As we settle into a second period of lockdown, Rhian Berry, marketing manager at EventMind says it’s time to straighten out your business strategy to ensure you are running as efficiently as you can, and make sure you are working as perfectly as you can in your role.
There are millions of moving parts when it comes to organising events, which is why planning events can be known to be very time consuming and stressful. Despite a generally amazing attention to detail, many event planners are making minor mistakes right now which could cost them a couple of clients, or even their business!
I have compiled a list of 5 rookie errors that event planners are making right now, in the hope it will help companies out there with keeping clients and your event audience onboard.
1. Postponing your event until it can be in person again
As we all understand, no live events are currently happening at the moment (and probably won’t for the foreseeable future) but this shouldn’t mean you cancel your event altogether until you are able to network in person again. Why completely cancel it and risk losing your event audience when you can easily make the pivot to virtual events?
For one, if you fully cancel your event until live events are allowed again, you will lose interest with your audience. Unfortunately the events industry is an extremely competitive market, so you are likely to see your audience go to one of your competitors to attend a similar event, as this competitor may have taken initiative and still made their event work online.
The next point, we have no idea when the industry will get back to ‘normal.’ This could be a week, a month or a year – why postpone an event full well knowing it may not be able to take place for over a year? As MPI have recently shown in their study, your organisation needs to show continuity of relevant service. Where you may always hold an annual conference, your audience will have this in their annual plans, it is important to show that their participation matters by trying all you can to take initiative to still hold this event.
You can easily make the change to virtual events, some excellent virtual event ideas can be found in Hootsuite’s post earlier this year. Some are even saying engagement is higher with events online – if you’re struggling knowing where to start with this, EventMind are always available for a conversation to help you.
2. Not creating a year round ‘hub’ for your audience
Communication is so important with both clients and audiences any time of year, let alone during a pandemic. In our recent Online Events Made Simple podcast we discussed virtual networking, this may give you ideas. Whilst morale is at a low, why not keep your engagement high by trying a couple of these ideas below?
*Why not create a mailer to go out to keep them in the loop of what’s going on with your company?
*Have you thought about creating a LinkedIn group where everyone can discuss their thoughts and views together on one of your upcoming events?
*Create videos to go up on your social media, videos are a great way to keep interacted with your audience.
*Try a live video on one of your social media like Instagram – this allows you to be engaged with your audience whilst talking in time, why not offer a Q&A session?
3. Thinking your visitor numbers will stay high if you relaunch next year
One rookie error I’m sure many event planners have made, is assuming your visitor numbers will stay high if you decide to relaunch next year.
During this pandemic, it’s certain that it’s the most important time to stay engaged with your audience and clients, and keep them up to date with your company news. You need to stay relevant and engaging – if you decide to relaunch next year but go completely quiet, people could essentially forget about you. Linking back to my previous point about the events industry being competitive, your audience could quite easily attend your competitors’ events if they receive more engagement from them.
All research shows you can put on the best event in the world, but people don’t want to attend in person events if the pandemic is still around. I recently read a article which although was based on a specific sector, suggested there are three principles to staying relevant during the pandemic:
*Relationship first – keep the relationship positive between yourself and your clients/audience
*Educate – look at your business structure and strategy, educate yourself to prevent any surprises that the pandemic could bring to your organisation
*Add value – do you have any resources that could help others?
4. Not embracing hybrid now
If your organisation isn’t currently embracing hybrid right now – do it, you won’t regret it.
Hybrid events are essentially events with a mixture of in-person and virtual elements. Ok, so I understand you’re not able to currently have in-person events, but what’s stopping you from being ahead of the game?
If you don’t adopt the concept now, you will be seen as out of date by the time in-person events are allowed. You’ll be left behind for companies who have started using this technology and have a strategy in place for when these events are allowed again
Although it’s a tough time for businesses, you need to stay focused on how you can improve your services for the future, and be aware of what technology there is that you can adopt to stay relevant.
5. Devaluing your own virtual proposition
I’ve seen a few people lately refer to online virtual events as “cheap” or “less valuable”, which is completely untrue. A big error some organisations are making is not giving the virtual world the credit it deserves – there is so much you can do with virtual events – now is your time to use it to its capacity, and give it the value it deserves!
Forbes have recently released a study of strategies to ensure your virtual event is a success, why not take some time of your day to have a look through this to ensure your event is a success?
I hope these tips have helped many organisations, these are little errors I have seen some companies do, and it could mean missing out on clients or business for them. A takeaway from today’s blog post is to never underestimate the power of technology and online events, and to stay engaged with your clients and audience throughout these tough times.