When dealing with clients, you should always be prepared to learn things like how to prepare your clients for an in-person event. So that when clients ask you to help them with an in-person event, you can outshine yourself.
Some items you’ll help your client to figure out include creating goals for the event, budgeting, preparing the venue, hiring staff to help at the venue, and more.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the complete checklist for helping your customers organize successful in-person events.
Why an in-person Event?
Unlike virtual events, in-person events provide a real opportunity for physical human interaction. The physical interaction creates an opportunity for the organizer to build lasting relationships with attendees.
They also offer the opportunity to unearth new clients and business partners. Thanks to the magical words "let me introduce you to" in an event, you can expand your brand positioning and awareness.
But first things first. If there is anything the great romantic movie producers have taught us is that you have to set the right mood. In your case, it entails creating an excellent first impression for your clients through careful planning and flawless event execution.
To plan and execute in-person events for your clients successfully, you need the following:
Determine the event objectives
Plan the budget
Market the event
Prepare the venue
Hire and assign people duties
Manage the guest list
Manage the event onsite
Organize food and beverage
Conduct post-event evaluation
Now, let’s dive into each of these items in-depth.
1. Determine the Event Objectives
In-person events require good money to plan and execute. Therefore, the biggest question should be, what value does the event add to your client’s brand? From a business perspective, in-person events are a creative way of delivering an interactive brand experience. Therefore, your goals for the event should align with your client’s strategic marketing objectives.
In this regard, your in-person event objectives should be along the lines of the following:
Create brand awareness
Communicate business strategy
Launch new products or services
Appreciate loyal customers
Note: ensure that the goals you set for your event are measurable. These goals will help you determine the level of your event success.
2. Create a Budget
The budget you give for your event is primarily influenced by the specific marketing goals you have created in the first step above.
An important concept about preparing an event budget is that it should be flexible. The estimated costs may fluctuate, and you will have to account for these changes in the budget. Some of the vital expenses you should have in your budget include:
Food and drinks
Note: please avoid making the budget decision alone. You cannot be an expert at pricing everything. Discuss the figures for all expenses with your client and proceed with their approval.
3. Prepare the Venue
If you’ve been to the movies or sports stadiums, you know the venue plays a massive role in creating the 'wow effect.' The wow factor helps you build brand awareness seamlessly. The venue also determines how many people will attend.
When you add glamor to your event, many people will mark it as a must-attend. They’ll also share pictures and videos with friends and family, hence increasing your client’s brand awareness even further.
Consider the following when selecting your venue location:
The budget at your disposal. As a rule, avoid being stingy with your venue budget, but don't strain yourself too much.
Accessibility. You don't want a place too far for most of your targeted attendees to avoid logistical nightmares.
Size. Choose a venue with enough room for your guest list. If you intend to have exhibition booths, the venue should have enough space for the booths.
Note: don't forget to book your venue early to avoid last-minute surprises. Once you have chosen your preferred venue, inquire about its availability before making other plans.
4. Determine the Number of Staff You Need at the Event
Most of the staff in an event will be outsourced personnel. Therefore, you need to be sure of how many people to hire to avoid going overboard with your budget. You need staff to:
Promote the event to improve the attendance rate. Therefore, you may also need virtual marketing assistants to help you market the event effectively.
Enhance human interaction on site to make the event lively. It would help if you had staff to assist people and keep them engaged at the booths, tables, and reception.
Decide the number of people you’ll hire depending on the size of the guest list and venue.
5. Market the Event
Sending invites alone does not guarantee full attendance at your event. It would be best to create enough buzz to give people a reason to attend your event. Promotion helps create anticipation among the target audience. You want to show people all the good things they’ll miss out on by not attending the event.
Your best bet is to use visual content that attracts and retains attention for longer. Email marketing is an effective way to reach out to your target clients and partners about the event. Your email subject line should be precise to create enough attention for your target audience to open up and read about the event. Moreover, you can take your promotion a notch higher by producing a full email newsletter about the event.
Social media platforms are also ideal for drumming up excitement about your upcoming event. You can employ the following techniques to create enough excitement about your event on social media:
Provide recap videos of your previous successful events
Offer a sneak peek into the planning of the current event
Offer a special announcement of guest speakers
Mention the event's theme
Virtual flyers and business cards
It would also be a shame if you forgot about the traditional techniques of promoting an event. For example, pinning event flyers at strategic locations where your target audience lives, and sending business cards to people your client already knows. The promotional staff should help you distribute the business cards and flyers for your event.
Note: you can also use these flyers when promoting the event using paid ads. The ads can be on social media or in traditional print.
6. Managing the Guest List
Your in-person event has to have a guest list for better organization. There has to be some level of exclusivity to your event to achieve the objectives you set. Given that these objectives are marketing oriented, most of your guests should be your and potential clients. For example, if you launch a new product or service, the guests should be your target customers.
However, you must also create room for potential investors and business partners in your supply chain. You also want to create enough networking opportunities, so your invite list should include stakeholders from your internal and external business environment.
Note: ensure that you have sent the guest invites in good time to allow them to confirm their attendance. Also, employ technology in guest check-ins to improve efficiency.
7. Manage the Event On Site
The planning is not over until everything flows seamlessly during the event day. To make the day flow seamlessly, create an event schedule and timeline. Communicate the schedule to all the guests who confirm their event attendance.
Communicating the schedule in advance improves your coordination on the actual date. For example, the venue planners will have set everything, including the décor, before the actual start time.
It would be best to have a rehearsal a few days before the event to make everyone conversant with their role during the actual event. Also, remember to create a system for troubleshooting issues that may arise during the event. Probably have an organizational structure of who answers which questions.
8. Post-Event Evaluation
It is important to acknowledge that this will not be the last event you will organize. Therefore, the post-event evaluation stage is vital for the success of future events. But first, you need to collect feedback about what everyone thought about the event. Do this by sending a thank you email to all attendees.
Think of creative ways to ask for their feedback on the event. For example, include a short survey about the event in the thank you email. Social media is also a good place to gather feedback about the event. Social media surveys or simply a post about the event will get you the feedback you need.
Finally, the measurable objectives you set for your event can help you evaluate the event's success. Be sure to document your findings about the just concluded event for reference when planning future events.
Now that you’re aware of all the moving parts involved in an in-person event, it’s time to notify your clients that you can help them organize in-person events at any time. Once your clients trust you with one event, they’ll trust you to plan their subsequent events successfully.