CareerCast.com recently ranked event planning as the 6th most stressful job in its 2019 survey. The task required to pull off an event successfully are a tough and demanding job, even for the most seasoned event marketer.
Certain challenges will inevitably come your way, but with years of practice and experience under your belt, you’ll start to learn the ropes and plan events seamlessly.
We reached out to a few event marketing experts to find out what practical advice they wish someone shared with them when they started planning B2B events. Here’s what they had to say.
Tip #1: Have a clear understanding of your budget and constraints
Your event budget is the foundation of your planning process. It’s the first step you need to take when building out an event strategy. You essentially can’t start planning your event without having a clear understanding of your budget and the available resources.
Whether you are new to event planning or a seasoned pro, figuring out your budget is also the key to staying organized and setting realistic expectations. Make sure your budget includes every little detail from the amount of food and beverage needed to venue costs.
Without having a thorough budget that consists of every item you need to spend you’re setting yourself up for a rocky journey with a ton of obstacles. Tracking each item in your budget will ensure you succeed and avoid going over budget.
Tip #2: Outline the goal and objectives.
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s pretty common that an event marketer will start planning an event without having clearly defined goals and objectives. Like a budget, these are the first action items needed on your planning checklist.
Make sure your goals follow the S.M.A.R.T. goals format. SMART goals are typically goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based.
For example, if your goal is to increase on-site registrations. You should say, I want to increase on-site registration by 15 percent during the first day.
Tip #3: Start planning early and have a project timeline
The event planning process is quite complex and requires extensive planning months in advance. The earlier you can get ahead on planning the event, the more successful and less stressed you’ll be.
Also, having a trackable project timeline with milestones throughout the event planning process is crucial to the success of your event.
This way, you’ll be able to communicate effectively with multiple parties, keep track of your budget, make sure vendors are paid on time, and meet all critical deadlines.
Tip #4: Know your audience and ask for feedback
When planning B2B events, it’s imperative that you know your audience and cater the event to their wants and needs. B2B events are typically an opportunity to educate your target audience, drive sales, or generate brand awareness.
So when planning your event or trade show make the content strategy aligns with what the target audience wants to experience.
Tip #5: Have a recap meeting with the entire team
After the event is over, make sure to have a recap meeting with the entire team to receive feedback on how successful it was. This meeting should include the staff on-site, the vendors, and any of your internal team members.
Discuss what worked well and what didn’t, so for your next event, you can make any necessary adjustments.
Tip #6: Keep historical records for future events
Keeping historical records from your event is a good idea for many reasons. It serves as a blueprint for future events that your team may organize.
You’ll be able to build upon any initial gaps found in the original planning process and help anyone new to the company understand the workflow.
Your historical records should include a log of all of the points of contact, vendor information, staffing needs, equipment used, the run of the show, and notes from all of the meetings held during the planning process.
Tip #7: Confirm with your vendors at least a week or two in advance
The worst thing that could happen is that your vendor backs out last minute and you don’t have enough time to find a replacement.
Confirming with your vendors at least two weeks in advance will avoid any last minute discrepancies in the planning process.
Also make sure to verify with each vendor their arrival time, the final invoice amount for their services, the location address, and their point of contact the day of the event.
Tip #8: Invest in SWAG items
Lastly, invest in the favors you pass out to attendees at your event. These items may seem like throwaways, but purchasing a high-quality item that attendees will use every day is an excellent opportunity to generate some brand awareness and brand equity amongst attendees.
Hopefully these tips offer a little piece of mind and help you plan a memorable B2B event.