Working virtually definitely has its benefits and while everyone loves the 3pm break with your four-legged officemate, if we’re being honest we’re all missing the“handshake.” It’s that moment of connection that happens when we’re in the same space, sitting across the table from a customer or colleague.
This has added an extra layer of importance to business events. You’re not only bringing people together to share ideas and review business plans, you’re bringing people together. In addition to building relationships, business events can help grow your business.
While in the planning process, there are things you can do to make the event one that everyone remembers.
Seven Tips for Planning a Business Event
Remember Your Audience
A business event can easily become a company showcase, celebrating everything your business has ever done. While that can be fun and build morale amongst your team, the question to ask is should it? Is that the purpose of the event?
If there will be customers or potential clients attending, make sure that the focus of the event remains relevant to them. They need to feel that their business is better because of what they learned at the event. If they leave feeling well-informed, they’ll always equate you as industry experts.
Set a Goal
What’s the goal you have for this event? Is it establishing yourselves as experts? Cultivating prospects? Should it end with new orders?
Set one overall goal and step-goals for each day of the event. Every action, speaker, handout, vendor booth, breakout session, and more should be structured to achieve those goals.
While the goals you establish should be internal, they can be translated into an overarching theme for the event.
Stick to the Schedule
Setting, and sticking to, a schedule is important for three reasons:
- It’s a way to ensure that you’re covering everything you want to.
- It promotes the professionalism of your company by showing you respect the time of those in attendance.
- It keeps attendees engaged. You’re not giving their attention an opportunity to wander.
The Need for a Break
You might be afraid that if you give your audience a break in the day, you’ll never get them back. In fact, if you don’t you may lose them entirely.
As the event goes on, people are going to start to wonder about an email they were expecting or remember a call they had to make. If they don’t have a break, they may try to perform those tasks during the event. And guess what – just 2.5% of people can successfully multitask. That means something has to lose their attention.
Functional vs. Fun
You don’t want people to just have an informative time at the event, you want them to have a comfortable one as well. This is why it’s critical that your space matches the needs of the event.
Is there enough seating so that attendees can be comfortably spaced out? Are there an ample number of restrooms? What’s the wi-fi situation? Is catering available?
Don’t choose an event space because it “looks cool” or “that’s where you’ve always gone.” Choose one that will meet the functional needs of your event and the attendees.
Invite Team Members to Not Pay Attention
It doesn’t matter how carefully you plan – something will go wrong during the business event. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a couple of team members whose sole responsibility is troubleshooting. Helping find a lost phone, refilling coffee, passing out handouts, helping with wi-fi connections, and all of the other “minor” things that make a major difference.
Trust the Experts
People will attend your event because they trust you, they see your company as experts in the field and want to learn what you know.
Use that expertise to focus on the substance of the event and trust the execution to experts in those fields. Audio/visual, catering, event registration – there are people who do this and do it well. Working with them creates a smoother experience for attendees and allows you to focus on what you do best.
There is Another
Everyone likes to think that their company is the only company. But let’s be honest, there are others in your industry who are doing good things. So why not let them share what they know at the event.
Partnering with experts provides a richer experience for your attendees. It also lessens your workload and projects a certain confidence from your company.
From a practical standpoint, if others are part of the event, they’ll be promoting it as well which could open up an entirely new customer stream to you.
Make a Business Event an Experience
At Hotel LeVeque in downtown Columbus, business events are given the same care and attention that our nightly guests receive.
We have three dedicated rooms with a combined 2,000 sq. ft. of space. With additional breakout rooms and on-site catering, your attendees will have the space and amenities they need.
If you’re planning process, our business event team is here to help.