Organizing a successful event for your small business takes planning. Whether it’s a conference or awards ceremony, and whether you have two weeks to plan or an entire year, the success of your event comes down to the details.
Before you start planning, it’s important to consider these key elements:
Defining Your Audience
The first step for planning a successful event is to clearly define your target audience. Defining your audience early on will help you to stay focused on achieving specific goals, rather than allowing the scope to become too broad or watered down. From here, you’ll be able to choose event location, format, and content that is right for your audience.
For example, if you’re hosting potential investors, you may want the format of your event to be more formal than if you were planning a holiday party.
Promoting Your Brand
Your event should convey the personality of your small business. Decorations, handouts, promotional literature, videos, and presentations — they’re all part of making sure the values of your small business shine at your event.
Because most business events offer little return on investment, it’s important to decide how much you can lose when planning your budget. Make a comprehensive list of all the expenses and then look for areas where sponsors could potentially help carry the costs. And if you need some guidance when it comes to finding good sponsors for your event, this article from Idealist has some great tips, including how to set sponsorship levels.
Getting People to Attend
On most occasions, you’ll need to market your event to get people to attend. Using social media such as Twitter and Facebook is one terrific way to get the word out about your event. In this article, Socially Stacked recommends promoting your event on Facebook through a status update, an RSVP app and an “Event Responses” Facebook ad.
It’s also wise to use your company website and blog to promote the event, which can help get people talking and take the place of invitations. Make sure the RSVP process is as simple as possible for invitees. Knowing how many people are coming to your event is important for managing your budget and planning all of the logistics for your event, such as seating and parking, for your guests.
Running a Smooth Event
There are many ways to ensure that an event runs without a hitch. The first is to enlist people to help you. Having one person in charge of every detail typically doesn’t work out well, so make sure to delegate responsibilities. Additionally, as the host, this is an opportunity to make a good name for your business.
By being welcoming and gracious, you’ll build upon the affinity for your brand and be able to show your skills as a well-rounded leader.
When it comes to the details of your event, it’s important that all of your vendors — may it be a caterer, band, or speaker — get paid. Using a simple payment tool such as Viewpost, which improves efficiency and eliminates paper with electronic invoices and payments, will help you pay your event vendors on time with less effort by you. Keeping the operations of your event as simple as possible helps things run smoothly and keeps you in good graces with vendors that you may want to use in the future.
Though planning an event for your small business can be daunting and stressful, considering all of the details in advance will help ensure that your event is a memorable one for you and your guests.