As we’ve said before, an event is essentially a tangible means of marketing a brand or company. But how do you ensure that your event experience results in all-important ROI? An event entails a substantial financial investment (not to mention countless hours of time and an inordinate amount of logistical management), which means that the responsibility of showing tangible returns falls on the shoulders of the corporate event planner.
In the eyes of your guests, a brand is only as good as their latest experience with the company. This means that in order to ensure that your guests remain loyal to a brand, your event experience needs to be phenomenal.
An event experience that’s perceived as a personal interaction with the brand is one that elevates brand advocacy.
If a guest feels invisible or unimportant whilst attending an event, there’s little chance that they’ll want to support the brand. People want to feel important and seen, which means that the onus is on you to create an event experience that caters to this intrinsic human need. There are countless ways to ensure that a guest feels that their presence is important, whether it’s a personalised touch on a place setting, being greeted by first name upon arrival, or being presented with a gift bag that’s especially been assembled for the recipient.
All facets of an event experience need to be relevant to the demographics of your guests.
This can be tricky, as the majority of corporate events entail a myriad of guests, each with their own tastes and preferences. That said, there’ll always be qualities that your guests have in common. Approaching this task from the viewpoint of catering to a target market, as opposed to a guest list will enable you to identify elements these people have in common. They might all be medical professionals, investment bankers, or top sales people. Think about the traits that are shared amongst your guests, and then ensure that your décor, catering, venue and entertainment are all relevant to the attendees.
Quality is tangible – which means that skimping on any element that caters to the senses will detract from the overall event experience.
If you’re working within a tight budget, be cautious about the aspects of the event that you’re frugal with. Allocate more money to the elements that guests have a direct interaction with, like food, décor and entertainment. This may take some brainstorming, but find ways of reducing your costs in ways that won’t be noticeable. This may include using a supplier who’ll let you pay on completion of a job as opposed to an upfront payment, or negotiating a reduced fee with a vendor on condition that you’ll use their services for future events too.
Learn from past event experiences in order to improve any future functions.
Make sure you’re learning from your past mistakes by using data gleaned from post-event surveys. Collecting this information is a waste of everyone’s time if it’s not going to be used to create better event experiences. Review past events and pin-point aspects that could be improved, making a point to dedicate more time and budget to these areas to avoid repeating the same mistake twice.
Remember that an event experience entails the initial and post-event communication with your guests too.
Many corporate event planners unwisely put all of their efforts into the event itself – failing to realise that every single facet, from the invitations to the post-event surveys are just as crucial. There’s no substitute for personal interactions – they emphasise the fact that the brand recognises and appreciates every single guest.
In order to make the process of planning and executing event experiences that successfully engage guests and in turn, result in ROI, it’s crucial that you’re making use of the right event management software. This will enable you to create personalised, bespoke online invitations, conduct post-event surveys via SMS and gather crucial information about your guests that can be used to create an event experience that makes the best possible impression on your guests.
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