We have all been at an event where there are blaring oversights that should have been addressed during the planning phases. Here are a few planning considerations to ensure you are not looking like an amateur come event day:
Clear communication is KING
From the initial point of contact to post event surveying, attendees are happiest when they are informed. Put yourself in your attendee’s shoes–keeping in mind these people will be of all different competency levels. Hint: you should plan your communications based on the lowest common denominator-assume your attendees need you to hold their hand as they walk through the event. Utilize email, social media platforms and event apps to communicate pertinent information to your attendees regarding all relevant event details. Sharing logistics across a multitude of platforms will ensure everyone receives your important information. At your event be sure to have clear signage and wayfinding tools to help move your attendees around the event. Enlist the help of “ambassadors” to help give your attendees a personal touch, setting their mind at ease and making them feel pampered.
Nobody likes to wait in line, ever.
Take the number of people you are planning to have run registration and double it. Now take the number of bars and food lines and do the same. The registration table is one of the first impressions you give to your attendees. Make sure whomever you task with running registration is trained on what they are supposed to do; nothing is worse than a frazzled person trying to find your name amongst a sea of spreadsheets. So be organized and think through the most efficient way to move people through the line. For events where you will be serving cocktails, add a couple extra grab and go stations for beer/pop/water. Place bars in different locations throughout the space so attendees have options. Attendees will get sassy when they have to wait 10 minutes in line for a drink. Not a good look, so be prepared with more than enough staff to serve your guests!
Critically curate your program to your audience and be respectful of everyone’s time
Before you begin planning your event, you should have identified what your specific goals are for even throwing it in the first place! Once you have your goals established and your ideal attendee profile created, tailor a program that will bring the most value to that group. Pairing quality of content within the right time-frame will directly effect how successful your event becomes, so make sure you are thinking that through.
Don’t be boring, be Impactful
Events are a dime a dozen these days, how is your event special? Develop an attendee engagement plan where you are actively employing different measurable tactics that stimulate your attendees. Attention spans are short, so be sure to provide your attendee with a variety of different program elements and get booties out of seats often! Leverage creativity to ensure your message is received and ROI is achieved.
Please feed and water me.
Avoid making your attendees hangry by providing them with some fuel throughout the course of your event. No matter the length of the event, at minimum people are expecting planned access to beverages. Show them you knew they were coming by having some sort of refreshments. Just a small and simple coffee/tea station with some power bars will keep energy and attitudes up!