Throwing a stellar event is an excellent way to set your company apart and establish a brand identity. And exciting brand events aren’t just reserved for the consumer sector. According to Frost & Sullivan, B2B events account for over $500 billion in spending annually.
However, there is a lot of work that goes into throwing a successful brand event. Event planning is a huge career path for a reason—these things don’t just come together overnight, after all.
Of course, the impact of a successful brand event doesn’t just end when the event does—if done correctly, an event can result in many word-of-mouth recommendations after the fact, as 20% of revenue for B2B marketers comes from events.
Businesses should do everything in their power to ensure that those word-of-mouth exchanges are overwhelmingly positive.
Otherwise, a negative event experience will leave a bad taste in the mouth of your potential customers.
In fact, NewVoiceMedia found that, after having a bad experience with a brand, 31% of customers will post about it online.
To avoid those negative interactions, here are some of the top words you never want associated with your brand’s event, and how to avoid them.
A successful event is a seamless one. Any mishap doesn’t just reflect poorly on the event itself—it reflects badly on the brand that put the event together— which in this case is your business.
Think back to events you’ve been to that left a negative impression: what went wrong?
Was there was a technology malfunction in the middle of a big presentation? Were the caterers late? Did they not order enough food or beverages for everyone in attendance? Was the venue a freezing, or even a downright mess?
There are dozens (if not hundreds) of things that could go wrong when it comes to a brand event, and chances are, you’re not going to be able to stop them all from happening by yourself.
While there’s almost always a guarantee that something small will go wrong, the best way you can ensure your event goes smoothly is to hire an event planning professional.
They’ll be able to take care of all the ins and outs of throwing an event so you can focus on the fun parts: drumming up excitement and putting together great event content.
Of course, not every business can afford to enlist the help of a professional, especially for their first-ever event—and that’s okay!
What you can do is to start planning early.
Book venues as early as possible, and make sure you test your presentation materials and technology early and often to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Additionally, make sure to request RSVPs from those planning to attend the event—otherwise, you’ll never know how many people you should actually plan for. A full event-planning checklist can be found here.
A great event provides measurable value for the attendees, which means that clearly they’re getting something out of attending the event. This could be any number of things, ranging from an educational experience, to contacts to entertainment.
But one thing you definitely don’t want is for customers to leave your event and forget the brand behind it.
After all, one of the main reasons organization’s put on events is to build up a solid reputation in the public eye.
To avoid this, it’s important to make sure your company name is visible in several locations throughout the event—above the event name on signs and banners, on food and drink menus, alongside names of speakers, tiled on step-and-repeats for photo booths.
Be sure to send guests home with some sort of material that has your name on it—such as a t-shirt, phone accessory, or even a pencil and pad of paper can do the trick—anything that will keep them remembering you.
Branded hashtags are also an excellent way to get people talking about your event after the fact on social media.
On the other hand, you don’t want customers to leave your event feeling like the only thing they experienced was a sales pitch, so there must be a balance.
Blatantly trying to turn your event into a sales opportunity is one of the worst mistakes you could make when throwing an event—it should be about the customers and guests, not just your business.
For example, if your event is a dinner for women in the finance community with the promise of making connections, you don’t want to take up the entire dinner making a presentation about your product or service.
You want to present relevant information about your brand in relation to women in finance, and then deliver on what you actually promised.
Attendees should leave associating your brand with the positive feeling of having made important connections in their industry, or whatever else was promised to them upon registering.
Customers want to enter an event and feel instantly at ease. A flashy venue means nothing if it doesn’t actually fit with the event you’re throwing.
For example, if your event includes several presenters or performers, it’s critical that you provide enough seating so that every attendee is comfortable throughout it. Additionally, nothing is more off-putting than a chaotic event—traffic control should be a huge consideration during the planning process.
Also, make sure there is a clear way for attendees to give feedback either online or in person. Using platforms like SurveyMonkey are simple, yet effective ways to get feedback directly from those who were at your event. Place the link in a thank you email, so your attendee’s don’t feel like you are trying to get information from them.
Not only will this make them feel valued, but, they may also provide you with valuable information to consider the next time you throw a brand event.
There are many things to consider when throwing a brand event,and especially if it’s your first experience putting one together, the process can be overwhelming
Keep the customer in mind throughout the entire planning process, and remember that your first event is a great learning opportunity.
If something does happen to go wrong, be sure to handle customer feedback graciously.
You may not be able to control that everything goes smoothly, but you can put in the effort to protect your brand’s image as much as possible. After all, inspiring positive associations with your brand is what throwing an event is all about!
Ryan Gould, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services
An expert search, social and content marketer, Ryan leads Elevation Marketing’s digital strategy department, helping brands achieve their business goals, such as improving sales and market share, by developing integrated marketing strategies distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement and conversion. With a proven track record of energizing brands, engaging audiences and managing multidisciplinary marketing teams, Ryan is a respected expert in achieving consistent results through creative design, thought-provoking narratives and innovative problem solving.