9 Keys to Successful Event Planning

Effective event planning requires organization, creativity, and a lot of hard work. Conducting live in-person and online events are one of the most effective and popular ways to create new business opportunities. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by Bizzabo (an event management software platform), 31% of event marketers believed that events are the most effective marketing channel over digital advertising, email marketing, and content marketing.

Events eat up a large percentage of the annual marketing budget so key marketing executives pay a lot of attention to event expenses and look for a significant return on investment. Here are 9 ways to ensure you get the most for your money.

  1. Have a strategic plan

    Take the time to sit down with your executive management, marketing, and sales team to create a strategic plan for your event. Identify your goals, timelines, and key performance indicators (KPIs). When the event is over you’ll be able to compare how well the event performed as compared to your plan.

  2. Conduct research

    Savvy event planners know what other events are being held in their particular market, how successful the events are and what trends are evolving in their industry.

  3. Start early

    It’s never too early to start planning an event. In fact, some major conferences are planned years in advance. Mistakes happen when timelines are short and event organizers have to scramble.

  4. Organize the educational track

    A strong educational track attracts high-quality attendees to your events. Panel discussions, round-tables, and customer case studies are popular educational formats. Create educational tracks to match your different attendee profiles

  5. Recruit strong speakers

    Everybody enjoys high-profile keynote speakers. They set the tone for the event and motivate attendees. If your organization is launching a new product, then a strong performance by the CEO or top sales executive can greatly influence the sales revenues.

  6. Promote, promote, promote

    Employing a multi-touch promotional campaign is necessary to attract attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors. Email, online advertising, and social media are all common marketing tactics.

  7. Drive attendance

    Don’t wait for people ‘to find your event’ on the internet. Create a target list of companies and have your business development group make outbound calls. If your internal team isn’t capable of generating the attendees, then consider outsourcing your event promotion activities.

  8. Have sufficient support staff

    You want your attendees to have a great time at your event so having plenty of company staffers on hand will contribute to a successful event. There are many jobs people can do at the event from greeting attendees, to supporting speakers, to hosting social events.

  9. Mix in social with business

    Providing after-hours entertainment, social events, golf outings or facility tours all contribute to the overall experience the event has to offer. If done well, your attendees will rave about your event and look forward to the next event you host.

Need a few tips for planning your next event? Download our Event Planning 101 guide.

Tara Phillips