Top Tips for Booking Your Next Regional Event
New York is not New Orleans. And Pittsburgh is not Paris. Regional distinction is a major factor in planning a field marketing event—so don’t overlook it. Wherever in the world your next meeting will be, you’ll be dealing with different industries, cultures, and annual calendars. Our insider tips will ensure your next regional event is a winner.
1. Choose your location wisely
When planning a regional event, even the notion of ‘region’ can vary depending on the place. The Pacific Northwest presents a different landscape for regional hotspots than the Tri-State Area for example. So you may have trouble deciding exactly what city and state to host your event—but its success hinges largely on this decision. There are many points to consider.
Our tip: Focus on these three questions first.
- What location will provide the easiest accessibility for most people?
- What does the surrounding area offer? Are there options for relationship-building activities beyond the walls of your venue?
- What is the cost-benefit comparison between close-proximity locations? (i.e. San Francisco versus Santa Rosa)
2. Be savvy about scheduling
After selecting your location, get well-versed in its local calendar. Nothing spells disaster like hosting an event that directly conflicts with a major festivity, sporting event or holiday. Particularly if you’re planning an international event, learn the local happenings.
Our tip: Rely heavily on your most friendly clients to guide this process.
Send out a survey to your VIP guest list and get feedback on the best location and date. Then dive into a public resource. Check out the city or county website, or the local business journal. Bookmark the calendar for the International Events and Festivals Association.
And fear not, if you absolutely must schedule an event during a peak time, it’s completely possible to do it well.
3. Select a suitable setting
Choosing the best venue for your event can be surprisingly tricky. Of course, there are the major tactical factors to consider, but venue selection is also largely about the vibe. Do you want a formal or casual atmosphere? Should your venue support presenters or just close conversation? How much control do you want to have of the environment?
Our tip: Consider the outcome you want to achieve.
Want to build a relationship with a few key stakeholders? Rent a stadium box at a local game.
Want to design a phenomenal agenda of inspiring presentations? Book a small theater or presentation hall.
Want to bring together clients and sponsors for a day of information sharing networking? Find a conference space at a hotel or convention center that offers the right space and layout.
Your event can be unique no matter how familiar the setup may seem. But to elevate your meeting to one-of-a-kind status, you need to start with the why. (Yes, this works with events too!)
4. Be strategic about your audience and speakers
Any seasoned field marketer will tell you: It’s not the refreshments or the venue that make your event—it’s who is in the room. This includes attendees and speakers. But choosing who to invite can be a chicken-and-egg problem. Do you build your registration list and then recruit presenters that will suit your audience? Or do you starting by finding stellar speakers that cast a glittery net for attendees? The answer is both, and region plays a large part in developing your invite list.
Our tip: Use a tiered strategy starting with the most important players
- Who are the VIP leaders in your target industry that would be sorely missed at your event?
- Who are no-question regional, national, or international presenters that would drive registration?
- Who are the significant industry players whose presence would complement the event?
- What major sponsors would travel to attend?
- What local sponsors would support the event?
With the right logic and thought, your next regional event can be a masterpiece!