The essentials of running successful events
Some of our 'Secret Source'
One of the reasons our clients tell us they like working with us is that we are very open with them. They include us as part of their team and we each share our experience and specialist knowledge. In this series of articles I’d like to share some of our “secret sauce” – the things we focus on that make our events so successful. In reality, these are mostly common sense lessons that we bring to the party - or any other type of event!
Whether it's a small executive breakfast or a conference for hundreds, there are some essentials that apply to all events. Long before we discuss logistics, there are three key areas of any event we start with: Objectives, Audience and Timescales. It is often the assumptions made at this stage that affect the whole event going forward.
Objectives, Audience and Timescales
These three are much more closely related than people allow for and it is an iterative process to align these often competing foundations. For example, every client has a number of objectives their event needs to achieve – lead generation, customer awareness, relationship building and so on - however your audience don't know this. When thinking of your target audience, ask yourself how they might respond to your objectives.
And while timescales naturally include the time we need to plan and execute your event - although sometimes we make miracles happen - they also refer to how long you need to effectively deliver your message AND whether you have enough time to really communicate to your ideal audience. For example, executive diaries are often filled up months in advance so short-notice events for executives can be difficult.
Put yourself in your delegates' shoes
And then take some time to answer these questions!
OBJECTIVE – WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DELIVER?
AUDIENCE - WHAT VALUE DO WE REALLY OFFER THEM?
TIMESCALES- HOW LONG DO I HAVE?
The secret in all of these is to put yourself in the shoes of your potential audience and answer honestly from their point of view. Understanding the real answers provides the foundation of a great event; ignoring them can undermine the outcome of even the best run events.
The best lessons from the best events
Having asked and answered these questions many times over, we have certainly learned some interesting lessons:
All of which brings us to “Logistics” where we really start to consider the event proper. In future posts I’ll consider the planning and delivery questions crucial to different types of events. But by addressing the questions here honestly and carefully, you can at least be confident of the success of your current event, whether you ask your audience or your stakeholders.
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