by Chloe Hashemi, marketing consultant for film and video production company LAMBDA Films
To some, the idea of hosting any sort of large event is more than just daunting. There seems to be even less a reason to put yourself through it all when there are so many other conferences already happening in your area. It can be stressful, long-winded, and downright horrible. However it doesn’t always have to be this way. With meticulous planning and genuine determination, you can create and host an event which can do wonders for your personal progress at work, your company, and business in the local area.
If you are a start-up, there is even more reason to consider put on an event, because this could be an excellent opportunity to build your business. Let’s break it down:
Choosing the Right Date.
One of the main difficulties about planning a conference which is not a web or telephone conference, is that you have to make sure all the key attendees can make the set date. Now, all being very busy and important people, this can be easier said than done.
You can always create an online poll such as Doodle calendars to get a rough idea of a good date for the most important attendees, such as your anticipated keynote speakers.
Having a Purpose.
Deciding you want to run or host a major business event or conference is all well and good, but chances are you are going to have to make your case to some all-powering individuals. This is where you will need to prove the ROI of the event, the potential new clients or partner opportunities you may be aiming for, etcetera etcetera.
Whether it is to recruit new clients, enhance brand awareness, or showcase a new service or product, getting these aims clear in your head early one can help you make clever decisions throughout the whole planning process.
Venue & Location.
Now, when it comes down to selecting the right venue for your event, the actual location may seem completely arbitrary to the overall success. However, this is rather incorrect. The location of your event helps you convey the right message of the intention of the event, as well as match your brand and company ethos. This event may be about marketing yourself and your company.
What is marketing all about? It is about selling the next step, and that is exactly what you will have to do when choosing the location and venue for your event. You want to showcase the sort of lifestyle and style your company can provide to potential clients and business associates. For easy access as well as close proximity to the central business district you may want to consider getting a central London venue hire, but this may depend entirely on the scale of your event, function of your company, etc.
This one is a little more obvious. If you are spending considerable time, effort and money on an occasion, you want the fruits of your labour cast upon the right eyes.
Make a list early on, and if there are a number of high-profile names on that list make sure you give them proper notice to improve the chances of them showing up on the day.
This is probably a main factor which deters companies from hosting their own conference. But, as ludicrous as it sounds, a conference does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. For example, if you charge £80-£100 to attend, and get a couple of sponsors in, you can maximise profit. It all depends on the budget you have or are given.
What is more, you have to think about the ROI potential of hosting your own conference. If you are sharing your own expertise, or showcasing the experts within your company, then this is a direct chance to upsell to your attendees. Thinking along these lines, then even if you do spend a max of £3000-£5000 on the event, but a new client is worth double this, then your event cost covers itself.
Make those lists, crunch those numbers; there is no such thing as an over-planned business event. Have fun and good luck!
Chloe Hashemi is a marketing consultant for film and video production company LAMBDA Films, which is based in East Anglia, UK.