July 10, 2015 Faz

Running Successful Events 101 part 2

4 Ways to Keep Events Interesting

 

In terms of making events successful, they MUST be interesting and appealing to the customer. Whereas this seems obvious, it is shocking to see how many event planners do not pay enough attention to the customer’s desires need and wants – especially if they take customers for granted after repeated success.

 

The Cardinal Rule

Just because something worked last year or the past few years does not mean that it will continue to work in the future. This really cannot be overstated and this can often be the albatross around the neck of many successful events. For some reason they have successful attendance for a year or two, but then people lose interest and stop coming.

 

Do not deviate from what works just to be “different”, but definitely evaluate the various components of your event at regular intervals to verify that what you are doing is still relevant.

 

Pivots Are Not Easy, But Sometimes They Are Necessary

If you identify something that is holding your event back, make sure that you attack it with vigor. Brainstorm fixes and solutions and test the ideas with some of your more steady clientele. This can even work to add a layer of exclusivity to your more loyal attendees and make them feel more like insiders.

 

But make sure your ideas are actionable and then make sure they are implemented. Nothing kills a good idea like bad execution. For an idea to work, a team needs to be fully on-board and committed to making it happen. Without team’s buy-in, you are pushing up the creek without ores.

 

What Makes Events Interesting?

When it comes to running successful events, it goes without saying that they absolutely must be interesting. But what are the factors which increase the interest among attendees?

 

  1. Number of Registrants

For one, it is about size. Even small or medium sized enterprises are capable of drawing 50 or 100 people. Thus, to make an event that will be truly tantalizing to the attendees so that they have something in your event that they genuinely cannot get anywhere else, you need to have high quality attendance and high volume (unless, of course, exclusivity is part of your event in which case there would be an increased premium for attendance).

 

  1. Topics Covered

Another aspect which contributes to the interest of an event is the concept. So, for instance, in the United States there is somewhat of an over-saturation in regard to comic book conventions. They pull a great deal of attendees and sell an incredible number of tickets and booths, but trying to create a new event to compete in that space is extremely difficult. Just make sure that your idea is interesting and that the market is not already too saturated. Or, if the market is already oversaturated, ask yourself if your concept is disruptive enough to make your event competitive.

 

  1. Big Name Presence

Does your event have someone who will draw a crowd? Who is an essential player in the industry? These are factors which can dramatically affect turnout. The opportunity to interact with a special guest is an enormous draw with any kind of event.

 

  1. Networking Opportunities

It is really important that you have the right amount of official and unofficial networking opportunities built in. This includes coffee breaks, meals and appropriate cocktail receptions. This is an enormous opportunity where in some cases professionals can take their businesses to the next level over a simple networking conversation.

 

Maintain a Customer Focus

At the end of the day, it comes down to how well you know your customers, how well you can anticipate their needs and how effectively you cater to them. Stay in the loop. Ask for their feedback. They are the ones who make your shows possible.

 

Decide on a set of principles for how your customers will be treated and then stick to them. Publish them where potential attendees can find them and give them recourse to contact event staff should they feel that these concerns are not being met.

 

As an events professional, you are a facilitator – that is, you are there to facilitate the needs of buyers and sellers. Excellence in customer service is how you can really stand out.

 

Problems in Canada

One of the most unfortunate things about how local Canadian events chose to operate is that organizers do not disclose who will be at various events.

 

In this age of privacy concerns, I readily admit that maintaining the personal privacy of others is paramount. However, there are plenty of conferences which password protect and secure their attendees’ information, allowing people to reach out to potential contacts and actually schedule informal meetings before they even attend the event in question.

 

This is such an important facet of any conference in the 21st century and is widely done all over the world. In my professional opinion, I think that the positives far outweigh the negatives and that the potential gains that individual attendees stand to receive by being able to reach out to such people outweighs any potential negatives..

 

This is a central facet to providing the absolute best to your customers. Treat them well and positive word of your event will spread quickly.

 

Have you been to an event that was either really good or really bad? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below!

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About the Author

Faz I help business grow through growth strategy, diversification and "future-enabling" them. Passionate about conscious capitalism and helping SMEs, Entrepreneurs and StartUps grow locally and internationally. My expertise are in Media, Publishing, Events, Oil & Gas and Startups. I have executed business transactions in over 20 countries and grown businesses in two recessions.