All events—whether they be major conferences or small group dinners—require a handful of basic elements. There’s the who (your attendees, speakers, sponsors), the what (topics, themes), the when (we’ll let this one speak for itself), the where (destination, venue), and the why (business, pleasure, both?). These can be some of the most challenging pieces of the events puzzle to nail down, and while there’s no one way to make them all fit together, there are a number of ways to ensure that they are successful. Which brings us to the how…
You can have a world-class venue with an unbeatable lineup of speakers on board, but if you don’t have a solid media plan in place, it could all fall apart with the drop of an wifi signal. With all the new and groundbreaking options available to event planners and marketers today, there’s no reason not to take a thoughtful, creative approach your event media strategy. Here are some tips to get you started.
Encouraging Alternative Media
Speaking of speakers, let’s talk about media. Yes, PowerPoint and conferences go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. But if you want your event to stand above the rest, it’s time to venture in another direction. From VR headsets to video walls to interactive whiteboards, technology offers a range of options for speakers to shake things up.
There has never been a time when event planners have seen as many options for new and exciting ways to engage technology as they do today. Utilizing these tools to deliver interactive content will leave a lasting impression on attendees who have become accustomed to the standard slide-shows of the past.
Factors to Consider:
- What does your media budget look like? Is there room to try something new?
- How likely are your speakers to take advantage of the alternative media options you are considering investing in?
- Is there a team in place for setup, testing and technical issues?
It’s no secret that social media is a major game-changer for events. From generating buzz to communicating updates, social media has become one of the greatest tools for event planners. Use your event branding to create custom social media images and share them with your sponsors, speakers and influencers. Whether it’s pre, during, or post-event, sharing images, videos and stories gives attendees the opportunity to revisit highlights from the event. Make sure your hashtag is known and visible to your attendees and encourage them to share and tag away!
Factors to consider:
- Do you have a comprehensive social media plan for your event?
- How can you encourage attendees, exhibitors, speakers and influencers to engage and promote your event through social media?
- Will you be using an event app that provides social media integration?
- Will you be using an event app that provides a social wall to encourage social engagement through the app?
- Are all of your social media profiles up-to-date? Do they reflect your event branding?
Onsite Problem Solvers
The key to success is transitioning smoothly between sessions and activities. So if you are ready to take your events to the next level, it may be time to invest in a technology team. “Having professionals organize all of the equipment, set it up and be on hand to make sure it works all day was totally worth it,” say event planners Zach Inglis and Laura Sanders. “Some of the most common things that go wrong are minor technical issues —microphones not working, laptops not connected to the projector—so having a skilled person there to fix issues as soon as they arose was invaluable.”
Factors to Consider:
- What is the onsite plan for technical issues during your event?
- Do you plan on having your own technology team onsite, or will you hire an outside vendor?
- Have you clearly communicated with speakers about the required formats for presentations and visual media?
We’re now more than halfway through our series, so it’s time to start thinking about what to do with the events between the events. Stay tuned for part five of 6 Keys to Event Planning Success: Downtime.