Introduction: Planning Your Own Successful Event
There’s always something new and exciting happening with our clients, and the exhibit world in general. While we’re certainly dealing with a lot of unforeseen events these days, this is really just another opportunity to try new things; maybe go out on a limb a lot further than you would have, even two months ago. The ideas here will provide you with some action items to work on now, so you can hit the ground running when the time is right.
Many of us depend on trade shows and events to create quality selling opportunities for our organizations. With your shows and events currently paused, let’s go back and look at why we do those events in the first place. Your list might be a little bit more elaborate than this one or it might be simpler:
- Quality face-to-face interactions
- Ability for prospective clients to “touch and experience” products and services
- Build brand awareness and consideration
- Establish and expand thought leadership
- Create a memorable customer experience
- Support an industry or association
- Networking with other like-minded people
Within your own organization, you may even have many different reasons for doing your different events. You might be looking to create those quality interactions and move the sales needle; you may be in it to expand your thought leadership, or you might look for networking opportunities to create synergies and the passing of ideas between like-minded people.
With this blog series, we’re going to help you create a playbook of options to take the place of trade shows because for now, as you know, we’re not sure when they’re coming back. It’s probably worth noting that things will likely open up slowly, allowing smaller groups to gather first, before green-lighting the larger crowds and the bigger events. So, as you create your plan, keep those smaller group numbers in mind.
Strategy & Planning Considerations
Start by reviewing your objectives and needs. Mapping out your answers to these types of questions will help you gain insight on how to create your own successful event:
Review Your Objectives & Needs
- Is the primary goal to gain new business, or reinforce existing customer relationships?
- How will you track ROI?
- Are you demonstrating a product or piece of technology?
- How long will a typical meeting/presentation last?
Next, identify the audience that you’re looking to attract. Who are your key prospects? And, where is your key audience located?
- Who are your key audience prospects?
- Targeting vertical or geographical markets?
- Speaking to a group of prospects at once, or one-on-one?
- Numerous prospects from the same organization
(requires multiple meetings)?
- Where is your key audience located?
- Metropolitan areas
- Suburban and/or remote
- Restricted or shutdown areas
Then, identify your event technology needs:
Identify Your Event Technology Needs
- AV support needed?
- Canned PowerPoint or streaming content?
- Remote presentations?
Will you need additional tech support from outside your own team? Can you keep things simple, like using a PowerPoint, or will you need something more complex like setting up a global livestream? Do you need remote presenters in different time zones, or even different parts of the world? And lastly, where will this face-to-face take place?
In the following articles to this blog series, we’re going to highlight four ideas for face-to-face engagements that you’ll be able to put to work now so you can hit the ground running when businesses are set to reopen.