Looking to build a corporate event management plan but not sure where to begin? Check out this article to learn the top best practices that lead to a strong corporate event management strategy.
Live events have become a key part of marketing efforts for both B2B and B2C companies. However, unlike other marketing channels, some find it difficult to build a standardized process for events.
The key to any successful marketing campaign is to make the process repeatable so that campaign success is always attainable. In other words, the process must be converted into a science that can be reapplied to all future marketing initiatives The same standard should be held for live events.
The following sections aim to distill the core best practices that represent a strong corporate event strategy. No two events are the same, but the foundational aspects to corporate event management are universal.
1. Set your goals
This might sound very common but it is usually forgotten. Diving into event strategizing without properly define goals can lead to poor results or poor success perception. This process will also give your team the opportunity to come up with creative ideas or execute what’s expected if they have a better understanding of the desired outcome.
It can be an amount of attendees, a number of pictures or an engagement goal, but it has to be measurable. The best way to get results will be to standardize your metrics across events. If your event strategy consists of a portfolio of different events, you’ll want to ensure consistent metrics across all event campaigns.
2. Manage your contacts database
This might also sound like an obvious one. Lots of event organizers have different sources of databases and it is not always easy to get them all together.
You can integrate them with your CRM when possible so you can also provide a central location for for all contact info and makes running your campaigns much easier.
3. Promote the event
A central piece to corporate event planning is to efficiently and effectively promote your event. Because there are many ways to market your event, using a multi-channel event marketing approach to event promotion will ensure that you are taking advantage of all resources.
A dedicated website/landing page and mobile website will definitely make a difference. A mobile website will help prepare your audience and interact with your audience.
4. Drive online event registration
Event promotion can be viewed as more awareness campaigns that get the word out about your event. Moving further down the corporate event marketing funnel, you’ll want to have specific campaigns dedicated to driving people to register for your event. Be specific and intentional with these efforts as they will prove to be very important in driving event revenue. Make sure you can make that process as easy as possible by giving clear and simple choice.
Use referral marketing to power up the potential of your event so it can go viral. You can use ticket boosts, promo codes, …
Use remarkting campaigns. One strategy that complements the aforementioned event promotion strategies is remarketing ads. Remarketing can be done in many ways. One way is to serve ads to those who have visited your page using cookies on your event website. Another type of remarketing is to upload list of email addresses to Facebook Exchange in order to retarget those individuals with ads on Facebook. To learn more about this topic, check out this blog post on retargeting ads for event promotion.
5. Maximize the attendee experience
Once the event is underway, the focus should now be on maximizing the attendee experience, from check-in to the final sessions. Whether your corporate event is internal or external, optimizing the attendee experience is a key aspect to overall event success.
Seamless check-in process – From the moment they walk into the venue, attendees should feel delighted with their experience. Consider using an advanced on-site event check-in solution such as Boomset to offer services such as self check-in kiosks, QR code scanning, and on-site badge printing. Ideally your event management software will integrate with your check-in solution to ensure one-to-one validation between registration info and check-in credentials.
Event app – For the duration of your corporate event, attendees will be referring to the event app for a multitude of reasons. Make sure to have an event app that easily integrates with your corporate event software so you can swiftly pull engagement analytics after the event. The following two points will also be dependent upon the capabilities of your event app.
Live polling – A great way to keep your attendees engaged is to ask questions through the app during a particular session of workshop. Receiving real-time feedback will help you make changes to not only future events but the one that is currently being held.
Community messaging – Perhaps the most impactful feature of the event app is the ability to facilitate relationship-building between attendees through the native messaging platform. The key here is to build a community well before the event start date. If attendees begin getting to know each other months before the event, the event itself will be that much more rewarding for everyone. Namely’s field marketing manager, Amy Rosenberg, explained how this tactic worked very well for their annual user conference.
6. Prove event ROI
Now that the event has come to a close, it is important to accurately measure and prove the ROI of the event. Properly analyzing the numbers as well as communicating them effectively to the right people is a key best practice to corporate event planning. The campaign should not be considered complete until a thorough post-event analysis and debrief is conducted.
Focus on the key metrics – What were the KPIs that were discussed prior to the event? Revisit your original event objectives and create a report that keeps consistent with the initial goals. This will make for a more coherent and digestible ROI report for your relevant stakeholders, whether that be event sponsors, managers, or the executive board.
Connect event KPIs with overall business metrics – The event ROI should not be self referential. Articulate how the event performance impacts bottom line business metrics. Instead of saying that 300 new contacts were acquired from the event, show that 100 of the 300 new contacts have already been connected with the sales team and that the sales pipeline has increased by 60%. Connecting your event metrics to the larger company objectives will make it easier to prove the event’s impact.