Keeping up with technology trends and industry shifts, here are our Top 4 Dos and Top 4 Don’ts for planning your event, whether it is live, virtual or a combo!
We think you should say buh-bye to these 4 common event pitfalls to improve your planning and management skills.
1. Don’t burn out by planning too much, too quickly.
This one is for both you as a professional and your attendees. Let’s start with you. Maintaining a work-life balance is integral to an overall healthy lifestyle. Set boundaries to keep work and home separate by disconnecting at a set time each day. While working, delegate tasks and communicate effectively so team members understand their roles and are empowered to support the goal. Use event management tools to create a workflow that reduces stress and boosts efficiency.
When you plan an event, keep attendee-burnout in mind. Events – whether in person, virtual or hybrid – can be overstimulating, which threatens an overwhelming experience. We’ve seen planner trip over this pitfall while trying to deliver bigger, better experiences. To avoid this misstep, consider allocating downtime for eventgoers. Incorporate buffer time in between activities, free time, social time, and/or activities that allow the mind and body to take a breath and stretch. Everyone appreciates a break!
2. Don’t select a provider solely based on budget.
Budgeting and event planning go hand-in-hand. But when it comes to selecting an event management partner, leave room to find a partner who truly fits your event needs. Do you want the ability to quickly pivot event formats? Is a centralized management system important to you? Would you like a breakdown of post-event data? The event professionals you work with want to help you deliver a ‘wow’ experience. Leaving room in the budget to work with a partner who can address your dynamic must-haves now, means leveling up with a higher ROI in the future.
3. Don’t limit engagement opportunities.
Remember that engagement can mean something different to each attendee. Make sure your events offer something for everyone. Opportunities for engagement exist before, during, and after your event, all of which are key ingredients to a positive experience.
Immerse your audience in the event experience. Try including participatory activities like team building, 1:1 video conferencing, networking lounges, conversation or chat rooms where participation is beneficial but voluntary. Harness the power of social media engagement opportunities, offer giveaways and chances to win prizes, or utilize technology to personalize engagement with AI. Reach out to your audience afterwards with personalized follow ups or post-event communication campaigns. There are so many possibilities when it comes to how your attendees can interact with your brand, clients, or sponsors. Work with engagement experts to create memorable and lasting experiences.
4. Don’t forget the lessons you've learned from past events.
Use the data you’ve gathered from past events to help you improve for the next go-round.
Next time you could mix up engagement opportunities (as mentioned above), stick with short-form content – especially written content – that is easy to digest, and allow for event format flexibility (including various means of registering or checking-in).
We know that people love having options, so let attendees choose how they participate, interact, communicate, and even how they register. Questionnaires, for example, can provide interest-based agendas and an exhibit matchmaker lets attendees choose which exhibit is important to them.
Now that you know what not to do, let’s focus on our top 4 proactive event to-dos:
1. Do plan with plenty of time.
Not only should you give yourself plenty of planning time, but build ample wiggle room into each event. Be sure that activities, presentations, lectures, etc. are not scheduled back-to-back. This enables attendees to absorb what they’ve just heard or seen, gather themselves if they must physically move between locations, and prepare for what’s next.
Event management solutions can take care of your timeline with session tracking data. This insight can help planners discover how long attendees spend at different exhibits and provides a birds-eye view of event flow. Understanding such data points exposes where you may need some extra time in future schedules for optimal experiences.
2. Do make your event professional your partner, not just your tech provider.
Your event ally is more than just a tech person. Fortunately, these days you get to work with a partner, not just a vendor. Capitalize on the value of an expert team and dedicated account manager who will collaborate with and guide you through the entire event process, from pre-planning to execution and follow-up.
Oh yeah, and the good ones can cover all the techy stuff too. With features like Go Live and enhanced Exhibitor Matchmaking, your events can have all the bells and whistles you need to provide an immersive experience for both live and virtual audiences. Harness the skills of talented meeting professionals who bring more to the table than just the tech!
3. Do be creative with content.
When it comes to content, think outside the box! Content will continue to evolve in how it is placed, displayed, and absorbed, so don’t be afraid to hop on the trend train and try something new with content. Seize a chance to have fun and be creative by implementing assets such as gamification, live surveys, and polls, push notifications, chat rooms, and so much more.
Being mindful of your brand’s voice and tone, consider content that is shareable (think infographics, stories, reels, and quotes), able to be repurposed (think blogs and knowledge articles), relevant and timely (think user-generated content), referential (think pre-recorded content), engaging (think social media and live surveys), and stimulating (think gamification).
Remember to consider content platform and display. While some video content may work well for a large screen, utilize technology that can deliver a superior mobile experience for smaller screens as well.
4. Do choose the right tech for you.
The event industry has seen a barrage of changes over the years. The way we event continuously shifts to meet new demands and envision better solutions. As technology advances, you may find yourself faced with overwhelming options. But this decision does not need to be stressful. With your – or your client’s – goals in mind, you can work within your budget to find the right tech solution to meet your needs. We’ve got you covered!
Guided by our industry expertise, take your events to the next level:
- Avoid event burnout both in planning and execution.
- Budget for providers who can meet all your event needs.
- Keep engagement opportunities diverse.
- Use past learnings to inform future events.
- Build sufficient time into event schedules.
- Look beyond just the tech help; partner with a powerhouse.
- Stay current with content style and delivery.
- Choose tech solutions that work for you (or your client).
Whatever changes come our way in the world of event planning, we are here for it – and we are here for you.