Over the past 7 years I have run a few hundred events from small lunch and learns to large conferences and large market sampling programs for well known Corporate Brands. As I sat here today, I started thinking about all the events that I have created and managed….wowzers… I have probably forgotten more than I can remember. Each event poses it’s own unique challenges and successes, and not one has ever been the same. That is one reason why I have always loved events.
Events can be highly profitable and very lucrative to your business or they can be very expensive, painful lessons. If you have a desire to run events in your business or participate in already established events, you will want to evaluate the risk and reward based on goals, desired outcome and out of pocket expense, etc.
I’ve witnessed some very profitable lunch and learn seminars, trainings and conferences that have just raked in the clients and sales, but I have also seen events that fizzled out with zero sales. I’m going to assume that you want to walk away with a profit from your event; whether that be from gaining new prospects, building your email list, making sales (CHA-CHING!) or all of the above.
Only you know what a profitable event is to you and your business.
At one point, I managed lunch and learns and seminars for a Wellness Group. We did events from 5 to 200 people. The strategy for EVERY single event was to get new people to sign up for wellness care. If we walked out of the event without signups (meaning cash in hand and an appointment set up), it wasn’t considered successful. Plain and simple. We knew going in what the goal was and knew that we had to make an emotional connection, provide value and gain their trust so that they would pull out their wallet and buy.
There are lots of elements and details that you need to pay attention to when planning an event, but these 4 points are the broader brush strokes to get you going in the right direction for a successful event.
Create a Quality Event
You need to be at the top of your game when you host/create or participate in an event. If you are the event creator, then you need to make sure that all of your details are dialed in.
Checklists are triple checked.
Guests are confirmed.
Logistics are all set.
Marketing. Products to sell. Swag.
Confirm, Confirm, Confirm.
The finest, smallest details are usually the ones that matter the most. Balls cannot be dropped and if they are, you have to make sure that it never looks like they were. Seriously.
The more nailed down the event aspects, promotions and logistics are the higher the quality of the event for the guests. It’s not about how much money you spend to put an event together. It’s about the heart and soul that you put into it.
Provide Value from the Stage
If you are selling from the stage, you have to bring it.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][bctt tweet=”“Sales is the transfer of enthusiasm.””]
Transfer that enthusiasm, but also make sure that your team at the product tables are ready to close. Everyone on your team needs to know what the messaging is, what the pain points are and who to direct customers to for the final close. If your team is just you and you alone, then make sure you know what objections might come up and how you plan on overcoming them. Lastly, if you get on stage and don’t sell yourself or your product, you are going to want to kick yourself in your own butt after the fact. Trust me on that one.
I have watched clients plan out their sales strategy, overthink it, get on stage and forget to talk about their product or service. As the event planner/manager, I just shake my head. There is nothing I can do to save the sale at that point. It’s painful to watch because you are invested in your client. This is an expensive lesson. I was recently speaking with a company and they make half of their annual revenue in one event each year. They put on quite a few small to mid-size events per year, but this one big event brings home the bacon and they know it. They know that this event has to be top notch, the speakers have to be on point to transfer the enthusiasm, the sales team has to be ready to close and the event team has to make sure that the event is flawless. If those things are not in place, they lose money and that is simply not an option.
Establish a Polished & Professional Environment
If you have chaos running amuck at your event, your audience, attendees and guests know it. They can feel the current of chaos and that creates doubt in you, your business and your products. Here’s the thing, something ALWAYS goes wrong at an event. ALWAYS. I have never been a part of an event (whether I was involved in the planning or not) where something just didn’t go right regardless of how well planned it was. When that happens, don’t freak out. Stay calm. You as the event manager are the one with their hand on the event pulse. How you react creates a domino effect that resonates through your entire event staff and eventually can impact the overall quality of your event.
Maintain the Energy
Attendees are excited for this event. They have paid good money to be there and they are expecting to have a good time and get something out of the event. It is extremely important that the event staff, venue staff, vendors, guest speaker all participate and carry that momentum and excitement throughout the event. Make sure to set clear expectations for your staff and also communicate professionally with the venue staff and your vendors to get and keep them on board with the vision of the event. When you have everyone working as a team with one goal in mind, you create synchronicity and major success.
Ideally, you’ll want to hire an event manager to plan and oversee the day to day details of your events. Having an experienced event planner on your team alleviates the stress of planning and allows you the host or speaker to focus on the value that you will bring to the audience from the stage.