UNLOCK THE SECRETS to planning successful events with our expert event and marketing strategies. In this comprehensive guide, you'll learn how to maximize attendee engagement, leverage technology and innovative ideas, and deliver extraordinary events that leaves a lasting impression.
Companies around the world regard corporate events, such as conferences and summits, as essential components of their high-level strategic plan. This is because the right events can directly help companies increase growth, revenue, and brand awareness. That’s why event organizers should first build a comprehensive event strategy designed to maximize return of investment (ROI) and minimize the potential risk. It's a fundamental formula in achieving success.
- 97% of B2B marketers believe in-person events play a critical role in achieving business outcomes.
- 72% of event organizers agree that in-person events are a crucial part of their organization's overall marketing strategy.
- Forrester found that B2B companies allocate as much as 40% of their budgets to events!
What is an event strategy?
An event strategy is a plan of action, a holistic plan and approaches for organizing events that run smoothly and achieve clear-cut results. Event organizers can build these strategies by determining the nature of the event they want to produce with a careful consideration of various elements such as event goals, target audience, branding, promotion, technology, entertainment and budget. An effective event strategy acts as a roadmap or timeline guiding event organizers each and every phase, through the entire event lifecycle (pre-event, event production, post-event), and helping them making an informed decisions to maximize success.
The importance of planning an event strategy
Events are a complicated business, and full of immense challenges. Not suprising, most companies engage event management companies to handle this complex business, allowing them to focus on the bigger goals. Event planning takes loads of resources and preparedness and neither of those just happens on their own. A strategy is a way to make sure an event always remains on track toward a desired result. When building out strategies, organizers do conduct in-depth research to come up with a realistic, data-driven framework geared towards achieving clear, measurable outcomes. Let's deep-dive the pointers below.
[STRATEGY] HOW TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL EVENT?
1. SET EVENT OBJECTIVES & GOALS: Define specific, measurable, and achievable goals for your event. Knowing what you want to achieve is the first step to success. Most events will be able to advance several goals, but it's important to be specific with at least one primary goal that is measuarable, and the reason to why you're doing it (purpose) at the first place. It could be something like generating 900 new leads or bring in $300,000 in revenue.
Pinpoint your event success KPIs to measure your event success, registrations, revenue, attendee satisfaction, attendee engagement, number of qualified leads, or sales pipeline created. No two strategies are identical, but the following examples below explore different approaches based on the goals the events are aimed to achieve:
- Increase brand awareness – If brand awareness is the goal, the event needs to convey the feeling the company wants its brand associated with, be it security, success, trustworthiness, or any other positive emotion. Creating a memorable experience for the audience at an event allows companies to link their brand with a positive feeling in the audience’s mind which strengthens brand awareness.
- Increasing Authority – To position yourselves as authorities in their field, companies should focus on events showcasing high-profile thought leaders in their industry. The information covered should inform the audience and teach them new things or even help solve a common problem. Bring in the big brands that uses your product or services.
- Lead generation – To bring in new leads, the marketing for the event needs to be targeted outside of the normal channels used by the organization. Organizers determine what spaces their target audience occupies, both online and in person, then advertise the event in those spaces. To obtain contact information for new prospective customers, rewards for registering can be offered in the form of discounts, gifts, or other incentives.
- Create community – Bringing together a community of people that identifies with your brand starts with determining the type of event those people would enjoy attending, preferably one that does not already exist or at least doesn’t happen at the same time. Companies can then add value for participants by facilitating connections with fellow attendees through workshops, happy hours, meet-and-greets, and other types of networking sessions where attendees can get to know each other. This can be done virtually through chat and breakout sessions.
- Improving customer/organization relationships – This event focuses on enhancing the vital relationship between customers and organizations. Attendees will explore strategies for effective communication, personalization, and transparency. Through workshops and expert insights, we'll delve into the power of feedback, quality service, and trust-building. This event aims to equip participants with actionable tools and ideas to create lasting connections, drive loyalty, and foster mutual growth in today's dynamic business landscape.
- Educating Prospects/Employees – This event is designed to provide valuable education and insights to prospective participants. Attendees will gain knowledge and expertise in a specific industry, skillset, or area of interest through informative sessions, workshops, and expert speakers. With a focus on learning and networking, this event offers a unique opportunity for attendees to expand their knowledge, make informed decisions, and connect with like-minded individuals. Join us to embark on a journey of discovery and growth.
2. AUDIENCE SEGMENTATION: Understand your target audience's demographics, interests, and needs. Knowing your target audience will help you determine what type of event should be planned and what elements can be incorporated. Custom your event to appeal to their preferences, and behaviours. Ask yourself these questions - What motivates them? Are they mobile-friendly or tech geek? How can we influence their decision making?
3. BRANDING + CONSISTENCY: Develop a cohesive theme or concept that ties together all aspects of the event from the aesthetic, visuals, decor to content and entertainment. Every design aspect matters as you will need the design to appeal to your audience from event color theme to CTA buttons. Ensure that all event collaterals online and offline are align with your branding guideline, and consistent across all banners, pop-ups, signage and billboards.
4. COMPREHENSIVE ROADMAP: Create a detailed event plan timelines that covers all aspects, including logistics, marketing, budgeting, and scheduling (to the extend of what time the venue lights are switch on/off). Everything from competitor events to the weather need to be considered. Events can't be scheduled randomly.
The detailed timeline is a checklist of eact action item shall start at least several months prior to the event date. From finding venue, design, artwork production, booking of speakers and promotion, all need to start well in advance of the actual event. Depending on the size of your event, Nowvids, typically puts in a 3-6 months plan for a large scale event (>3,000 pax), and 1-2 months for a small scale event.
5. EFFECTIVE BUDGET MANAGEMENT: The budget determines the scale of the production. Begin by collaborating with your leadesrhip team to gain a clear understanding of the funds available at your disposal. Do not move into planning without a clear goals and budget. Event organizers need to understand not only the amount available for each event but the overall events budget for the year and use that information to plan how events will build off of each other. If there were any previous data (events), you could also use cost-per-acquisition (CPA) to determine your next event fundamental budget. We said fundamental because not every event is the same, some requires more innovation and creative elements.
[ For example, if your CPA is $55 per attendee previously, and if you wish to attract 3,000 attendees for this coming event, your fundamental budget is $165,000. ]
Here are some of the common resources to factor into the budget planning:
- Venue rental
- Event technology (Event website, Mobile App, QR, ticketing, badge/passes)
- Event production (Audio-visual: Staging, Lighting, LED Video wall, Sound system, Engineers)
- Live Production (Cameras, Live-Streaming software, 5G Internet redundancy, Operators)
- Creative production (Billboards, Pop-ups, Booths, Printed materials, Video production)
- Onsite Services (Event crews, marshals, security, safety personnel)
- Speaker Fees (Emcee, Performers)
- Transportain and Hospitality expenses
- Door-gifts, Prizes
- Food services (Coffee & Refreshments)
- Entertainment (Interactive games, AR/VR floor etc.)
Develop a budget and allocate funds strategically to ensure that you can cover all expenses without overspending. If you engage a event management company like us, all of the above elements will be well take care and let you focus on the bigger goals. Nowvids is highly capable for creating both in-person and hybrid event experience at any scale with immersive technology, promising a lasting impression.
6. MARKETING & PROMOTION: This is a big chunk of your pre-event infrastructure. Create a dedicated event website together with the brand/event experience and a clear registration CTA. A sizzling reel from last year's event if any, and multiple reasons to attend the event (not to be missed). Although not every brand needs to convey adventure and fun, every event should present an experience to the attendees, in fact create an unforgettable brand experience right from the start. Inform your prospects that there will be next-level brand activations, a hall filled with like-minded individuals and expereience and sessions to talk about for months to come.
It may be worthwhile to create a pre-event "save the date" website before the event launch. As cliche it may sound, create an event hashtag to reflect the event name and the year. If not, you'll miss the ability to track what people say about your event, opportunities for repurposing user-generated-content (UGC), and owning the conversation.
Should your event is ticketed, determine the pricing strategy that aligns with your event goals and target audience. Consider various ticket pricing tiers to help you achieve your revenue goal. Something like early-bird price, 1-day pass, 2-day pass, Last-Chance, Limited-Time offer or Unlimited access pass. Implement a strategic pricing structure that helps you optimize the ticket sales, and ensure that your event remains accessible to a wide range of attendees. One effective technique is to allow generating a special invite promo code (referral) to share with their network, casting a bigger net.
Launch your event campaign with a multi-channel marketing strategy to reach your target audience, including social media, email marketing, content marketing, and traditional advertising. Craft compelling press releaseas and news announcement to garner mass media coverage to build anticipation among your target audience. Additionally, Influencer marketing is a good way to reach specific market segments, but they must be vetted to make sure they align with the company's value and brand guideline.
Email marketing is a cost-effective tool in nurturing your audience throughtout event timeline. Send a welcome email on actual event day - a great way to start your guest experience, the venue address, check-in process, share wi-fi password, event highlights, key session and encourage mobile event user activity.
All of the marketing activities above must be scheduled months leading up to the actual event, to build the hype, teaser, the early bird discount, actual registration and the waiting list. Seize the opportunity with the waiting-list audience segment, who are not able to attend the event, be it due to sold-out or whatsoever reasons. We recommend create a special access for these segment to watch a dedicated or limited live-streaming session, ticketed or not, create a virtual journey with the same goals. This special access can be announced nearing the event dates, and never in advance, because your main goal is still in-person attendee.
7. ENGAGING CONTENT: Curate content, sessions, or entertainment that captivates attendees and aligns with the event's objectives and theme. Use technology and set design areas for different purpose as the user journey at your event. From motion graphics to 3D animation splashing at your LED video wall, brand pop-ups, to the auditary sound design to complete the immersive experience.
Simply, create a user journey how they'll be greeted first at the check-in kiosk and follows-through different milestone, interactive displays, booths, lucky draw participation, a stop for a workshop, attending the main stage and followed by a breakout sessions etc. Nowvids helps our client from design of such user journey to creative production for your events.
8. STRATEGIC PARTNESHIPS: Collaborate with sponsors, or strategic partners to enhance the event's value and reach a wider audience. Bringing in the right partners helps cast their demographics and bring your brand to a bigger stage.
9. TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION: Utilize event technology for registration, ticketing, audience engagement, and data analytics to enhance the overall event experience. Influence participants by scanning QR codes to enter for lucky draws, quick survey or an event-only price to elevate your user experience. Install pop-ups in their user journey to allow them to participate those activities without much human intervention. We don't mean not deploying event staff or promoters at all, but essentially allowing them to roam freely and participate with automation. Whereas, do position your event staff/promoters at strategic locations for a human touchpoint and activations.
10. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION: Keep attendees informed before, during, and after the event. Provide clear instructions, program schedules, how-to get to venue and updates. Schedule a periodical email newsletter and social media updates. Set up a dedicated email address and hotline for event enquiries to ensure that your audience are well taken care.
11. SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES: Incorporate sustainable practices into your event planning, such as waste reduction, energy efficiency, and responsible sourcing. This initiative is not only about being Green-Eco-Friendly contributing to the low carbon footprint, but it indicates that your company takes great importance in corporate responsibility, and elevate your brand to a greater height.
12. EVENT STAFF TRAINING: Ensure that event staff is well-trained and equipped to handle various aspects of the event, including customer service, check-in process and common FAQs. It's essential to have technical staff to be onsite at the check-in kiosk to ensure support and smooth check-in process; as first impression matters, it's crucial, and it contributes to your guest experience. Typically, event staff should attend an online briefing prior to actual event on the event mechanics, as well as the program. And of course another round of physical training/briefing during the setup day. When you engage Nowvids, we will organize this training for your staff along with our crew.
13. ATTENDEE ENGAGEMENT: Create opportunities for interaction and networking among attendees through activities, workshops, break-outs and facilitated discussions. It is costly to get an attendee or participants to show up for the event, so, ensure that you have multiple ways to engage and collect feedback/data from them (apart from the main program). Even as simple as dropping a namecard in exchange for a cup of coffee, this works.
14. LOGISTIC & LICENSING: Event producers handle the logistical items such as equipment rental, the shipping of equipment to venue and ensure that everything required for the event is in place and time. Licensing and permits applications are too handled by us at Nowvids, to ensure that the company are covered using the copyrighted music, assets, along with police entertainment and venue guidelines.
15. EVENT AV PRODUCTION: Event AV production is the heartbeat of your event. An event can't live without this technical production aspect from lighting, sound, staging, LED video wall, screen displays and audio visual equipment. Event producers like us work with our team of engineers and technical experts to ensure that the event's technical requirement are met. This aspect involves loads of coordination and execution, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and any issues are adressed promptly.
You are in good hands! Nowvids takes pride in producing a seamless event execution, ensuring the guest experience is a lasting and extraordinary impression; from the program, event flow, seating arrangements, engagement activities, the ray of lights, the immersive visuals to the final pumping beat (sound).
16. FEEDBACK-REVIEWS: After event, gather feedback from attendees and stakeholders to evaluate the event's success (KPIs) and identify areas for improvement. Ask yourself - Did we achieve our goals? If not, what could have been done differently? What other positive results were achieved? If the actual results were different from the actual goals, do they still justify the investment of time and money? Analyze the event's performance, review feedback, and apply lessons learned to enhance future event strategies.
17. POST-EVENT FOLLOW UP: Your event might be over, but the vibes should not. Maintain post-event communication with attendees, sponsors, and partners. Share event highlights, thank participants, and nurture relationships for future collaborations.
" You guys were the unsung heroes who made it happen. Thank you for working tirelessly behind the scenes "
- Bhas Karan, LesMills Singapore
Nowvids, a full service event and production company and the architects of unforgettable experiences, bringing creativity, precision and passion to every occasion. With 17+ years of content marketing, they have been transforming dreams into reality from corporate events, conference, to video productions. Let's level up your next event experience!
A comprehensive list, indeed. These strategies, when tailored to your specific event type and goals, can significantly contribute to creating a successful and memorable event. Successful event planning involves careful preparation, attention to detail, and a commitment to meeting attendee expectations. Nowvids is your go-to event partner that help your event excel, creating a lasting-extraordinary impression and brings your event to the next level. A blockbuster event! Reach us should you need any help on how to strategize your event or to hire us as your event company.
*Research data source from Bizzabo and Forrester.
At Nowvids, we are on a mission helping brands, companies create successful events. Our services includes:
- Event Management
- Event Production
- Event Concept & Design
- Brand Activation
- Video Production
- LED Video Wall
- Audio Visual
- Logistics & Furnishing
- Stage Design
- Virtual & Green Studio