones and tablets
By making it easier for your attendees to manage the idiosyncrasies of their day, they can dedicate more attention to your event. And don’t forget your VIPs. If you have some special attendees that you’d like to shower with extras, Eventbrite offers a few ideas.
2. Get hyper-specific
No senior industry leader wants to attend a fluffy event. You know the kind: a sea of booths, heavy on adverts, light on real talk. To allocate valuable time for events, senior leaders want that time to pay off with progress. So cut the fluff. Curate small, hyper-specific events that focus on a single topic or narrow theme.
Ideas abound on how to create great content for executive events, but often the excitement of ideation process expands events to the point of being unwieldy and diluted. When developing a focal theme—say Creating an omni-channel marketing strategy—stick to it. Bring in the right speakers, the right vendors, the right customers. Staying within a tight topic attracts the most passionate and specialized participants, which is the kind of energy you want for a successful event.
3. Curate a sales-friendly space
Think about a great party you’ve attended. What was it that resonates with you? Perhaps the space was decorated and organized perfectly for conversation. The music was atmospheric but not distracting. The food and drink was on point. Now think of a party that was a dud. Where everything was off. Don’t let your field marketing event be the dud party. You can’t throw a group of people into a glacial conference or office room and expect magic to happen. Your event doesn’t have to be a party, but to be successful, it needs to have all elements needed to curate a space ripe for candid and progressive conversations.
According to a recent report by the Marketing Technology Industry Council, event planning is among marketers’ top three favorite job activities. So embrace your creative side and make an event that’s worthwhile. Pinch some ideas from leading b2b events across the globe. Hone your Feng Shui technique. Great sales conversations come from the ability to get close, to really talk—and for that to occur, you need the right program and the right atmosphere.
4. Balance activity with downtime
Field events can be taxing, even for attendees who spend much of the time listening and absorbing information. All that focus is constant brainwork for executives. Add on the constant office demands they continue to manage while away, and you’ve got a group of people who will greatly appreciate a structured refueling session. Associations Now suggests created dedicated spaces and times for recharging.
To avoid dreaded attendee burnout, think about the flow of your event. If you’re hosting a short post-work dinner soirée, keep in mind the energy of your audience and structure entertainment and networking accordingly. For full- or multi-day events, try creating an ebb-and-flow structure that gives attendees time to rest and handle personal business between engaging sessions. This way, they’ll have the energy to bring their best business selves to the table.