5 Things Your Boss Wants To Know
5 Things Your Boss Wants to Know (About Special Events)
1) How to Draw The Right Crowd
If you’re planning any kind of event it’s going to involve an audience. And even though you may not be trying to fill a stadium, you are looking to connect with your audience. What your boss really wants to know is how to draw the right people to your event. It doesn’t help to have a packed house, if the people in attendance aren’t interested in your product or service.
Start with a clear vision of your target audience. I find it helps to visualize the ideal client and keep them in fixed in your mind. Thinking of someone specific as you write your ad, design your posters and promotional pieces instinctively clarifies your language and tone. Writing TO an actual person, makes you write LIKE an actual person.
2) How to Guarantee a Positive Experience
Of course you are going to approach the event from your point of view. Obviously you’re motivated to invest your time and energy because of you want to get out of it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But what you need to do, is step outside your own head and think about the experience from your client’s point of view. What will they see when they walk in? What will they hear? Will someone greet them and make them feel welcome? Will it be awkward if they’re on their own and don’t have someone to talk to? What could you do to make that person comfortable from the moment they arrive? Visualizing the event from your client’s point of view is key to creating a positive experience. Remember…it isn’t about you, it’s about them.
3) How to get them talking about your product/service
Assuming you’ve planned an amazing event and attracted the right people, what you really want is for your clients to go away and share their experience with others. An event is your opportunity to make an emotional connection between yourself, your product and your clients. But if you want to start a conversation, your customer needs to have a voice.
How do you give your customer a voice? Let’s say the next day you upload some fun event photos and tag them. (This of course assumes that you made sure to get people to sign up for your newsletter!) The photo makes them look great/smart/cool so they share it. You comment on how great/smart/cool they are, and how much you appreciate them making your event such a great success. Their friends overhear your conversation, and jump in with their own two cents, and suddenly your client is driving the conversation about you, and it’s not an ad that people want to block or skip. It’s a story they want to be part of.
4) How to maximize the return on your investment
We’ve probably all drank a great wine that had a long lingering finish. That’s the kind of event you want to produce. An event that lingers in peoples minds. Because the end of the event isn’t the end of your investment. We are social creatures and love to praise the things we love, whether it’s music, books, movies or food. If we go to a great restaurant, the next day at work we’re telling everyone they have to go try it themselves. So provide creative ways for your clients to share their experience with their social circle. Create an entertaining event that blows them away, and then give them ways to share that experience with others.
5) How to build momentum
Unless you’re planning a wedding, you don’t really want the event to be a one off. The best way to keep your client’s engaged and build momentum is to create a story that they are excited to be part of. We all know the first rule of storytelling is to write about what you know. Well the first rule of producing events, is let your audience get involved. I think about this when I see bands like U2 who consistently sing “oh, oh, oh” call and response parts with their audience. Yeah people want to go to a concert to see their favourite band, but most of them would love a chance to sing somewhere other than their car or shower. Give them a chance to be part of a great story, and they’ll pull their phones out and start taking selfies to share with the world.
Don’t leave your clients sitting on the sidelines as passive observers. Give them an opportunity to be involved and engaged. Because if you do that, they will happily share their experience with everyone they know. And that…is what your boss wants.
Rik Leaf is a WSET III Sommelier, member of the BC Guild of Wine Judges and host of the Entertaining World of Wine. He’s been a Music/Media/Event producer for 18 years