They say you can never be too organized. Warning – if you’re anything but too organized corporate event planning, or any other type of event planning may not be your cup of tea.
As an event planner for over ten years, I’ve found the most successful way for staying organized when planning a corporate event is to come prepared with what I deem the holy grail of the events world – a corporate event survival guide.
A complete checklist and how-to guide for anyone preparing to plan a full-blown corporate event.
Making Lists, Checking them Twice
Creating a corporate event survival guide may not be entirely useful for all planners, but should be designed to provide inspiration and guidance on your event journey. As you start to weave together your own survival guide, create lists that fall under the five design principles of a corporate event.
“It’s All in the Details”
The Elements – The elements consist of all the pieces that make up your event. What are your event goals and objectives? Set firm dates, coordinate with stakeholders, determine a budget, negotiate proposals for venues and hotels, and confirm an event agenda. Checklists for the elements will be extremely lengthy if well organized.
“Stand Out from the Pack”
The Essentials – The essentials are the must-haves for your corporate event. Events with a well-rounded promotional and marketing strategy stand out from the pack – create a social buzz early on and keep the hype afloat at the show and post-show. Here is where successful meeting planners check off boxes on their lists that contain strategic-level concepts – inform the PR team about speaking engagements or meetings, discuss outbound emails to promote the event, what online promotion will take place and what is the timeframe for each due date? These are only a few areas to cover when running down the essentials lists.
“We Don’t Remember Days, We Remember Moments”
The Aura – The aura consists of the venue, location, mood and style of your event. Attendees pay attention to every single aspect of events, believe it or not, so when planners take the time to improve on the energy created at events, it doesn’t go unnoticed.
The best events I have been to were planned numerous months, and sometimes even years in advance. They had themes that were creative, unique, and intertwined throughout the event and told a story from the day I received the save the date email, to the decor onsite, to the programs and agenda, to the website, how the staff greeted everyone and answered questions, to post-show follow-up. There are checklists involved in every step of the event aura.
“Creative Thinking Inspires Ideas. Ideas Inspire Change”
Innovation – Research and develop a customized event experience. If the aura of the event is planned, and all of the other design principles have been checked off by now, then it’s time to move onto creating the real event experience. What story is being told at the event? What do you want attendees to capture and walk away with?
Make lists of potential ideas and make sure they are incorporated into the keynote, as well as other sessions throughout the event. It’s important the aura of the event mixes with what your key takeaways are.
“Stick to the Plan”
Take Action – With the entire event vision in mind, execute with detailed precision and timing. Once all of your lists are made, start by taking action section by section.
Every area will have high priority tactics that will need attention over others to ensure a well planned and successful event takes place.
It really is better to be too organized when planning an event. After everything has been checked off your list from top to bottom, go back and review every item a double and triple time. Something will fall through the cracks, or you may think of an exciting, new element to add a nice touch to your story!
No matter what, smile, relax, stick to your lists, and remember to breathe!
1) The introduction and use of mobile solutions (mobile-enabled sites, apps, etc.)
More and more, mobile is becoming a part of the primary screen experience for attendees. It is used increasingly for information management, registration, attendee communication and engagement.
2) The demand for integrated technology solutions
Clients are asking for more highly and tightly integrated solutions. They want a single data source/center platform for all their technology pieces to interact together. The fragmentation of individual technologies is less and less appealing.
Single sign-on and single-source data management and reporting for true event and cross-event intelligence is highly desirable.
Also, the demand for design and functionality to be fully integrated is on the rise. No longer can the registration pages and other technology solutions be ugly. They need to more seamlessly match the entire event brand.
3) The increased use of structured social media
Simply, events still are moving toward the integration of social in a more structured and formalized manner, providing event-specific versions of even the most common of social platforms through mobile and web widgets, gamification and other engagement strategies.
This also includes trends like the growth of second-screen experiences.
4) More personalization
There is a trend to personal social integration. Events that are very personal in nature are looking to provide personal experiences and personal “assets” to attendees in the midst of very social settings.
The use of social tech tools such as digital displays, graffiti walls, photo booths (check out Onomonomedia.com), and other cool tech tools are being used to allow individuals to stand out and have personal experiences in a very social, public-type event. Companies are trying to create memorable, personal moments utilizing the social, tech and physical aspects in one.
5) The emergence of new, disposable tech
One of the coolest things we are starting to see at events is the use of what you can call “disposable tech.”
For instance, some special events are using cheap, limited or single-use tech to create a cool moment or experience. This includes numerous new wristband options and LED lights that drop and float (spinning like helicopters) into crowds, etc.
We will continue to see "small tech" being used in creative ways to enhance events--especially special and social events.
6) The emphasis on the event as part of the conversation
You see more and more companies using special, sometimes invite-only, intimate and less formal events as a way to engage with customers on a local level--taking the events to the attendee's specific regions.
We think this will be a greater trend: You see Amazon Web Services doing events such as their pop-up Loft, and Salesforce doing smaller event tours.
These are not normally replacing larger events, but helping to engage customers and attendees more continually in a type of year-round conversation.
Before You Go
Tradeshows can be very tiring for your physical and mental equilibrium. It is extremely important to come prepared with:
- The right attire. Formal business clothing is a must but make sure it is comfortable enough to walk for miles. The focus is on shoes. Don’t let your shoes destroy your feet, you need them healthy for several days.
- Bring all the tech that you need. I always bring with me an external phone charger, phone cord, laptop charging cable, adapter (if you are travelling from abroad). Also a good idea to bring your purchased movies or ebooks with you as it is inevitable to spend some lone time while travelling to such big events.
- Remember all your docs. Bring with you your hotel reservation, transportation information and ID. Also remember your business docs, those include contracts, brochures, forms (although I would expect you to have an online version – it’s 2014 after all).
While you will need only your email to print your badge, it is a good idea to bring your confirmation email – handy at registration.
- Inform Your Customers. Let your customers know that you will be at IMEX America, this is valid whether you are an exhibitor or an attendee. Put a badge on your site or add a signature to your email.
- Book Meetings. Do not leave meeting scheduling to the last minute. It would be such a shame to miss that vital appointment if you did not plan for it. The official IMEX app comes handy for scheduling, but more on this later.
Keep Yourself Hydrated and Eat Healthy
We all have different objectives when it gets to attending events. Whatever your objective, you have to make sure to be hydrated and eat healthily during the whole show. Pay special focus and attention during the day as it can be very easy to indulge in a few drinks at night.
Some tips include:
- Always keep a bottle of water with you. Even better if you have a refillable water bottle, there are water fountains in the restrooms you can use to refill. Beware that booth lighting can make you feel really hot. Vegas also happens to be in the desert which makes hydration a red alert.
- Eat healthy. You can find the world’s best restaurants in Vegas. You can also find some stupendous junk food. The saying in medio stat virtus could not be more true on this occasion. You have to be smart to find good food at IMEX America. There is a food court in the Venetian, a little further away, but with more healthy options. Do not over indulge in canapés!
- Easy on the coffee!!!. It’s very easy to rely on coffee to make it until the end of the show. Demanding networking and parties scream for coffee the morning after. Just make sure you pace yourself if you don’t want to look like Flipper the dolphin at 5pm. I always recommend a good espresso and Espressamente. Illy is a good place to get your fix. Alternatively the Italia booth always offers some great coffee (of course), make sure to visit them.
There are a lot of people that love IMEX America like you do. The thing is that Vegas is not only popular for IMEX America, there is a whole crowd of gamblers, newly-weds and party goers you have to deal with.
A major tip few are aware of is that you can walk to the show floor via the second level of the Venetian. While it may be confusing at first, it is much quicker during show days. You can check the Venetian official map here.
Download the Official IMEX App
Event Apps have become a standard requirement for events this size. The IMEX event app is an essential of your 2014 visit.
Hosted buyers can check their appointments or consult their accommodation and travel information. Exhibitors can also check their staff calendars and view or edit appointments accordingly.
If education is one of your objectives, the app is the essential companion to show you what’s on, speakers’ profiles and session locations.
The biggest decider on downloading the app for me is usually the interactive map. You want to know ‘where is what’ without wasting any paper. Also cool to follow tweets and update social networks from the app.
Not sure about you but I can already feel my feet hurting while overstimulated by the lights and buzz.
It’s a great routine to take a break between appointments and stand visits. Go outside, even for a few minutes, see some daylight. It’s easy to forget to walk through the Palazzo or Venetian, take your mind off the show. That will help you to regain focus and tackle the show again. Breathe….
If you have access to lounges, this is a good time to visit them.
Fix Your Event
We all love education and great speakers, but what about you and your event? One of the greatest new features of IMEX America is the Meet the Experts Clinic. These are 20 minute one-to-one sessions with an industry expert that will be ready to answer all your questions.
Let me tell you that this is quite cool. You are getting targeted advice for your event or business on topics such as social media, leadership, career development, marketing, communications and business development.
But there’s a twist. I will be on the show floor for 2 hours helping you with social media and content marketing. It does not happen often that I do one-to-one consulting as I chose the one-to-many option with the blog. Therefore do not miss the opportunity. You can book your (free) session here.
Ask the IMEX Team
If you plan events for #eventprofs, you have to be super nice and helpful. This is exactly what the IMEX team is. You can reach out to any of them if you have any questions about the show.
Also don’t miss the IMEX Social Team in their red T-shirts. They will help you with connecting online with the show, whether it is your first or 10000th tweet. And don’t forget to use the show’s hashtag: #IMEX14
Network Like an Insider
Business and Networking are the recurring reasons why we attend trade shows. I want you to be a networking ninja at IMEX America this year. So make sure you have a clear networking strategy before leaving.
Who are you trying to meet? Where do they hangout? What key parties should you attend?
I know that all the cool peeps in event technology are going to be at Fresh Dinner, happening in the super cool and high tech Downtown Vegas. What is the dinner/event you are NOT going to miss?
IMEX America is a great show but can be overwhelming for the first-time as well as the seasoned attendee. This guide is your fast pass to access all the goodness IMEX America has to offer, while keeping yourself focused, fit and healthy.
The Spark, a competition started by Eventbrite and backed by General Assembly, Moneypenny and MOO, today launches to find event entrepreneurs and help them bring their idea to life.
The competition is open until 31 October 2014 and will ask entrants to put forward an idea for an event they would like to plan before the end of March 2015. The winning entry will be chosen by a panel of judges from the event industry and announced at the beginning of November.
The judges will be looking for an event that demonstrates:
Originality: How different and innovative is the event idea? Why will it stand out? What makes it exciting?
Impact: Who will it reach and how will it positively impact them?
Potential: How big could this grow? Will it be repeatable?
Ability: Is the organiser able to execute on their vision with the help of The Spark partners? How dedicated are they to making this happen?
The Spark offers one winner a package of free resources, training, marketing and mentorship worth over £5,000 to help make the idea a reality.
Marino Fresch, Head of Marketing for UK & Ireland at Eventbrite: “Small businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators are the backbone of the British economy – that’s no different in the event industry. Every day, we are inspired by the live experiences that we ticket. We want to enable great, creative minds to put on a live experience that will leave a lasting impression by tapping into the skills and expertise of our partners. The Spark is an initiative to help find and support those entrepreneurs who are willing to take a risk and create new events from nothing, and we want to help turn their idea into a reality.”
Liz Elfman, Head of London Marketing at General Assembly: “We’re dedicated to training and developing people so they can turn their dreams and ambitions into a reality. Empowering people with the skills they need is also at the heart of The Spark so we’re delighted to be involved in this initiative.”
Cathy Berman, Director of Marketing (UK) & E-Commerce, MOO: “How you best present your brand is really important as an entrepreneur or small business – from business communications to promotional collateral at events. We’re thrilled to be supporting The Spark, through helping and encouraging those with big ideas to turn those ideas into visual reality through beautifully printed and designed products.”
Lorna Bladen of Moneypenny: “Our clients are largely SMEs and entrepreneurs, so we understand the pressures small businesses face and how vital support is, such as that offered by The Spark. Many of our clients operate in the events industry, and we’re excited at the prospect of helping them successfully pursue their dreams and launch something new into the world.”
The loss of data is being, well, lost thanks to the general availability of Oracle’s Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance.
The company’s executive chairman and chief technology officer, Larry Ellison, announced Monday Oracle is rolling out the world’s first and only engineered system designed specifically for Oracle Database protection.
“This massively scalable appliance delivers unparalleled data protection, efficiency, and scalability,” a company press release stated.
The announcement means businesses that generally lose all data created since their last backup will no longer have to worry about the information disappearing. It not only reduces the impact of back-ups on production servers and networks but also avoids the cost and complexity of disparate back-up systems.
On the same day, Ellison unveiled his company’s decision to expand on its cloud portfolio, an area it has aimed to improve over the past few years.
Oracle introduced six new Oracle Cloud Platform services to help customers and partners develop and deploy new applications, extend and personalize Oracle SaaS applications, and migrate existing on-premises applications to Oracle Cloud.
“We had no choice. We had to deliver SaaS, PaaS and Infrastructure-as-a-Service together because of a promise we made to our customers 30 years ago,” Ellison told ZDNet.
Ellison said while Oracle has the largest portfolio in the industry thanks to in-house development and acquisitions, competition is fierce and the company is duking it out with Salesforce.com.
“Salesforce.com is very good at helping you keep track of opportunities,” Ellison was quoted as saying.
However, he added, Oracle’s service and marketing clouds help engineer sales campaigns and provide databases needed by sales people to create and pursue new opportunities.
29. Follow up – and follow up again. Check in early and often. Though no one wants to be micromanaged, make sure that employees and vendors are on track with their event duties. As long as people know you expect updates from time to time, they are less likely to become frustrated when you call or email for one.
30. Sponsors are royalty – make sure they feel like it. If you have sponsors — treat them like kings. They fund your event and enable you to do it (if that’s your business model). Be very clear before the event what they will get as sponsors.
31. Always underestimate turnout, for sponsors. If you think you can get 100 attendees, base your sponsorship pitch on a lower estimate — especially if this is your first event. It’s better to give sponsors a pleasant surprise than a disappointing one.
32. Ask people what they think, and be ready for feedback good or bad. Ask for critiques. If you’ve done half a decent job, you’ll get lots of kudos. Say thanks, but then ask for the CRITIQUE and be ready for it.
33. Have a skilled social media team cover your event. Don’t forget a social media team. While not imperative for every event or industry, more and more events are focusing on harnessing the viral power of their audience. If your audience is tweeting, Facebooking and taking pictures on Instagram — you should be doing the same and you will need a trained team to execute.
34. Look for vendors who serve your niche and are willing to get involved. The best vendors you can work with are those who are familiar with small business culture. Look for vendors who work with small businesses frequently or who would get involved on a bigger level than their role.
35. Set expectations carefully – then deliver. Ensure that the audience has a GREAT (not good) experience; and that you give them what they expected from attending.
36. Attitude is contagious. Your guests in large part will play off your attitude and dynamics during the event. Lead by example and have a good time.
37. Let crowd reaction be your barometer. Read the audience during the event. Ask people how they are doing. If things are going great, and if they are not, you’ll know.
38. Always ask yourself: How is this relevant to attendees? Make sure you are offering content that is relevant to over 80% of the audience. The audience must walk away with tangible tactics to improve their business and career … and they must feel the speaker’s energy. Speaking about your business and what you do — without offering the audience what THEY need — is a waste of time and money for all.
39. As the master of ceremonies or a speaker – practice. You know your business, but do not assume that you know how to put on a presentation. Practice giving your presentation, answering questions and handling difficult and confrontational members of the audience. The more prepared you are the better.
40. Look your best. Look the part… be comfortable but fashion forward. Even if you are an accountant or lawyer, choose your most distinctive suit or tie. People remember how comfortable you are in your own skin.
41. Imagine the event, step by step, and make a 2-column list: what could go wrong in one column, and your contingency plan in the second. Be prepared for the unexpected. Maybe the sound system fails. Maybe your keynote presenter bails. Can you cope and move on?
42. Be ready to lend a hand to fill any gaps. Although planning ahead is a great formula for success, it is never enough. Something unexpected always comes up. Thus, it pays to put in a little extra elbow grease for extenuating circumstances. This applies to catering arrangements, printing requirements, guest accommodations, weather forecasts, entertainment and more.
15. Learn how to talk to the media. Journalists are very busy and always on deadline … they don’t have time to hear a sales pitch. Let them know that the information exists and — for future stories — that you are an expert in that field. Include that information when you reach out.
16. Use Twitter hashtags. Twitter is terrific for promoting events and for creating a sense of online community around an event. Set up a unique hashtag early on. Search Twitter first to make sure it’s not already in use. Put the hashtag right on the event website, and if you use the Tweet button for sharing on the site, work the hashtag right into the premade verbiage. When people tweet, it promotes the event automatically on Twitter.
17. Use online social pre-events to promote the main event. To build interest in your event, trying holding a Google Hangout or a Twitter chat a few weeks before the main event. Invite a few of your speakers to participate in the online social event. Give a preview of what’s to come at the main event, by doing some discussion of what speakers will cover, or highlight the activities. It generates anticipation.
18. Buy advertising on social media networks. Buying advertising on social networks is often overlooked by small events. Social advertising platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter above all) offer in depth targeting options that can significantly help to reach our target audience in our geographical location. The good news is that no large budgets are required and ticket sales can be easily measured.
19. Use YouTube to promote your event. YouTube is the second search engine worldwide after Google. Uploading videos from our previous events or interviews with our speakers/performers is a great way to convince prospective attendees to click on buy. Video provides significant visual cues thus impacting heavily on our decision making process. With events we always feel the risk of not knowing what will happen, video eases that tension.
20. Create an awesome low-budget promotional video. A little creativity with some poster board, a royalty-free music clip, and a good smartphone video camera will create a fun video to help publicize what’s to come. Here’s a good video example, that did just that on a shoestring budget, to promote a small business event.
21. Get local bloggers involved. Be smart with bloggers. Involving local bloggers to participate at the event is usually a great strategy to gain audience before, during and after the event. Bloggers usually count on a wide reach and do not usually follow traditional media rules.
22. Leverage event registration platforms like Meetup. Use existing platforms. If this is your first attempt at running an event and you lack the skills to promote it, have a look at Meetup.com. Other than offering a suite to manage events online, Meetup is a great referrer for relevant audience in your area. It also features registration and RSVP management capabilities that are particularly handy if you are inexperienced.
23. Use online registration. The easier way to scare people away is by having analog registration (faxes, bank draft or at the door only). Offer online registration to secure as many attendees as soon as possible, that will help to forecast numbers and release budget soon.
24. Get listed on sites catering to your group. Once you know who you want to attend, the next step is to put yourself in front of them. There are websites that specialize in listing events nationally (e.g. Meetup, Lanyrd) and locally so start there and research which are the most appropriate to get listed on.
25. Offer local partners incentives to promote you. Press releases sent to the relevant media outlets will help generate news buzz and you could look at getting media (online and offline) involved as partners. They get exposure at your event in return for publicizing it. If they don’t want to get involved at that level, approach them with the idea of running a competition for their readers to win tickets.
26. Make it easy on your speakers to publicize to their followers. If you have any experts/speakers attending, encourage them to publicize their attendance to their social media followers/email subscribers.
27. Give early bird incentives. Early bird tickets at a cheaper rate are a great way to get early sign ups by giving people an incentive to act now rather than wait and forget.
28. Delegate responsibilities. No matter the size of your business, always try to delegate responsibilities. Having one person in charge of every detail typically doesn’t work out well. Whenever possible, let people take control of the areas they most enjoy. For example, let the foodie in your company handle the catering details. The more someone enjoys their responsibilities, the more likely they will carry them out with success.
Memorable events don’t just happen. Organizing and holding an event takes planning. Whether it’s a conference, seminar or a customer appreciation day, and whether you have three weeks to plan or an entire year, your event’s success is in the details. We’ve collected 42 small business event planning tips from the experts, including some of the organizers of the annual Small Business Influencer Awards.
1. Decide upon your target audience before anything else. The first step — before you do anything else — should be to clearly define who your target audience is. From this all the other decisions will fall into place in terms of format, content, prices, location etc. This structured approach will also help you to stay focused on achieving specific goals and not allowing the scope to become too broad or watered down.
2. Make a list of details — everything including lighting and public transportation, to content and refreshments. When you decide to have an event, everything matters. From program content and lighting to transportation and parking — everything counts. And your audience will attribute everything to you and…your brand. Making a list will ensure you don’t overlook things.
3. Have a clear business purpose for holding the event. Before you can begin planning a successful event, be clear on why you are doing it in the first place, because every decision after that should support your main goal. Is it lead generation? Is it to create awareness of your company or a particular product? Is is to develop customer loyalty? Or do you simply want to make money (which is okay too)? And make sure the team is aware of the purpose, so that you don’t have “scope creep.”
4. Watch out for other industry events when scheduling. Check the calendar. Make sure you don’t schedule your event on or too close to holidays or popular vacation times. It’s just as important to check for other events that your target attendees might be going to.
5. Be flexible with changes in size, location and other details. As you get into the event planning process, you may find that your event changes in size, location, and many other ways than you originally envisioned. This is natural and perfectly fine as long as you don’t lose sight of the reason you’re doing all this work in the first place. Some flexibility is necessary.
6. Know your limitations. We all know the goal is to throw a great live event. To that end, we also have to be aware of what we can or cannot realistically do — be it budget … or time-wise. If you decide to throw a live event in a week’s time, plan for a more intimate affair. If it’s a big event, prepare several months ahead. If the budget is small, you may have to counterbalance with creativity and a lot of do-it-yourself work.
7. Create SMART goals. Always start with strategy. Just like building any business, great events start with a strong, thoughtful and measurable strategy. Live events are an amazing way to share your brand, connect with your target market, get feedback on your product (and more!), but you need to know what you are trying to achieve. Stick with SMART goals and outline what you are aiming for. Then make sure that you proceed in line with reaching these goals.
8. Develop a “financing plan” for your event, and estimate the numbers. Know how you are going to pay for the event. Most events are funded by sponsorships, ticket sales, internal marketing budgets — or a combination of all three. When you create your budget for the event, you’ll need to estimate how much money you can realistically raise from each area. Before you book your venue or sign any contracts, it’s a good idea to start signing sponsors first, or selling advance tickets to make sure there is enough interest in your idea to fund it.
9. Create an expense budget – and save money through “in-kind” sponsor donations. Events tend to cost more than the average small business owner thinks — primarily in regards to the venue and food and beverage. Remember to price out all the permits and licenses you will need as well. (This is where an event planner can help you avoid headaches.) Make a comprehensive list of all the expenses and then highlight areas where you think sponsors can play a role to offer something “in kind.” The more you work with other brands and partners to host your events, the more you can save.
10. Consider crowdfunding as a new option to raise money for an event. If this is your first time running events, use crowdfunding platforms to ease the risk. By publishing your events on these platforms attendees will need to pledge for tickets for the event to take place. If the minimum number of attendees required is not met the event does not take place.
11. You’ll need a DETAILED marketing plan. Create a marketing plan for the event. The more organized you are, the more professional your event will be.
12. Be tireless in your efforts or your event will fail. If you don’t want to be at your event alone … then market, market, market, market … and market some more.
13. Define good reason(s) for people to show up. What’s the draw for attendees? You need to define WHAT you’re doing at the event that will bring those target attendees in the door. For a consumer product it might be a party with entertainment and product demos and freebies. For a business crowd it might be educational content or an exciting, well-known expert speaker. Whatever it is, don’t lose the connection with why you want this particular audience clamoring to get in.
14. Lay out in writing why your target market should attend – don’t assume the benefits are obvious. When promoting an event be sure to tell your target market what they will learn, who they will meet and why they should be there. Don’t assume your friends will tell their friends. If you are using speakers, give them advertising copy so that they can promote the event to their audiences.
Whether you regularly host paper based auctions, live auctions and fundraising galas or you’re looking at organising your first fundraising event, Team iBid have helped charities #RaiseMore for over five years now and we are here to help you too. In the last 12 months alone we have supported 650 events raising over £20million for a range of global charities and therefore, literally re-written the silent auction text book! With all this experience and knowledge under our belt, we always advise our clients on best practice options, tips and tricks to ultimately raise more money on the night.
We appreciate that every event is different and therefore some of the below may not apply to you and your events, but we hope you find the majority, or even one or two, useful.
1. All eyes on your auction:
Do not run the silent auction during post dinner entertainment (e.g. brands, DJ’s etc.) as barely anyone will get back to the table to bid once they are on the dance floor. We typically suggest to close the silent auction after the live auction, so that you still have guests’ attention while they are seated.
2. Don’t be shy of announcements:
Be sure to allow enough time during the night for announcements about the auctions – introduce, remind and conclude. Make follow up announcements throughout – it works and it helps raise more.
3. Ensure a brilliant MC:
Don’t underestimate the role of an MC. To keep the event moving, communicate key messages to guests and help build the atmosphere for a superb fundraising event. They are worth their weight in gold!
4. Offer something different:
There are lots of fundraising events happening throughout the year and you want to stand out, so provide something different that will get guests talking and coming back for more next year. Different style food, cool photography booths, brilliant interactive technology and acts, etc.
5. Who is in the room?
When sourcing lot items try to consider your audience and the demographic in the room as best as possible and not what you (the client) would like to bid for. Target your audience with lot items they would be interested in!
6. Offer a wide range of auction items:
Don’t narrow your fundraising potential by only having memorabilia or experiences. In our experience the best events from a fundraising perspective include a wide range, from holidays and experiences to signed pieces and art.
7. Quality not quantity:
Focus on sourcing quality items rather than a larger quantity. It’s a fine balance but turning the auction list into a ‘shopping list’ will not raise you more money, but limiting the number of items to increase the bids on each item will.
8. Use the leaderboard:
Try and show the leaderboards on the screens as much as possible and also ask the MC to really push the system and encourage competitive bidding.
9. Think about a live pledge moment:
Remind your guests of exactly where their money will go and what difference their donation will make. Live pledging on tablets enables your guests to easily donate throughout your fundraising event and will be displayed on an instant leaderboard.
10. Organise your payment collection:
Build a time into the end of your event to allow sufficient time for collecting the money from your guests. It’s so much easier when they are sat at their tables rather than on the dance floor!
Survey reveals 48 per cent of delegates often feel reluctant to contribute to discussions or ask questionsPosted in News on 30 September 2014
Today multi-channel communications agency, MEDIAmaker, is calling on event organisers to embrace creativity and ‘think outside the box’ in order to encourage increased delegate participation. This comes following a survey carried out by the company, which revealed 48 per cent of survey respondents said they often felt reluctant to contribute to discussions or ask questions in case they got it wrong or felt fearful of being the centre of attention.
This call to action follows the findings of a recent survey, also conducted by MEDIAmaker – a company with over 20 years’ experience in delivering large scale events for some of the UK’s most well-known brands – into the views and behaviours of UK corporate event delegates. The survey questioned business men and women on their perceptions, experiences and individual preferences in relation to the communication delivery and engagement mechanisms available, that best help them to retain information.
Commenting on the survey findings, MD Alison Glaves notes, “The fact that 48 per cent of our survey respondents admitted to feeling reluctant to contribute to discussions during corporate conferences and events represents a significant waste of opportunity for businesses.
“To get the most out of an event, businesses must consider the barriers that prevent almost half of delegates fully engaging in the process and develop tactics to promote increased participation.
“Taking the time and consideration to build a secure and comfortable environment, where delegates feel their views will be appreciated and questions welcomed, is a great starting point. Breaking down large audiences into small discussion groups can help build the less outspoken audience members’ confidence. Social media, texting polls and interactive tablets now provide a great safeguard for the audience, and are a convenient way of acquiring instant responses and views as well as gaining quality feedback, real-time questions and the collecting valuable data.”
Alison continues, “There are many useful techniques and tools that can be used to encourage audience participation, but ultimately, it’s about understanding your audience, their engagement potential and how to maximise this to create an effective and successful event.”