Experiential is the buzzword that’s top-of-mind for marketing professionals. Creating experiences for your customers and coming up with new and exciting ways to connect in-person in our highly digital world is vital. Hosting events is the most direct and cost-effective way to connect with your clients’ offline. With companies like Kapow Events (an online on-demand event-booking service) hitting the market and making it easier than ever to host an event, these five questions will help you prepare, engage attendees -- and have fun!
1. Who is the event for?
Who would you like to attend your event? Are you targeting new business and overall client acquisition? Are you saying thank you to your current clients and looking to show your appreciation? Are you hoping to build your community and raise brand awareness? Are you working on investing in your company culture? Are you launching a new company, product or service offering? Identifying your muse and painting the picture of your ideal guests will lay the foundation for all of the other elements and make your overall planning process much more pleasant and efficient.
2. Why are you hosting an event?
What is your primary goal? Are you targeting a large crowd or an intimate gathering of quality individuals? Do you have specific metrics you are responsible to hit? Who can you count on within your team to help day-of to execute your goals? Deciding your “why” will give you executable checkpoints before, during and after the event.
3. What are you looking to get out of it?
How many people would you like to attend? Do you need to secure a certain number of sales? Is the focus to become a resource or thought leader in your respective area of expertise? Do you simply want to entertain people? Deciding the number of attendees you want to come directly affects the number of invites you should send out -- and you can always expect a certain amount of drop-off from your initial RSVP list.
For example, professional events see about a 20 to 30 percent drop-off in registered attendees versus actual guests. During general public events you’re looking at a 40 to 50 percent drop-off. Both of these instances will be effected when you’re selling tickets. For paid events, you can expect a 10 to 20 percent drop off.
4. What type of event elements would fit your outlined criteria?
As you pinpoint who you’d like to attend, determine your goals, and decide what you are looking to achieve. Once you arrive at the “what do I do” phase... well, that's the really fun part! If you are doing a networking event, how can you make it stand out?
Offer a signature cocktail, create opportunities to move around the space, engage attendees to partake in the creation of the event -- crowdsource what your guests would like to learn about. If your guests are of a varying age groups what resonates? Make it fun. And think through the details ahead of time.
5. How do you plan for your event to live on?
Have you booked an event photographer? Have you planned for a videographer? Have you developed a shot list and thought through the important moments? Where do you plan to share your photos and videos? Would you like guests to be able to virtually attend your event? Understanding what you’re looking for ahead of time will help you plan accordingly and hit on the necessary touch points. Quick tip: always share your social handles and event hashtags upfront and make them easily findable at all times.
From those answers you can surmise what type of event you should host, how to engage attendees and have some fun!