For small business owners, hosting events to showcase products, launch a new line, or simply show appreciation to employees and clients can make or break long-term success. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs are not normally professional event planners and don’t have the resources to hire an event planning company. So if you find yourself in this situation, here are 7 things to remember to make your event a success.
Remember Your Audience – If you are doing a client appreciation event, focus on your clients and the appreciation aspect. If you are launching a new product, consider who you want to invite and how best to present the product to them. Many events fail because the business owner tries to cover too much in a single event. Drill down on what the event is for, who the target audience is, and how best to convey your ideas to that audience.
Timing – Make sure your event is timed properly. If you are in the hospitality industry, do not try to hold an event on the same weekend as a major hospitality tradeshow. If your business is seasonal, make sure you are hosting your event in the right season. If a great event is held at the wrong time, it can be an unfortunate disaster.
Ask for Help – You can’t plan this entire event yourself; at least, not without it impacting your daily business. Delegate tasks to your staff, hire a temporary employee or work with the venue to take on a lot of the minor details. Also look for help in other businesses. If there is a complimentary business which you often work with, invite that owner to take part. This will cut your costs, expand your reach, and increase your pool of available resources.
Track the Fees – Fees can add up very quickly to an event. It may feel like you are saving money by booking things a la carte, however, it is usually cheaper when you book as part of a package. This can include things like fees for chefs, security, a DJ/MC, bartenders, and so on. Be sure you understand the true cost of a venue, what that venue provides, and how much hiring these other services will cost.
Service – Like everything in business, service is important. The service provided at this event will reflect on your company. Guests will not care that the waiter who had an attitude does not actually work for you, they will liken that service to your company. Be sure you work with reputable companies who hire service-minded staff to work your event.
Have a Plan B – As well as you plan, something might come up to cause an issue either leading up to, or during, your event. Have contingencies in place for anything conceivable, and even the inconceivable. This can include weather, staff shortages, power outages, kitchen problems, lower-than-expected turnout, higher-than-expected turnout, and so on. The more prepared you are for problems, the more likely you can handle them.
Follow-Up – Put a mechanism in place to track attendance, gather contact information, and follow-up with attendees. If you are launching a product, trying to get new clients, opening a new location, or simply putting your name out in a new market, be sure you know who came to the event. You can get this information by requiring a free ticket for admission, forcing people to give their information to attend. You can also have sign-in sheets at the door. Whatever you decide, just make sure you know who came, then use that information to follow-up on the event.
As you plan your next event, keep these things in mind and you will have a more successful event.
For more information on event planning contact PFS and any of our staff can help you with your next get together.
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