As former event managers, we’ve experienced the main issues every event planner faces
– Making sure attendees appreciated the event and come back
– Spending hours and hours answering the same question over an over in the leadup to an event
– Struggling to get vital feedback to improve for the next one
– Building reliable engagement between you, your attendees and your partners
Our team at Conexie decided to bring together some of the best tips we have to offer to help face these issues.
We want to hear from you too! If you have any tips to share with the event management community, leave a comment and we’ll add it to the list (with credit to you of course!).
In this article you will only find tried-and-true tips used successfully by community members.
Let’s start putting together some great ideas!
1. The event industry is based on networking
Yes, great, but how? Where?
Your best first step is to join a network — there are a lot of eventpro groups out there! These groups are made up of people just like you:
– Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
– International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)
– Home for Event and Meeting Planners (PCMA)
2. Networking is not working!
Networking is not about collecting as many business cards as possible (while it could be a good ice breaker). Building a reliable relationship, that’s the big deal! You can think of your network as friends who happen to share professional interests.
Are you planning a networking session as part of your next event? Here are a couple of ways you can help your attendees prepare:
– Let attendees identify people they will be able to interact with.
– Let them know what is going to happen
We’ve all experienced awkward “ice breaker” games. Instead of this, try organizing people into small groups, and prompt them to discuss a specific topic.
3. Check list — the most commonly forgotten things
– Reduce the echo in venue
– Capacity of the venue
– Charging stations: more and more events require you to BYO device
– Alcohol licensing (plan early: it can take more than 5 weeks!)
– Food allergies and preferences
During the event
– Have two schedules: one that attendees see and a highly-detailed version for your team
– Offer multiple payment options
– Let people know where to find emergency kits and exits
– Communication with sponsors
– Live stream and hastags
4. Record everything in a shared spreadsheet
What to record ?
– Schedule: who needs to be where and when before, during and after
– Stakeholders and contact details: don’t be caught out in an emergency
– Accountability: include deadlines and who is responsible for completion
– Give yourself a “bird’s-eye view” of your event
– Have all the information in one place in case of an emergency
– Sharing everyone’s contact details and improving communication and accountability
5. No one wants to sit in the front
Is there anything more awkward than to speaking to a front row of empty seats? Put as many seats as you have registered attendees. As a result, seats will be filled — just make sure to keep a stack of seats in the back, in case you have extras!
6. iPhones as Walkie-talkies
The best apps we have experienced so far are:
– 1st: Voxer
– 2nd: Zello
– 3rd: Wechat
7. Generate polls
Live polling is one of the hottest trends in event planning. Creating a poll on social media or a form that you send by e-mail can be useful in multiple ways:
– Gather feedback and new event ideas
– Identify who your regular attendees are and take care of them
– Using attendees’ ideas makes them feel part of your event, especially if you attribute the idea to them
Only useful goodies are worthwhile. No need to spend hundreds of dollars on something that attendees will never use, or worse, will end up in landfill.
Goodies that perfom well
– Laptop Stickers
– Travel chargers
– USB key
– Relevant sponsor voucher
– NICE mug
Goodies to avoid
– Desk calendars
9. Use hashtags for your event
Hashtags are the best way to attract your potential audience online:
– They increase your content’s reachability
– They help your SEO
– They enhance your brand’s reach
– They point your content towards your audience
How to get ideas?
10. Follow the trends!
Follow the best event planners on social media and analyse what they are doing.
How can I find them?
– Kissmetrics offers relevant content, but here are the ones we are following:
Follow some specific groups — not on Facebook but on Linkedin!!
– BizBash — Event Planners Gather
– Event Planning & Event Management
– Event Planning & Management Association
Let us know in the comments if you have any other winning tips, tricks or advice!
We hope this is helpful!
Also published on Medium.