Managing a marketing event of any size can be a stressful undertaking. In fact, according to one report from CareerCast, event planning is ranked as the fifth-most stressful job, joining the likes of firefighters, pilots and taxi cab drivers. Fortunately, for people who work in marketing and event management, there’s a few easy steps you can follow to quell your stress and ensure a successful campaign. The same helpful tips hold true whether you’re hosting a small affair for a client, organising a large event for the public or planning a product launch.
Tips to Prepare for your Next Marketing Event
1) Create an Event Plan or Checklist
In a blog post, Meeting Professionals International articulates some of the core traits and skills required of those working in marketing and event management. This includes people skills, time management, flexibility, creativity and attention to detail, to name a few. Another trait is thinking ahead. To reduce the inevitable last-minute stress of your marketing event, take time now to develop a robust plan. It’s best to start doing this at least four to six months before your event.
To create an event plan, begin with the basics. Ask yourself: What is the theme of the event? What is its purpose or goal? Who will speak at it? How will we promote it? What is the general timeline? Be sure to consider all activities that happen before and after your event, such as pre-event workshops or post-event surveys.
If you or your team are relatively new to this, try using an existing event planning checklist; you can enhance or modify these lists to meet the needs of your company or event. Templates are a great way to think about preparation at six months out, one month out, one week before the event and the day of the event. Breaking it up this way also makes a large, complex event feel manageable.
2) Choose the Proper Venue
After you’ve established an event plan or checklist, your next step is to choose a desirable venue. The top spaces fill up quickly, so make this one of the first items you tackle after you’ve decided on an event theme and date. The best approach is to either reach out directly to venue spaces or to partner with an event marketing company that specialises in venue selection or offerings.
Refer back to your event planning checklist often as you decide on a venue. Keep your theme and audience in mind to select the most appropriate venue. For example, a financial services conference might be best held at a traditional conference center, while a product launch for a new video game could be held in a more informal or novel setting, such as a mall, park or movie theater. For inspiration, we suggest seeing what others in your industry have done. Explore venue portfolios or search sites for everything from classic venues like halls to more unusual venues on ships or in caverns.
3) Assign Clear Roles and Responsibilities
Do you have a dedicated marketing and events department at your company? Or will you need to establish a special team to pull off your next marketing event? Either way, make sure everyone is clear on their role and responsibility, from day one. For example, who will be managing speakers? Who will lead event promotion? Who is responsible for selecting vendors and suppliers? A good rule of thumb is that when it comes to marketing events, every role is a critical one.
One helpful resource to build a top-notch event team is this guideline of common team roles from Splash. You can modify or enhance any of these roles when building your team:
- A “big picture” head of events
- Hands-on event coordinator
- Marketing lead
- Sales or customer lead
- A designer or creative lead
- An on-site manager
- A technologist or data manager
4) Create a Promotion Plan
In addition to an overall event checklist, you should also create a specific plan to promote your event. Think about what you want to communicate, why and to whom, and create a detailed content action plan that focuses on how you’ll achieve these goals. In my experience with some of our top clients, it’s always best to consider multiple promotional channels (both digital and offline) to ensure the widest possible reach. This could include e-mail campaigns, a public relations strategy, paid advertisements and promotion via social media and your company’s website. Also plan to post your event on local and national online event calendars.
Further, if you have the budget and resources, a sharp, professional and engaging promotional video (even a short clip) can go a long way to drum up interest in your event. For even greater reach, arm your internal staff with the tools they need to help you promote the event to their own networks, such as printed and digital collateral, talking points and discount codes or coupons.
5) Brand your Event with Custom Merchandise
For attendees, one of the most memorable parts of an event is often the merchandise. We’ve been in business for more than 25 years, and know that attendees look for great giveaways and gift bags. In addition, you may want to consider branded badges and coordinated apparel for your team and event staff. As you plan for your event, be sure that you identify and produce all of the promotional items that you may need for your event.
A great name badge, for example, is a must for large marketing events. Today, name badges can be designed to be as unique as your own brand, complete with an exact replica of your name and logo and either engraved or screen printed on a number of high-quality materials and finishes. If you’d like to create a memorable gift bag that doesn’t end up in the rubbish, look for functional, reusable bags like a durable conference or document bag and fill it with unique branded merchandise that connects to your conference theme, like button badges, keyrings or special merchandise like branded water bottles, notebooks or apparel.
I hope this post helps reduce some of the stress that will undoubtedly come as you plan your next marketing event. Remember, if you plan ahead and follow the steps above, the process can be more enjoyable than it is nerve-wracking. It can also result in a smoother, more successful event that meets and exceeds your marketing or product goals.
Please get in touch with me or any one of the experts at Rocket Badge today; we’re keen to hear more about your marketing event and offer additional tips and insights to ensure your success.