And that you can start doing today.
Aiming for a near-perfect event? Innovative organizers have a few tricks up their sleeves. We’ve taken note and gathered a few of our favorites.
1. Make technology work for you. Event management apps promote cohesive coordination and clarify the expectation of who’s doing what—and when. Even complex events are made easier because your team members can communicate quickly in real time, regardless of people’s work locations.In addition to apps, tools are available to automatically update attendee lists. Checking in guests is as simple as opening the tablet and signing in.
Smart planners also keep their finger on the pulse of new technology since it changes so rapidly. For example, consider the rapid gain in popularity of virtual reality (a completely immersive experience) and augmented reality (digital elements added to a live view). In particular, millennials value new trends and technology—so it’s critical to stay on top of the latest advancements.
Also automate your social media posts using a publishing aggregator like Hootsuite. Scheduling posts before your event goes live allows you to focus on other details during the gathering. But make sure you appoint someone to monitor comments and respond on-brand so you still weave in a human element. Use the analytics built into your social media channels to see how everything’s going. Based on that data, adjust on the fly.
And speaking of technology…
2. Create a custom mobile app for your event. Not only can you populate the app with information about your event schedule, sponsors, exhibits and floorplans, but you can also use it to send notifications to your attendees. Another good idea: survey your audience members before the event to personalize their experience and again after the event to gather feedback. Your app can also let you conduct live polling during the event. Include a direct message option so attendees can easily communicate with one another.
3. Work the list. Whether you keep an old-fashioned notebook with you at all times or tap your to-do’s on a phone or tablet, maintain a list of five-minute tasks. Then pick a mini-job when you get a quick breather and get the job done. Not only will you increase your productivity, but you’ll also worry less that little details are slipping through the cracks.
4. Choose a venue you can count on. Look into awards and recognition from industry insiders who know which venues are trustworthy, safe, ADA complaint and a pleasure to work with. Also talk with a venue representative and see if they can articulate why their place is worth considering. Ask about their onsite audio-visual services, catering expertise and the flexibility of their meeting spaces. Also consider the venue’s “captivation factor”—the likelihood that your attendees will share snippets of your event on their social media channels or enthusiastically tell their friends about their experience.
5. Finalize the agenda before you begin marketing. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t buy a ticket to a concert if you don’t know who’s performing, right? So work hard to secure the speakers you’re after and tailor workshops and sessions to your audience. Then—and only then—sell to your targeted audience members based on their wants and needs. Personalize your communication as much as you can and be prompt with responses, including comments on all social media channels.
To learn about planning a meeting at Monona Terrace, contact Laura MacIsaac , Director of Sales, at LMacIsaac@mononaterrace.com or 608-261-4016.