The concept of “event marketing” has evolved from what we once thought to be another passing trend into something companies are investing big amounts of money and resources in.
Interactive and highly engaging, events have gained territory to social media campaigns, becoming an important tool for brand communication.
However, event marketing comes with multiple challenges for internal marketing teams. One of those challenges is trying to survive the event logistics. If you’re not experienced or equipped with the right digital solutions, planning certain events can be unexpectedly difficult.
Event agencies, on the other hand, are well-prepared to streamline the logistics, making it ten times easier for you to pilot the multifaceted world of planning.
Obviously, this is another cost the company should foresee, since externalizing massive event logistics can be quite expensive. But in some cases, not doing so can lead not only to a negative ROI, but also to a series of unfriendly attendee experiences that can damage your brand’s image.
The main decision you should make is whether or not to engage the services of an external agency.
How do you know if you can manage the planning in-house or if you need to hire an event agency?
To help you figure it out, we’ve put together a list of criteria you’ll want to consider when deciding how to plan your next event:
#1. Type of event
Will you be running a workshop or a conference? Do you want to launch a new product or plan a quick seminar for your referral partners?
Depending on what type of event you want to run, you can evaluate the need for external support.
For example, you can most likely plan a small workshop, team-building dynamic, or board meeting by yourself. However, when it comes to larger events, such as a congress or even a trade show, you’ll definitely need the help of a planning agency.
Big encounters require a team that can juggle multiple factors while staying aligned to your event strategy and business goals at the same time.
Apart from that, event agency professionals can help you deal with your planning daily tasks and also advise you regarding different meeting design formats that will help you increase attendee participation, leading to better results.
#2. Logistic intricacies
Let’s say you’re planning a conference for your existing clients. It sounds like a big event, doesn’t it?
However, this one-day conference is nothing else than two round table sessions separated by a coffee break. In other words, the things you also have to manage the registration process, speakers, catering, and audiovisual team.
Usually, these aspects won’t require too much effort, especially when you use powerful event management software.
However, if we change the configurations a bit, you’ll run the risk of failing.
Let’s say that instead of a one-day conference, you’ll have to plan a week-long conference, with simultaneous knowledge sessions, a small exhibition, a few B2B networking dynamics, and an intensive social program.
In this second case, obviously, you’ll have to engage the services of an event planning agency to assist you with navigating the logistic complexities successfully.
#3. Multiple event suppliers
When planning an event with more complicated logistics, you’ll have to operate and collaborate with different suppliers, such as the audiovisual and lighting teams, the catering company, the cleaning agency, the decoration professionals, the staffing company, etc.
If you don’t have already a list of suppliers, searching for brands you can trust can be time-consuming. It’s easier to hire an event planning agency that already has established connections.
#4. The number of attendees
There’s a big difference between hosting 100 people at an event and running a conference or product launch for more than 500 guests.
From sending people a payment reminder to segmenting them into different categories for communication purposes, managing attendees can be overwhelming.
This struggle is only amplified if you have other work, too.
So don’t hesitate to bring on an event agency professional whenever you’ll be hosting a big number of attendees. He or she will know how to manage your guests, relieving you from the unnecessary stress and wasted time.
#5. Unclear event strategy
As the event professional Kevin Van der Straetensuggests, “Events agencies have an objective view of your company and are therefore better able to exploit your strong points and minimize your weak ones. Your own staff is more likely to suffer from selective blindness as far as the latter are concerned! In addition, an agency is an ideal sparring partner and sounding board for the exchange and development of new ideas.”
Thus, when you’re struggling to design a satisfactory strategy, you might need an event agency to help you explore the company goals and align them with your next conference or product launch.
#6. Challenging business goals
It’s one thing to launch a new product; it’s a totally different story when you want to capture warm and hot leads at your event.
Depending on the complexity of your business goals, you might to employ real professionals who can set up intelligent techniques to achieve success.
#7. Other major deadlines
If planning an event coincides with other major tasks or deadlines, don’t hesitate to procure an event planning agency.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to juggle the logistics and your other work assignments, which can lead to lower-quality work, loss of focus and enthusiasm, or worst, severe burnout.
#8. Designing a brand experience
One of the reasons why event marketing is so powerful is the possibility of providing specific brand experiences that highlight the nature of your business and reveal the values your company believes in.
However, designing powerful brand dynamics that will involve your attendees’ senses and fully immerse them in the experience requires knowledge and master skills.
Obviously, it’s difficult to design a brand experience without a planning background. That’s when it’s time to turn to an event planning agency to set up everything.
#9. Better event results
There are cases when you’re planning event after event, yet you can’t reach the ROI you want or meet your business goals.
This can be a sign that something’s amiss.
It can be gap between the message you’re sending and your attendees’ real needs. Or it’s possible the event experience itself isn’t satisfactory enough for your guests. To keep this from happening and get better event results, go for a planning agency.
#10. International events
Whether it’s a conference, festival, or networking dynamic, when managing an international event, you have to show ten times more expertise and higher performance.
It’s much more work and much less certainty. In addition to having to navigate unfamiliar environments and handle the extra stress, you’ll have to face additional challenges: understanding the local business customs, figuring out the value-added taxes, potential language barriers … and these are just a few.
The uncertainty factor may take over your self-confidence and paralyze your actions. A local event planning team can assist you with all the logistic challenges.
Whenever you’re debating whether to engage the services of a planning agency or not, always look at the amount of work and skill your next event involves.
Pay attention to the event type, location (local or international), and number of people who will be attending. Ask yourself about the logistic challenges and number of suppliers required to ensure the wanted results.
Be honest with yourself regarding your event strategy and evaluate if it needs a better approach. Finally, make sure you have no other work deadlines overlapping. If, after this assessment, you decide that you’ll need the help of an event planning agency, start searching for one right away.
Sometimes, thinking that you can manage everything on your own can be not only detrimental for your business goals, but it also can have negative repercussions on your health and stress levels.