5 Simple tips to remember before you create your event
WHEN I was marketing director at the New York Observer, we launched a unique event that had never been done before – a New York City Consumer Real Estate Showcase where we brought together more than 50 residential buildings with condos for sale and housed their sales offices all under one roof.
Here’s a link to the New York Times article about the event where several hundred home buyers attended this one-stop “Open House,” and were able to view hundreds of properties in just a few hours. The event was a success but I had migraines for weeks before and after. Let me save you some aspirin and share with you some lessons I learned:
1. Start with "why"
Why are you holding this event? Is it for revenue, to raise your profile in your industry or community, branding, or an annual celebration? Whatever the reason, the “why” will tell you how your event should be designed.
2. Have Help
If you don’t have a staff, ask colleagues or friends to help you. There are a dozens of moving parts and you don’t want to forget anything important: food & beverage, liquor licenses, sponsors, speakers, A/V equipment, music, decor, venue, parking, check in, invitation list and on and on. But remember: you’re providing them with the details, plans, checklists and resources. Additionally, delegating tasks doesn’t mean abdicating responsibility; it’s still on you to make sure everything runs smoothly.
3. Budget Matters
There’s nothing worse than having guests leave hungry, thirsty and/or confused as to the purpose of the shindig. You don’t need to provide rack of lamb and champagne — events can be successful with just coffee and cookies — but make sure your food and beverages are right for the event. If you’re holding a party for high-income guests, store bought cookies aren’t going to cut it. The impression they leave with is the impression that will stay with them for a long, long time.
4. Include Local Vendors
If your budget is very tight (and whose isn’t?), look to local vendors to help supply the food, beverages, or gift bag items. They might do it for free, especially if they’re just launching their business or want exposure to a new group of potential customers.
5. Market, Market, Market
How are you inviting people? Social Media? Digital, print or radio ads? Blog, e-newsletter, webinars, emails, or word of mouth? You must understand your target market as well as know what’s effective in your region.