Throw a FUN Event to Stand Out
Updated: May 12, 2022
Event planning is a lot of hard work but an event can be FUN and an effective means of connecting with new prospects and existing customers. Events have many tangible benefits that can help you develop leads that convert to clients, as well as nurture and grow your relationship as a trusted advisor with existing clients.
Following are the steps to developing a productive and FUN event:
Pick a date and then establish your timeline. Allow yourself plenty of time -- typically 6-8 weeks minimum -- to thoroughly plan the event as well as develop and execute the marketing that will be required to promote the event and recruit your targeted attendees.
2. Set a budget. Be realistic about what the event will cost including:
Space and/or activity rental;
Food and beverage;
Incentives to attract attendees;
FUN swag or premium items you will give away that complement the theme of the event;
A/V rental costs, including screen, projector or digital signage, if you will be doing a presentation or have an educational component to your event;
Event management software to help you with extending invitations and tracking RSVPs;
Shipping costs if you are shipping items to a venue rather than transporting them locally yourself;
and a Miscellaneous category to cover any unforeseen expenses that pop up along the way.
3. Find your Venue
Select a location for your event that easily accessible to your invited list of targets. Then determine what type of venue is conducive to holding the event. If you want to include a presentation about your company and services, make sure the venue has meeting space that will accommodate this.
Brainstorm FUN venues that will attract your audience. Some ideas include:
Game and social arcades
Casino theme with 'play' gaming tables
Bowling at a 'high end' bowling alley
'Dancing with the Stars' class
Use your FUN imagination!
4. Select and Use Event Management Software
Event planning software can be very helpful in organizing and executing your event, and especially with keep track of your RSVPs. It can help you with registration, promotion, organization, and—most importantly at this stage—planning.
If you are just getting started with events, you can review various software options that are reviewed by Capterra: https://www.capterra.com/sem-compare/event-management-software/?utm_source=ps-google&utm_medium=ppc&gclid=CjwKCAjwve2TBhByEiwAaktM1NY4ZR0H5IfNN9XDFj07COcZ0odSoi-Y7ccf7tNnb4EwF7xLbiNu4RoCqwoQAvD_BwE
You also can test the waters with Eventbrite's free tool: https://www.eventbrite.com/l/complete-guide-to-setting-up-your-event/
5. Is Your Venue Turnkey or Do You Need to Contract with Other Suppliers?
Depending on the venue you choose, they may offer a turnkey package -- the venue, the food and beverage, and A/V equipment and support. Other venues may just provide you with the location and activity but leave you on your own to source everything else. Make sure you factor all the options into your budget. If you’re allowed to bring in outside vendors, be sure to price compare to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
You should also reach out to your vendor partners and suppliers who may provide you with funding and support for the event. By combining resources, you can share the expenses while also potentially boosting attendance by attracting potential attendees to which your partner has access.
6. Figure Out the FUN Part of Your Event!
What is it that’s going to get people to attend your event? Is it the topic? The name recognition of the speakers? The venue and the activity? Potential prizes or incentives for the attendees? What will motive them to want to attend? What do they need to know? Find speakers who can speak to that.
Try to focus on venues and attractions with a wider appeal unless you know for certain that your desired target audience is for certain to be attracted to a certain type of event. A cigar rolling and smoking event will have a very limited appeal and most likely won't attract an audience of women. However, if you know that your audience skews toward men you may want to try this type of event as it certainly is different than the average events your competitors may be promoting or that your audience is accustomed to being invited to.
7. Market Your Event and Make Sure it Looks Like FUN!
Market your event in as many channels as you can to ensure good attendance. Use emails, social media, and direct calls to targeted attendees. Encourage those who have RSVPed early to see if they will promote the event on social media and encourage them to bring an associate with them. Social media can help you to create buzz and excitement and FUN!