4 Event Essentials You Can’t Ignore
Do you include these four event essentials when defining your strategy and designing your event experience? If you’re ignoring one or more of these key attributes, chances are your event won’t achieve the strategic goals and results you’re hoping it delivers.
As you start constructing your next event, incorporate these four essential attributes for success.
1. Focus on Your Audience
Focusing on your audience sounds pretty basic. But you’d be surprised at how frequently we see internal stakeholders get caught up by their own interests and desires over what the general audience attending an event cares about.
To make your event successful, start by creating personas that represent each of the potential audience segments at your event. Know your audience; what are their priorities? Why are they attending? What’s important to their experience? For example, if the majority of attendees are media and press representatives, have you given them essentials to be successful; an area to file stories, first hand experience with the brand and products, power and strong WiFi! If you are dealing with a C-Level audience have you created opportunities for them to network and presented them access to things they can only get at your event. Like the opportunity to talk directly to your CEO or product experts, or even your keynote speaker.
And don’t stop with demographics. Dig deep to find additional unique audience interests – like other events they attend, content they consume and more. If a majority of attendees go to another industry conference, use that knowledge to select different speakers they haven’t already seen, or to make sure you present a different spin on a hot industry topics.
Large scale events may have multiple and diverse audience personas, while smaller niche events may have a more uniform attendee base. Either way, tailor all aspects of the event experience to their interests if you want to hold their attention and earn their loyalty.
2. An Authentic Vibe
Another event essential is to create an experience that’s true and authentic to your brand. This is a natural continuation of keeping a focus on your audience. Think about what your brand means to them and what they expect from their investment in attending your event.
If your audience thinks of your brand as a source for cutting-edge information and inspiration, hosting your event in a traditional convention center with a packed agenda of general sessions and no time to network may be disinteresting. On the other hand, if your event takes place at an unusual venue with a mix of new experiences, interactive learning sessions and other surprises, that kind of experience will be seen as more authentic to your brand
3. Thoughtful Amenities
Create a feeling of home away from home by adding a layer of hospitality for your guests. Providing thoughtful amenities to your experience – small unexpected details that make individuals feel taken care of - creates a real personal feel. This can be as simple as a customized card and refreshing beverage upon arrival, an amenity tray for freshening up in every restroom and a 24 hour onsite hospitality and concierge desks for requests. Providing small essentials at every turn makes a real impression. If you’re hosting an outdoor lunch have baskets of sunscreen, hats, misters and sunglasses for guests to pick-up if they choose. Give your attendees what they need before they realize they need it.
4. Local Integration
One often-overlooked event tactic is to integrate the local community ambiance and culture into the event. Especially when your event destination requires high percentages of attendee travel, adding local flair increases an event’s unique sense of time and place.
Integrating local musicians, artists, performers and/or community groups are just a few ideas for consideration. And don’t forget local cuisine too. Food trucks are a great go-to for local fare while supporting local small businesses. Sourcing amenities and giveaways from local makers also provides a nice tie-in. Reduce your event footprint by engaging local charities post-event for donations; surplus food, giveaways, environmental pieces, etc can all be donated to organizations in need if planned in advance.
For a successful event that achieves results, incorporate these four event essentials into your strategy and experience.
Posted by Robin Lickliter | Request as a Speaker
Passionate about life, big ideas, fashion, food & 4-legged kids. Fascinated by social media & self-expression. Kickin' it daily as Chief Experience Officer @sparksmarketing