- Do speed up the pitching process to event organisers by sharing your budget parameters, but make sure there’s transparency of costings at their end too.
- Do remember that legal advice may be necessary to ensure any sponsorship contract is fair to both parties.
- Do consider allowing sponsors exclusive marketing rights during an event – it can be a real pull.
- Do grab delegates’ attention from the outset with an innovative and memorable invitation.
- Do remember creativity, innovation and attention to detail are essential when it comes to delivering value.
- Don’t book a venue way before content or numbers have been considered. It will cause headaches later.
- Don’t fail to remember that the trusty gift bag containing promotional merchandise can attract funding.
- Don’t forget your objectives when it comes to deciding how many events to opt for. If you want to create maximum publicity in one moment, then one big event is the road to go down. If the objective is to disseminate information to a wide audience, consider smaller less prestigious events at a number of locations.
- There are a host of different event formats available, so you don’t have to keep going for the same format just because it is established or familiar.
- It’s a buyers’ market for venues and suppliers, so be tough in negotiating great deals. The “rack rates” of hotels are simply a ruse to raise your expectations of how much you’ll pay. At the same time, remember that if you want a quality event you have to be prepared to pay a reasonable charge for it.
- Remember events don’t sit in isolation. Whatever event you go for should be part of a wider, more meaningful strategy. Think how your event will serve alongside other ongoing promotions, marketing strategy and your brand values.
- Legislation needs to be considered when you undertake events.
- The key to successful events is often creativity, rather than money. Think about the impact the ambush marketing activities of Bavarian Beer had at the World Cup in South Africa. Just make sure you also have an anti-ambush strategy in place.
- If you organise your own events, the key will be attracting – paid or unpaid – the right audience. You can never do too much work here. Allow long lead times and use every form of marketing, including social networking, to create a “buzz” and to raise awareness of, and then desire for, your event.
- Stretch the life of the “live” element of your event by embracing the latest technology. That means starting the discussion process and networking opportunities before the event. Then enhance it by capturing presentations for streaming and producing white papers in the aftermath, building on your previously established communication links to distribute fresh information.
- Want to see how the traditional conference has changed? Check out Ted.com to understand how the usual model of disseminating ideas has been so successfully turned on its head to create a worldwide phenomenon.
Dr. Antony Michail
Anacalypsis Strategy & Marketing Consultants