You can’t beat getting people together in person, especially in present times, when so many conversations take place online. A live event brings people together in a way that simply can never happen in the virtual world.
Here are some of our top tips to help you run your own in-person event and make it a roaring success!
Plan ahead – Give yourself as much time as you possibly can to start planning your event, even if in early months you just make notes and gather ideas together. Use time to set goals, think about what you would ideally like to achieve from your event. You must also be aware that people can be indecisive and leave decisions until the last minute when it comes to letting you know if they are coming, meal choices etc, so try to be prepared for this and keep as flexible as possible for your own sanity’s sake. Also bear in mind that venues and caterers get booked up early as do attendees so think about the amount of notice your guests might need in order to plan to come along. For smaller events you might get away with a few weeks notice, but you need to allow for a minimum of 6 months notice for events aimed at over 60 people, a year would be even better.
Choose speakers wisely – Think about who you want to have speaking at your event. Do you want specialists and big names, or will you personally be delivering content? When booking speakers, think about the criteria you want your speakers to meet based on the expectations of your audience, are they going to be able to effectively convey and teach others what they want to know? Great places to find speakers can be via blogs that have inspired you, authors of books and other experts that are well known in the industry.
Big or small – If this is your first live event it could be a good idea to start small, don’t take on too much and end up having an event which is not really what you hoped it would be, just because your initial vision was to fill a huge venue. You could even start with a casual meet up or workshop at first to help you find your feet. You know your audience best, trust your instinct when it comes to what you think will work best for them (and you).
Promotion – Think about promoting your event as soon as possible. Make a promotion plan, think about email marketing, guest blogs and social media campaigns. If self-promotion isn’t your strong point, think about delegating out to people who can ensure you will get noticed, paying someone to keep your social media platforms regularly updated will also help get the excitement building.
Get feedback – Your live event is an opportunity to get some valuable feedback. Whether you personally feel your event was a huge success or a bit disappointing, it is easy to be tempted to look ahead to your next project without really taking time to evaluate the one that has just finished. Gather feedback as soon as possible after your event finishes. Start by thanking your attendees for coming, mention why you want to collect feedback, how it will be stored and whether you plan to use the answers people give publicly. Using a rating system from 1-10 makes it quick and easy for people to reply, meaning you are likely to get more responses. Ask for opinions on speakers, content, value for money, venue location and remember to leave space for written thoughts and feedback so people can qualify their answers and leave suggestions they think may be helpful. You can gather responses either using an online survey tool such as Smart Survey (https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk) or just hand out an evaluation sheet.