Whether you have been trading for some time or are just starting out as a small fish in a very big pond, there’s plenty of reasons as to why hosting an event may be the key to your future success. Business events are a great way to not only network with people in your industry and to make important connections, but are also critical in helping you gauge public opinion on your brand and/or product line. But the crucial question is – where do you start when it comes to hosting that perfect first event? What are some of the important points to consider when it comes to creating that all-important first impression on such a broad scale? Here are a few things you should bear in mind before you get started.
Stock Up on Promotional Items
A well-organised and positive event experience will likely live on in fond memory for many people – but an effective way to really make those memories last, and to ensure that your brand and products sustain the maximum recall factor, is to share a few promotional gifts with your guests. Stationery such as notepads, calendars, pens and the like may not seem too exciting – but they’re a great way to mark your event, and whether you give them out at the start or at the finish, if you brand items that are likely to be used by your recipients on a regular basis, they’ll remember you and your event each and every time they do so.
Simplify Your Introductions
Getting to know people is what good networking and business events should be all about – and you can make it a whole lot easier with clear, effective photo ID cards and lanyards that tell your guests exactly who you are, what you do and who you work for. Digital ID have a great range of options available when it comes to professional ID card printing and making sure that your personnel is readily badged and set to meet your public is absolutely crucial.
Pick the Right Venue
This is inarguably one of the first steps you should be taking when setting up an event of any kind – think about your event surroundings carefully. You’re likely to want to create an intimate setting if it’s your first event – perhaps nothing too grandiose nor too empty – but you don’t want people to be short on elbow room, either! Consider the type of venue that fits your brand the best – and the people you’re set to host – and do always consider parking availability, as this will make or break whether or not some guests will be able to attend at all.
Once again, this perhaps goes without saying, but if it’s your first event, and it’s virgin territory, you should be extra careful with overhead costs. Consider exactly what you need from your event – do you need to dress your venue? Are you hiring any entertainment for the evening? How much will catering and bar rental cost? Before you make any phone calls – unless it is to obtain quotes ahead of time – you should have a clear and concise budget mapped out and ready to go.
You may be tempted to follow one or two event ‘templates’ if it’s your first time hosting, but the bottom line is that your guests and potential clients are going to recall your event and products less if you put on a show that’s like every other. Don’t make it all about jargon and facts and figures. Keep things light-hearted – offer attendees a change of pace, a lighter feel to business events that may surprise them – of course, you should always keep a certain level of formality, but the message remains the same – go a little left-field without losing your message or ethos and you’ll impact very positively upon the people you’ve invited.
Ask for Feedback
Yes – even if you’re worried that your event didn’t go exactly as you’d hoped, it’s essential that you approach your guests after everything has come to pass. Not only will this give you an opportunity to pick up some pointers for your next function, it’ll also help you understand what worked brilliantly – all feedback is good feedback, generally, and it’s essential for growth. Email your attendees after the function with a short questionnaire or give them the opportunity to share their thoughts – you can then use general consensus to shape all future functions you might hold.