Event Tips For Small Businesses
Business events don’t come together without work. Holding an event takes planning. Whether it’s a conference, seminar, or trade show, and whether you have a few weeks or a few months to plan, your event’s success will be in the details.
Decide On Your Target Audience
Before you do anything else, clearly define who your target audience is. From this, you can make all the other decisions. Format, content, prices, location, and other choices will all come from that first decision. This more structured approach will help you to stay focused on your goals. You can keep the scope from getting too broad or watered down too.
Make A List Of Details
List everything, including lighting, transport, content, and refreshments. Everything matters at an event. Form the actual content, to how people get to the venue, and whether or not they can park. Your audience will attribute everything back to you, and your brand. Make a list to make sure you don’t miss anything, such as hiring a PA system to using custom playing card printing services for attendee gifts.
Have A Clear Business Purpose For Holding The Event
Before you can start planning your event, make sure you are clear on why you are holding it in the first place. Every decision that you make should support your main goal. Is your goal to generate more leads, to create more awareness about your products, or to develop customer loyalty? Do you just want to make a profit? Make sure your whole team is aware of the purpose, so everything can support that main goal.
Watch Out For Other Industry Events When Scheduling
Check the calendar carefully. Make sure you don’t schedule on the same day as or too close to holidays, popular vacation times, or days when other events are on that your target audience might already be attending.
Be Flexible With Changes
Be prepared to change the size, location, and other details. As you get into event planning, you might find that your event has to change the size, location, and in many other ways than you originally pictured. This is normal and nothing to worry about, as long as you don’t forget why you’re doing this in the first place. Some flexibility is important.
Know Your Limitations
The goal is of course to throw a great live event. To do that, you have to be aware of what you can and cannot realistically manage to do, whether it’s due to budget, time, or skills. If you decide to throw an event in a week’s time, be realistic, and plan a more intimate event. For a larger event, you will need to start planning several months in advance. If you have a small budget, you will have to balance that with some creativity and DIY to pull off a great event.
Create SMART Goals
Start with strategy. Just like building a business, great events start with a strong, measurable strategy. Live events are a great way to share your brand, connect with your target audience, get feedback on your products, and more. You do need to know what you are trying to achieve. Stick with SMART goals and outline what you are aiming to achieve. Make sure you plan in line with reaching these goals.
Develop A Financing Plan And Estimate The Numbers
Know how you are going to pay for the event. Most events will be funded through sponsorship, ticket sales, internal marketing budgets, or a combination of the three. When you set your budget for the event, you will need to estimate how much money you can expect to raise from each of these options. Before you book your venue or sign any contracts, you should sign up at least some of your sponsors first, or sell some advance tickets to make sure you can get the funding and there is enough interest in your idea to fund it.
Create An Expense Budget
You can save money through ‘in-kind’ sponsor donations. Events usually cost more than small business owners expect, especially for the venue, and food, and drinks. Make sure you price out any permits and licenses you will need too. An event planner can help with this to make sure you don’t miss anything. Make a list of all the expenses and then highlight areas where you think sponsors might be able to other something in kind. The more you work with partners and brands to host events, the more money you can save.