Now you’ve had a chance to think about WHY and WHO, the WHAT question should be quite straight forward. What type of event will best allow you reach your objectives? This stage of the process requires evaluation of the merits of possible event formats and some creativity. Of course, budget will be an important factor too and we’ll come to that but first let’s look at it from a host / participant / attendee perspective.
Hosting an event
Participating at an event:
The same rule applies in this scenario. Evaluate your objectives against the events that exist in the market you are trying to reach. Conferences, exhibitions, installations, open days, awards ceremonies all provide opportunities and selecting the right platform to invest in will depend on how well your objectives match what the event organiser will deliver in terms of audience.
You’ll recognise the synergies easily because you have done your homework and already decided WHO it is you need to meet. As mentioned before, data collected by the majority of event organisers is incredibly valuable in ensuring the event is appropriate for YOUR BUSINESS. Organisers will never disclose contact details but should willingly provide a detailed profile of historical event attendees. They may even be able to provide a profile based on those registered to attend the upcoming event. There is certainly no harm in asking.
Visiting an event:
Same rules apply here too. Evaluate the potential events in the sector you are targeting against your objectives and WHO and hey presto you’ll soon have a very short list of events to attend. Some may require registering to attend, some may charge an entry fee and some may involve requesting an invitation via a PR agent or industry association. Some events offer one to one appointments, a kind of speed dating for businesses – check out what buyer/supplier facilitating the organisers offer. It’s also worth identifying whether a VIP club exists. Additional benefits may be available to certain buyers including private views, hospitality and appointment setting services.
When? Are you ready for this?
Are you ready for this?
I’ve combined WHAT & WHEN because in the case of participating at or attending an event, the WHEN may very well be determined by the organisers rather than you. If you are preparing to launch a product at a third party event you may need to factor the WHEN into your production timeframes. Likewise, if attending an event is required for the successful delivery of a project, the WHEN needs to be considered ample time ahead of setting deadlines.
If you are hosting an event you may have a little more freedom in choosing WHEN it’ll take place. Your event date could be affected by datelines of other events taking place in the market, seasonal / national / religious holidays, buying cycles, budget cycles, venue availability and even the weather!
So, on to budgets....
When participating at an event, the cost to be present is more often than not the tip of the iceberg. Other costs to account for include;
Visiting an event if on home soil will impact the budget the least and if you’ve done the research, you are likely to make exceptional use of the time away from the office! Still, be aware of the costs associated with attending the event including:
That’s all for now, I hope this blog post has been useful. I’d be happy to answer specific questions so please do post below or call / email me directly.
I'm the owner of The Positive Event Partnership and have spent my entire professional career working in events sector.