Hosting a marketing event is an effective way for companies to get their names out there. Marketing events are fun for attendees, give brands credibility, and generate word of mouth advertising, which is much more effective than paid advertising. However, planning such an event isn’t easy; filled with minefields that may derail your event and impact success. Although certain mistakes happen to even the best planners and may not impact success significantly, other failures can completely derail your plans. Larger mistakes sometimes even hurting your brand image. With that in mind, we offer six marketing event planning mistakes to avoid.
1. Making your plans too late
Once you decide to host a marketing event, be sure you schedule it out far enough to allow adequate planning. Far too many entrepreneurs underestimate just how much time and hard work goes into pulling off an event successfully. You often have to make purchases or book elements in advance, so get on that as soon as you can. Booking a venue or caterer means you’ll compete with other events that want that space or caterer, so popular ones book far in advance, especially around the holidays. You need time to create the right messaging and have swag made for your event.
To avoid forgetting a task, create a list of activities and create a timeline to ensure everything comes together in the end. It’s a good idea to get input from others once you have the initial timeline. They might add elements you’ve forgotten or share their experiences of how much lead time is needed to get materials for the event.
2. Expecting guests to show
Putting money, time, and effort into an event doesn’t guarantee that people will attend.
The only way to encourage attendance is to promote your event. Influencers and others you really want at the event are in high demand, so make sure you start promoting the event early so that guests have time to make whatever plans are necessary. Send personal invitations to individuals who are critical for the event’s success. Share your event on social media, create online advertising, and don’t forget to use traditional advertising to promote your event.
To ensure you can accommodate your guests, you should also ask attendees to RSVP. When marketing your event, promote the local area too, as this gives guests another reason to attend.
3. Letting the presentation down
The event may be yours, but that doesn’t mean guests know all about you. For this reason, you should deliver a presentation on your business and products, setting up product demos, and giving attendees an opportunity to play with your products. Steve Jobs was a master of the product launch, which propelled Apple products.
It’s vital that your presentation looks professional, but fun. You want attendees to enjoy themselves while still showing off your brand in its best light. That is why you must proofread any writing and know how to resize an image to fit the screen. Make sure you have a stand too.
4. Offering nothing to do
You must have things to do for everyone that attends the event, whether it’s eating and networking with other attendees or playing around with your new product. The last thing you want is for guests to stand around bored throughout the event. Folks’ll leave early or have a bad impression of your brand if you don’t keep them engaged throughout the event. Along with guest speakers, you might consider having games and competitions to pass the time.
5. Hiring too little help
You can’t run a marketing event by yourself. Although you can certainly try, it won’t work out for the best. Instead, you must have plenty of help on hand to ensure the event runs smoothly and your guests are taken care of. You’ll need greeters to collect email addresses and hand out name tags. You’ll want some folks to run the various activities and ensure everyone is having fun. Someone will have to replenish food trays and ensure whatever you offer to drink is handled properly.
If you can’t spare your own employees for the day, then hire temporary staff to work the event. Booking an event planner is useful, too. They will oversee the entire event, leaving you free to take part in activities and enjoy yourself.
6. Forgetting a backup plan
There are lots of things that could go wrong on the day of your event. While it’s stressful to think about these potential issues, doing so is the only way to prepare for them. Ignoring the risks only means you’ll have no resolution for when they happen. If you expect a guest speaker or caterer not to show, however, you can call the backup you already had waiting in the wings.
To plan a successful marketing event, try to avoid making the mistakes listed above.
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