Having a successful live, in-person event requires a little more work than a webinar or teleseminar, but they are much more profitable and tons more fun. Sure, they take a bit of planning, but if you follow these tips you’ll be well on your way.
- Have a Clear Objective– You first need to have a clear, well-defined objective for the event. That is the only way you can successfully market it to your audience, as well as potential JV partners and sponsors. People can see when something is well considered or not.
- Find JV Partners– A joint venture partner (or two or three) can help you pull off a much larger and well attended event than if you did it all alone. The JV partners should be people who offer complementary product and services to yours, rather than direct competitors.
- Hire an Event Planner – The cost of an event planner is more than worth it when you consider all the little things that need to be done to ensure your event goes smoothly. An experienced event planner can actually save you money by helping prevent costly mistakes.
- Recruit Volunteers – Once you know the event is going to happen, and you’ve sold a few tickets, it’s time to recruit some volunteers. The best volunteers are those who have signed up for information about your event, and fit within your desired demographic, but for whatever reason cannot afford to go.
- Market Everywhere – Well, market wherever your audience lives, plays, works and socializes. Your marketing should be directed and specific, in order to get a good response. You can have Facebook Lives, webinars, articles, blog posts, eReports and more to promote your event. Everyone involved should be promoting the event with these methods. Also consider advertising your event in the local paper to attract new people who might not find you online.
- Collect Leads – During your marketing, find ways to collect leads, because the people you market to via email directly are more likely to sign up for your event than people who find your information in other ways. You can also continue marketing to them down the road. Consider allowing affiliates to market your event, too.
- Land Sponsorships – If you can land a well-known sponsor for your event, do it. It will make your event seem even much more impressive when you say “Sponsored by XYZ corporation,” especially if that corporation or entity is well known and trusted by your audience.
- Choose the Right Venue – One of the most important decisions you’ll make is where your even will occur. Ensure that the space is right for the size of your event. You don’t want people to feel too crowded, nor that they are swallowed up by the size of the venue. You also want the style of the event to fit in with the style your audience has, in terms of them worrying about what to wear and how to present themselves.
- Get Technical Help – Even if you’re great with technology, monitors, computers, microphones and such, you definitely want someone else to take care of these things. You want to be a personality at the event, not the technical person, because it will take away from some of the fun for you, as well as distract you from what you should be focusing on. Besides, you’ll have more than enough things to do as it is.
- Practice the Performance – Your speech, the order of the talks, the use of the technology and so forth needs to be completed on site at the event location when possible, to avoid any issues with lighting, technology or even walking up a step or two to get to the podium. This will make the entire event look more professional and avoid mishaps.
- Test Technology – It’s been mentioned more than once in this list, but that’s how important it is. You should ask speakers to send you a copy of their presentation prior to the event, so that if something happens you’ll have a copy, they’ll have a copy, and put a copy in the cloud just in case. But do not assume the internet will work. Have back up plans.
- Allow for Breaks – Don’t forget to put realistic breaks into your event so that your participants do not get too fatigued or uncomfortable. Even interesting talks can put people to sleep if they are uncomfortable, hungry, or need to use the restroom. No matter how interesting the information is, attention spans only last so far.
- Ensure the Temperature is Comfortable – A very important component of a successful event is how the environment feels to the participants. You don’t want it to be too cold or too warm in the location, although it should lean slightly to the cold side, as it tends to keep people more awake and alert. If there is an issue, ask it to be fixed on behalf of your guests.
- Serve Healthy Food – It’s tempting to go crazy and serve heavy food that will shock and awe the participants but you really want them to focus on your message, and not their full and possibly sick and over fed stomachs. Give options for different types of people. You can survey those who purchased a ticket to ensure the food choice fits most people.
- Start on time – If you announced the event would start at 9 am, have the room open by 8:30 (at the latest), and at 9 am sharp start the event. This rewards people who were on time, sets the expectations for returning from breaks, and if it is a multi-day event, and the remaining days. This will also help ensure you get to everything timely, and nothing gets rushed or dropped out, because you ran out of time.
Good planning and plenty of forethought will help ensure your event is a huge success. Not only that, but you’ll be able to create a profitable and fun outing for everyone involved.