So, you want to host your first event?
While hosting an event, both in-person and virtual, can be quite challenging, it can be worth it in the end no matter the objective of the event.
When executed correctly, events are always a successful channel for networking, engagement, and marketing, and in this guide, we will share some key tips in hosting a successful event.
A key principle when planning and hosting an event is that more expensive isn’t always better, even if you have a big budget for the event. What’s important is how you can effectively use your budget to create an impactful event to fulfill its purpose.
Without further ado, let us begin with the first tip.
1. Plan a Navigation System to Help Your Guest
Ever been to an event where it’s very difficult to find anything? The restroom, which stage to visit next, and even the entrance? It’s crucial not to do the same to your attendees.
Plan a working navigation system for your attendees: make sure there’ll be enough signs around the venue and make sure the directions are clear. If it’s a seated event, then make sure seats and rows are clearly marked. If necessary, provide maps for your guests, and you can be smart about it for example by including the map on their tickets.
Make sure it’s easy for your attendees to find:
- The main entrance
- Primary event location(s)
- Rooms for workshops
- Food & beverage sections
- Smoking areas (optional)
- Charging stations
- Emergency exits
If your venue is relatively big, then consider designating team members (or volunteers) responsible for helping guests navigate your venue.
2. Create a Technical Checklist for The Venue
One of the key challenges in hosting an event is making sure all the technical details for the venue are perfect before guests are coming.
Create a comprehensive checklist so you don’t miss any of the following elements:
- Furniture placement (create a floor plan if necessary)
- Decoration details
- Stage and props
- Audio/video and IT equipment
- Banners and promotional material placements, including items from your sponsors
- Safety and security checklist
- Food and beverage checklist
On the day of the event, make sure to arrive early. Brief your team members and volunteers about the layout of the place and share the checklist above.
3. Optimize Your Registration and Check-In
To minimize long queues and improve your attendees’ overall experience, make sure to optimize the registration process.
This is where having an event management platform that offers seamless ticket scanning features can significantly help in streamlining the whole registration process. Assign enough people at the doors to scan tickets, handing out name tags/bracelets, and so on.
With Eventtia you’ll also get an attendee tracking tool to keep track of how many have shown up so you can adjust your staffing as required.
4. Timing Is Key
One crucial tip to ensure a successful event is to host the event on the most ideal day and time.
If you are a business hosting an event (i.e. not an event organizer yourself), then it’s best to host your event on a typically slow day for your business. This way, you can focus on providing great service to your attendees and don’t have to split your focus to your regular customers. This can also help your business bring in additional revenue on a slow day.
However, also decide your schedule based on your target attendees’ preferences and your speakers/performers/exhibitors’ availability.
5. Encouraging Social Media Shares
In this age of social media, it’s obviously crucial to make sure your event gets enough social buzz.
You should definitely promote your event on social media to attract more attendees before the event, but you should also consider encouraging your attendees to share your event on social media.
Create and communicate a catchy hashtag for your event, and get your attendees to use the hashtag when sharing photos and videos from the event. You can do this by running a contest or giveaway for the best photo/video with the hashtag. You can also encourage people to tweet questions at the speaker with the hashtag attached, and assign someone to sort through these questions before choosing the best ones for the speaker.
6. Optimize The Length
Again, timing is key. You wouldn’t want your event to be too long that your attendees are bored, but not too short that people might feel like it’s not worth it.
Check whether your venue has a deadline for when the event should wrap up, and manage your schedule accordingly. Optimize the little details like when food and drinks should be served, when a certain speaker should speak, and so on. Gently remind each speaker about how much time they have left to complete their presentation to make sure everyone sticks to the allotted schedule.
7. Gather Feedback
Run pre-event and post-event surveys (you can do it via Eventtia) to ask for feedback. You should gather feedback from your attendees, but don’t forget to also involve performers and team members.
It’s best to send a post-event survey when it’s still fresh, for example by sending an email blast for all attendees and performers just after the event wraps up. This is to ensure the feedback is genuine when people’s feelings about your event are still fresh in their minds.
Ask your speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and team members about how you can do better for the next event and what they’d improve upon/change from the event. Doing this for sponsors will also show them that you do care about the quality of your event, and might help in securing future sponsorships.
While planning and hosting an event can be challenging, with the right planning and preparation you can definitely host your successful event.
By using the tips we’ve shared above, you’ll have a better idea of how to plan and execute your event to achieve its objectives, and as you can see, the devil is in the details. Check everything carefully, and check again, but at the same time make sure everything runs according to the planned schedule.