If you are an entrepreneur who has been successful and you want to boost brand awareness, hosting your own business event may just be the right step. Although a lot goes into planning and organizing it, it can be a great way to get your business out there.
Over the past two years of the pandemic, ongoing lockdowns and constant cancellations of face-to-face events were a massive blow to the events industry. In the US, the event industry market size saw a decline of -9.8% during the intense COVID-19 period, and in 2022, it has increased by 4%!
The pandemic situation created a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and SMEs to host their own virtual events. Thanks to smart tech solutions, companies kept their operations going and business development initiatives were still possible albeit remotely.
However, in the course of 2022, events started to go back to normal as well as the way people work and meet. Thus, we’ve prepared 8 tips to plan and host a business event that is successful and engaging. Read on to find out more!
1. Map Out a Plan
When it comes to hosting a business event, it is important to plan ahead. This means setting a date and time for the event, as well as choosing a venue that is convenient for your attendees. You will also need to decide on the format – whether it will be a panel discussion, workshop, or networking event.
What you can do to find out the best model is to conduct an online survey and ask event attendees what they want to see at the event.
2. Create a Guest List
Once you have chosen a date and time for your event, create a guest list. Be sure to include both potential customers, as well as other professionals in your industry who can help to promote your business. You can also use your event as an opportunity to build relationships with other businesses in your community.
Think about cross-promotion opportunities as well. Research companies that can somehow complement your product as well as benefit from being associated with you.
3. Promote Your Event
Once you have created a guest list, it is time to start reaching out to them and spread the word about your event. The best way to do that is through email if you’ve built a list of prospects to contact personally. Cobine this with social media, as this will allow you to reach the widest possible audience. Be sure to create a catchy hashtag that matches the theme. Also, post regular updates on all of your social media channels.
4. Send Out Invitations
After you have sent out emails and promoted your event on social media, it is time to start with the invitations of those who are interested. Be sure to include all of the relevant information about the event, such as the date, time, schedule and location. You should also include a brief description of what attendees can expect at the event. A nice touch would be to personalize each invitation and make recommendations to each individual according to what they do and what the nature of their business is.
5. Prepare Your Venue
Once you have sent out invitations and confirmed that attendees will be coming to your event, it is time to start preparing your venue. If you are renting a space, arrive early so that you can set up chairs and tables if necessary. On the other hand, if you are hosting the event at your own business premises, be sure to tidy it up and make it look presentable for guests.
6. Welcome Guests
As guests start arriving at your business event, be sure to welcome them warmly and thank them for coming. If you are hosting the event at a rented space, introduce yourself to the staff so that they can help you with anything you need during the event. However, if in your own office, be sure that all of your employees are aware of the details and are prepared to answer any questions that guests may have.
7. Keep Things Moving
Once the event has started, it is important to keep things moving so that attendees don’t get bored. If you are hosting a panel discussion or workshop, be sure to keep things moving by asking questions of panelists or facilitating discussions among attendees. If you are hosting a networking event, circulate among guests and introduce them to each other to ease communication.
8. Thank Guests for Attending
As the event comes to an end, be sure to thank all of the guests for attending. If possible, send each guest a follow-up email or card thanking them again for their attendance and including information about how they can stay in touch with your business in the future.
Although business events are often thought of as stuffy, dull affairs, they don’t have to be. If you plan ahead, create a guest list, promote it well, and prepare your venue, you can make sure your event is both successful and interesting. Welcome guests warmly when they arrive and keep conversations going throughout the event. Thank them for attending at the end of the day so they feel appreciated. By following these tips, you can throw an enjoyable business event that will be remembered for all the right reasons.