Common mistakes corporate event planners make that affect event ROI

Corporate events are one of the most important elements of any brand’s marketing strategy. They’re not only an opportunity to solidify a company’s reputation, they’re a crucial means of elevating a brand’s exposure, as well as their level of customer engagement. Ensuring event ROI is the ultimate goal. Unfortunately, many event planners get tripped up on elements that are completely avoidable – to the expense of their clients. In essence, the purpose of any event is to retain customers or entice new clients. If your corporate events aren’t adequately fulfilling this role, chances are that you’re making one of the following mistakes: Mistake

1: Not setting realistic goals

Any corporate event entails a multitude of tasks that more often than not, need to be completed in an extremely short amount of time. The frenetic pace at which events are planned, organised and executed means that some elements aren’t given the attention they deserve – often with dire consequences. It’s crucial that any goals you set – whether timeframes, ROI or guest list attendance – are reasonable. Know your numbers; look at past event ROI for guidance and pay meticulous attention to your budget. Don’t set goals that are unfounded – if you want your event ROI to be X, make sure that you have the data to back this up. Realistic expectation from the get-go are essential for both you and your client – it’s better to deliver on a reasonable promise than to aim for an end result that’s completely impractical.

Mistake 2: Not doing adequate research about vendors

The majority of factors that influence event ROI rely on in-depth research on the part of the event planner, and your choice of vendor is no exception. If you want to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to facilitate the maximum amount of event ROI, shop around before choosing a vendor. This includes your venue, catering, entertainment and administrative staff, to name a few. Event ROI boils down to keeping your overheads as low as possible. Negotiate with vendors that you’ve worked with before. If they know that you’re a reliable client, they may agree on a reduced rate paid up front, compared to a vendor who you’ve never worked with before.

Mistake 3: Not devoting enough time to creating engaging invitations

It should go without saying that if you’re sending out below par invitations your event attendance is bound to be dismal. Your invites are as important as the event itself – so make sure you’re sending invitations that are professionally designed, personalised and adequately convey the brand and the type of event. If you don’t have the necessary expertise then outsource this to a professional RSVP service who’ll be able to create invites that impress and intrigue. Your event ROI is directly related to your attendance rate, which means you need to employ the use of every available resource to ensure your function is well attended.

Mistake 4: Not sending a ‘Save the Date’

It’s pretty obvious that your event ROI rides on a well-attended event. If you’re not sending out a ‘Save the Date’ that includes a ‘decline’ option, the chances are high that by the time your guests receive their invitation, they’ll already have committed to another engagement. It’s crucial to have the necessary tools at your disposal so that if you see that many of your guests decline via your ‘Save the Date’, you’ll have adequate time to move your event to another day – safeguarding against missing out on event ROI.

Mistake 5: Inefficient management of your RSVP process

Event ROI relies on accurate data and efficient management throughout. If you’re having to phone up guests who haven’t replied in between negotiating with suppliers and instructing staff, chances are, you’ll slip up somewhere. Your RSVP process needs to be professionally conducted if you want to ensure you’re showcasing your client in the best possible light. If you aren’t already making use of a professional RSVP Agency, we strongly suggest you do. Event planners have limited time as it is – make sure you’re not hindering your RSVP process due to the fact that you’ve got too much to do.

Mistake 6: Neglecting to conduct a post-event survey

It’s imperative that you give your guests an opportunity to provide you with feedback. If you have no clue as to how your event was received, you’re bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over. A post-event survey provides you with pertinent information about your guests’ experience. This can be conducted via either an SMS or email survey sent shortly after the event. Being aware of elements that were problematic or well-received further bolsters your ability to plan and execute events that are guaranteed to result in ROI.

Mistake 7: Inaccurate data on hand

If you can’t see which guests have declined, accepted or not replied, you’ll end up over-spending or under-catering – both of which will negatively affect your event ROI. It’s crucial that you have the exact information on hand at all times, and that it’s updated in real time. Having to consolidate conflicting Excel sheets that have to be filled in manually will only result in expensive inaccuracies. Make sure that you’re able to access your guest list data at all times, that it’s frequently updated and that all staff are on the same page. If you don’t have the capacity to do this, enlist the help of an event management company who’ll devote their full attention to the meticulous management of your guest lists.

In addition, having in-depth data on hand is crucial as you’ll be able to see why some guests have declined. If you’re aware that a VIP is in hospital, you’ll be able to send them a ‘get well soon’ gift and a flash drive with presentations from the event – further solidifying your reputation as a professional event planner. If you’re using sophisticated RSVP management software, you’ll be able to identify (among other things) the time an email was open and whether it bounced or not. This data can then be used when planning future events – you’ll be able to adjust the time you send out your invites, update any addresses that bounced and ultimately, ensure event ROI.

Image Credit: Soul Story