Give early bird incentives. Early bird tickets at a cheaper rate are a great way to get early sign ups by giving people an incentive to act now rather than wait and forget.
Team: Who Is Going to Help?
Delegate responsibilities. No matter the size of your business, always try to delegate responsibilities. Having one person in charge of every detail typically doesn’t work out well. Whenever possible, let people take control of the areas they most enjoy. For example, let the foodie in your company handle the catering details. The more someone enjoys their responsibilities, the more likely they will carry them out with success.
Follow up – and follow up again. Check in early and often. Though no one wants to be micromanaged, make sure that employees and vendors are on track with their event duties. As long as people know you expect updates from time to time, they are less likely to become frustrated when you call or email for one.
Sponsors are royalty – make sure they feel like it. If you have sponsors — treat them like kings. They fund your event and enable you to do it (if that’s your business model). Be very clear before the event what they will get as sponsors.
Always underestimate turnout, for sponsors. If you think you can get 100 attendees, base your sponsorship pitch on a lower estimate — especially if this is your first event. It’s better to give sponsors a pleasant surprise than a disappointing one.
Ask people what they think, and be ready for feedback good or bad. Ask for critiques. If you’ve done half a decent job, you’ll get lots of kudos. Say thanks, but then ask for the CRITIQUE and be ready for it.
Have a skilled social media team cover your event. Don’t forget a social media team. While not imperative for every event or industry, more and more events are focusing on harnessing the viral power of their audience. If your audience is tweeting, Facebooking and taking pictures on Instagram — you should be doing the same and you will need a trained team to execute.
Look for vendors who serve your niche and are willing to get involved. The best vendors you can work with are those who are familiar with small business culture. Look for vendors who work with small businesses frequently or who would get involved on a bigger level than their role.
Event Day: Pulling It Off
Set expectations carefully – then deliver. Ensure that the audience has a GREAT (not good) experience; and that you give them what they expected from attending.
Attitude is contagious. Your guests in large part will play off your attitude and dynamics during the event. Lead by example and have a good time.