The following is a guest post by Tiffany Rowe. Tiffany is a Marketing Administrator at Seek Visibility, where she assists clients in contributing resourceful content throughout the web.
Undoubtedly, you have some serious resolutions for your startup in the coming year. You want to grow bigger, make moves with greater agility, and prove that your startup is going to survive. One way you can do all three is with corporate events, which attract much-needed attention to your (as-yet) little venture.
However, events can and do go wrong. If you want your 2018 events to be serious successes, you need to make the following resolutions about your corporate event planning strategy.
Develop Event Goals
You aren’t going to the trouble and expense of organizing an event for no reason whatsoever – but you might also not know exactly what your goals are, either. Like any project completed by your startup – like any New Year’s resolution – your event goals should be realistic and detailed for them to have a positive impact on your business. You can use the SMART method for developing objectives for your event:
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Achievable
- R: Relevant
- T: Time-bound
Know Your Audience
By now, you should know your startup’s audience; you should know who is most able and willing to buy your goods or services and how to market to them. This year, you should focus on knowing your event audience — and believe it or not, the two groups aren’t necessarily the same.
Typically, every corporate event has a different audience. Often, your audience is your startup’s employees; sometimes your audience is potential investors; and rarely, your audience is your consumers. Any time you plan an event, your first step should be researching the needs and wants of your event’s audience.
Watch the Trends
From event marketing tactics to the décor in the space, every aspect of events is subject to trends. Undoubtedly, some attendees will expect your events to be on-trend in specific areas – which requires you to know your audience, but as importantly, it requires you to be aware of important trends and execute them impeccably. For example, if your guests expect unique stages for your product launch party, you must hire a company with experience in custom fabrication. You can follow blogs related to your industry as well as the event planning industry to stay hip on the trends relevant to your startup.
Rely on Technology
Corporate events tend to have dozens of moving parts, which makes it difficult to build a brilliant event with pen and paper. Instead, you should learn how to use planning software and implement other advanced technology that are useful before and during events. When it comes to event management tools, you have several options to choose from; here are a few useful programs to consider:
- Trello — a comprehensive project management tool useful for more than just event planning
- Whova — a mobile-friendly, affordable tool that can scale for small or large events
- Cvent — probably the most well-known event management tool, excellent for large events
Anytime you organize a corporate event, you need to keep timing in mind for several reasons. First, your event should coincide with maximum interest in your event, so attendees remain eager and publicity is high. Secondly, you should be cognizant of scheduling far from other important events, including industry conferences or the holidays, which might cause attendance at your event to be low. If your timing is good, you have a much better opportunity to accomplish your goals for the event.
Have an Event Team
If you are organizing anything bigger than an office birthday party, you should seriously consider using a third-party event team. Not only are they usually inherently up-to-date on trends and familiar with event-planning tools, but it is literally their job to set event goals and work diligently toward achieving them. That means you can throw your event ideas to your event team and continue to focus your efforts on improving your business in other ways.
Go Bigger and Bolder
Events are supposed to bring awareness to your startup, celebrate your achievements, and prove your importance, but if your events are run-of-the-mill, your startup likely won’t be remembered. Using trends, technology, event teams, and other tools, you should strive to make 2018 your year of big and bold.
Know Your Limits
However, you should also be committed to knowing your event planning limits. If your startup is new, small, and relatively unstable, you probably shouldn’t pour all your effort into organizing a massive event. While you plan, you must consider your event budget and timescale, which should guide you toward an appropriately big and bold event for your business.