Planning Makes Perfect

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Article written by Pamela McMurtry, Director of Sales, The Conference Team

You only get one chance to get it right. It is a ‘live’ event, which cannot be re-run. As with most organisational projects, there is a formula you can use and a sequence you can follow to minimise the risk of failure.

How do we run a successful event?When planning events, there are a few questions I ask myself to ensure I am on the right track. What are the key objectives of this event? What is the budget? Where will the event be held? What type of venue will work to suit the brand experience or objective? Who do I partnership with and why? What event management and logistics are required? Is accommodation required? What food and beverage is required? What technology is required? Once you are able to answer these questions, you are then ready to move into the next phase.

All conferences have one thing in common: the message disclosed at the event is intended for the audience of that event. It has been estimated that half of all event launches fail to meet expectations. A sales conference would fail if it did not reinforce strategic direction and roadmap the following year. This would result in sales targets not being achieved and inconsistent branding messaging in the market place. What can we do? There are `best practices’ process to follow in producing a quality program that reflects well on the company. These processes are essential for us as planners to follow to ensure that the conference will succeed.

First, make a decision to take the necessary steps to ensure the conference has an excellent chance of succeeding, meaning attendees perceive it as valuable endeavour. To do this, the event must have a unique rationale – how do I attract the audience to the event? This can be done through understanding what drives your audience. For example, is it the destination, venue or guest speaker.

Secondly, the content and style of presentations are the heart of different events. To learn what appeals to your audience, we need to analyse and evaluate the attitude and behaviours of attendees from the previous year’s events, apply learning’s and set key objectives in the planning stage.

Thirdly, determine how you will handle the conference logistics. Pulling together thousands of details so that an event flows seamlessly from inception to post-conference evaluation, to the closing of financial accounts can be tricky. Therefore, it is essential you have the right partnership in place. And this is where we can help.

Lastly, end with a bang! Make your last impression a lasting one. Close the conference, incentive, product launch or event with a powerful speaker, stirring song, major award presentation, or anything that gets the audience motivated and reminds them why they came in the first place.

Why not ask our team on how they can help you with making sure your next event is successful.
 



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