Event Planning - Best Practices
In order for corporate events to appeal to the entire audience across personas, the planning process must include a scalable strategy combined with best practices ton help companies and organizations achieve key objectives such as efficient registration, improved stakeholder accountability, improved ROI, and enhanced brand presence. Some best practices that make corporate event planning successful are having well-defined goals, executing multi-channel event promotion, making use of new technologies, maximizing attendee experience, and prove the event's return-on-investment (ROI) with set metrics.
1. Define event goals
- According to an article published by Cvent, it is vital in a planning process to begin by defining the event's goals. Undefined event goals can lead to poor outcomes.
- While defining goals, companies can utilize a four-point strategy that focuses on identifying the audience, decide on the event's content, the purpose of the event, and ensure that the goals are measurable. To understand the impact of events, each objective must have a relevant KPI to measure its progress and performance at each stage of the event.
- It is found that ensuring each goal is well-aligned across the teams is a critical aspect of the goal-setting process. Shared objectives can help teams work better together to achieve better performance results.
2. Multi-channel event promotion
- Every touchpoint and interaction of each member of the audience during the corporate event lifecycle will provide an opportunity to strengthen the purpose of the event. By utilizing an incorporating multi-channel promotion, companies can successfully "personalize these interactions at scale".
- The key channels that can be used for successful event marketing are creating an event website; working on an event email promotion campaign; content marketing through press releases, video series, infographics, and blog posts; social media platforms by engaging with audience to vote on speaker topics and event elements; and mobile event apps.
- Since there are several ways to promote and market a corporate event, utilizing a multi-channel approach for event marketing will ensure that a company takes full advantage of all the available resources.
3. Making use of new technologies for the entire event
- Since technology is advancing at every turn, event planning can be simplified and streamlined at every step of the planning process if the right technology is used at each stage. From venue sourcing to post-event evaluation, companies will be able to effectively plan each aspect of the event lifecycle with the use of new technologies such as AI interfaces and generate maximum returns.
- Event management software can be used at the event location to collect onsite registration and check-in data. Companies can also use self-servicing kiosks, on-demand, and wireless badge printing onsite. Attendees need to have a seamless experience from check-in to the final session of the event.
- It is found that successful corporate events have accelerated check-in process, engage the audience with live polls, have a messaging community platform, and use event apps.
4. Maximizing attendee experience
- An article published by Eventbrite suggests that by offering interactive food and drink stations, increased networking opportunities, and have some fun activities during break time can increase attendee experience. Technology can play an important part in maximizing the audience's experience. Rather than having a PowerPoint presentation, speakers/hosts of the event can connect with the attendees better by incorporating something new such chatbots or mobile apps to help them connect with relevant content.
- According to planner and organizer, Anna Marie Rembold, event venues should be fresh on-trend to add to the audiences' "wow" factors. Anna Marie also suggests transforming the venue in a way to excite and engage the audiences and making the location interactive. An example of Anna Marie's successful corporate event is the Spigit Ignite 2018 where her team installed an interactive photo wall for their attendees.
5. Prove the events' return-on-investment (ROI)
- It is vital to set metrics to prove an event's return-on-investment (ROI) such as highest-rated topics and content, session/seminar with the highest attendance, and highest social media engagement and mentions. Accurate measurement of the event's ROI by properly analyzing the figures is a key best practice of corporate event planning.
- Measuring the ROI of events must take various tangible and non-tangible aspects into consideration so that companies can implement appropriate changes in their business process to generate maximum returns. A template that defines metrics in terms of goals, key indicators, and their corresponding tangible values can be found here.
- According to Bizzabo, to prove the ROI of a corporate event, a post-event analysis must be conducted that includes focusing on the key metrics in connection with the initial goals, connecting event KPIs with the metrics of the overall business, and scheduling a follow-up report that studies the impact of the event.
We began our search by looking through industry reports, market studies, media reports, and articles on best practices from some top corporate event management software in California to identify the best practices that make corporate event planning successful. An exhaustive search through these channels provided limited information on corporate event planning specific to California. We then expanded our search to include the corporate event planning industry across the United States. We looked into reports and articles published by the top corporate event management companies in the country to identify the best practices used to make a corporate event successful. Each practice identified on our list has been determined as a "best practice" based on the number of times it was mentioned in industry reports and by industry experts. Each best practice outlined has been cross-referenced to ensure that it is being utilized by some of the largest companies in the United States.