A high-profile event needs to be flawless. If your planning, marketing and organisation isn’t up to scratch, you’ll lose credibility with the executives and c-suite level guests an event like yours expects — and if you lose that credibility, you’ll lose sponsorships, investments, and that all-important high-profile status. So here are ten things you need to remember when planning your high-profile event.
1. Keep your event secure
Event security might not seem like a big issue — after all, you already have badges, emails and direct mails providing attendees with the right credentials to enter you event. That can be all you need for a smaller event, but are you sure that’s enough for yours? An electronic check-in system that cross-references guests with a centralised database of confirmed attendees can make a huge difference, ensuring the people that turn up at the event’s entrance are meant to be there. This can also help you remain GDPR compliant as the data controller. You need to ensure that all of your guests’ data has been acquired legally, and is kept safe and secure using proper measures. Event technology tools can provide options for secure check-in, something we wrote about in a previous blog.
2. Know your visitors
Knowing your visitors also means monitoring the attendance of your event. There are always different kinds of visitors in attendance, from ordinary practitioners and small-scale buyers, to c-suite level guests.
You can streamline the check-in process using an event technology tool, which could help you to keep track of the visitors attending your event, the positions they hold within their company and their prestige within the wider industry. This can, in turn, help you tailor your event marketing in accordance to the specific roles your visitor, and make sure VIP guests are given the service they expect.
3. Provide a bespoke service to your guests
Before, during and after an event you have to ensure you target your marketing to your attendees according to their position within their industry, their area of responsibility and the prestige of their job title. You can recommend various features, seminars or networking opportunities according to information you have gathered from them through the sign-up process or from interactive emails — you could streamline this process using custom-built registration forms. Providing a bespoke service can make visitors feel valued as individuals rather than just a face in the crowd, and is therefore essential for retaining their personal interest in the event.
4. Get your venue right
The venue is a key part of what makes an event successful. Something large and expensive like ExCeL London ensures your features and exhibitors have plenty of room to manoeuvre, but that won’t be appropriate for all events.
Some specialised or small-scale events benefit from an unusual venue; in London that could be anything from the London Aquarium to Wilton’s Music Hall. These provide a unique and memorable backdrop that will encourage better visitor retention in the future, as well as lend prestige and an appropriate ambience that fits the event’s tone.
5. Give value to your attendees
Time is money, so you need to make sure your attendees get value from your event. In a high-profile event, visitors need to be sure they can generate new business and secure new contacts, so it might be worth using an app that lets attendees communicate with each other, or setting up dedicated meeting rooms to make sure your guests can take advantage of networking opportunities. You can also produce an event guide that helps guests plan their visit, ensuring they know exactly what they can expect to get out of your event.
6. Provide a unique selling point
What makes your event stand out from the crowd? With so many events, conferences and trade fairs catering for the same industry, it’s important that your events offers a unique selling point that turns it from an inessential distraction to an unmissable date on their industry’s calendar.
You might do this by booking high-profile speakers, securing a key industry influencer speakers, or simply by providing excellent and important features, speeches and seminars that appeal to a broad range of attendees.
7. Get the support of industry associations
If you’re running a trade fair or specific industry event, you can instantly give it more credibility if it has the backing of an industry recognized organisations. For instance, if you’re running an event showcasing new technology within the pharmaceutical industry, having the sponsorship or endorsement from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and their logo on your marketing materials elevates your event, giving it credibility and influence in the eyes of your potential attendees and exhibitors.
8. Give your attendees directions
What’s the point of organising an event if the attendees doesn’t know how to get there? Sure, they can look up directions on Google, but giving them an extra chore can be a serious turn-off — and it makes you look unprofessional.
Providing directions, information about transport options and even hotel discounts can be transformative for attendees who may otherwise struggle to reach the venue. Offering guests a live flight tracker, for instance, can help them manage their travel and ensure they make the event on time, as well as directions and maps to the venue embedded on the event website.
9. Respond to live and post-show feedback
It can be vital for you to gather feedback on the performance of your event during and after the show. Staying responsive to live feedback means you can make incremental improvements during the event, perhaps by making small adjustments to speaker systems in response to complaints about volume during a keynote speech. You can also learn from the post event feedback from your attendees to make improvements in your future events. For example, if your attendees tell you they weren’t given enough options for networking, you can use your feedback to introduce more meeting rooms or make use of an app that lets them arrange meetings during the show
10. Keep your guests updated
Events aren’t static. You’ll always have new features, seminars, exhibitors or speakers to announce, so it’s vital to have different ways of updating your attendees either through an email marketing campaign or through push notifications on an event app to keep your guests constantly updated of any changes as they arise.
But that responsibility doesn’t end when people start to pile in to the show — you can use an event technology tool to send attendees push notifications reminding them of the sessions and meetings they’ve reserved to attend. In this way, you’re constantly keeping your guests engaged with your event, ensuring they’re making the best of their time.
Organising a high-profile event takes enormous effort, but remembering these ten key points should take away some of the stress. At the very least, you should be aware of the benefits of using event management software, which can significantly streamline the way your event is organised and run, and provide powerful new avenues for engaging with your attendees.