You can improve your bottom line by taking a more strategic approach to the creative, technical and logistical elements of your next conference or event. If you’re working off the same checklist or gantt chart you always have, you might be missing some BIG opportunities.

So, if you’ve started planning your event it’s time to look at your processes and structures to evaluate where there’s room to improve. To get you started, we have identified some key areas that with a little creativity and strategic thinking you could implement small changes that can have a big impact.

To improve your event outcomes you need to…

Create a Complete Delegate Experience

If the success of your event is dependent on a single keynote speaker, you could be in a world of trouble if they cancel last minute. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, focus on the event as a whole. Build a buzz with feature and concurrent speakers, and a social program that takes advantage of the event location and gets the delegates out and about.

Event Outcomes

Image Credit: Professional Conference Organisers Association

Create an immersive experience, whether it’s a one-day seminar or an annual conference. We often ask ‘What story are we telling?’ when planning the program. This helps us string all the elements together. Remember it should engage your participant’s emotionally, physically and mentally.

Implement Clear Stakeholder Communication

Events are dynamic and will keep you on your toes from planning to execution. To ensure all requests and changes are recorded and implemented, why not use a web-based project management tool that allows all stakeholders to access to do lists and action items. We use a combination of Trello for day-to-day task management, and WorkflowMax for overall project management. Be proactive and implement a clear stakeholder communication plan from the first stage of your event planning.

Recognise Loyalty

If you host an annual event which attracts the same audience year in, year out it runs the risk of becoming stale.

If it’s too late to think about changing the location or venue this year, then why not step things up and recognise returning attendees (budget permitting of course)? People love to be remembered and appreciated. So to build a memorable and lasting connection with your company include a reward whether it be a gift, discounted registration fee or an exclusive experience for repeat delegates. It doesn’t have to be costly, small rewards can be just as effective.

Revisit Your Event Branding

Ensure you understand your event brand and how it appeals to your target audience. A successful brand can effectively communicate what attendees can expect from your event. This should impact everything from the visual style to the brand’s voice, something the target audience will buy in to. A brand refresh is important to remain current and relevant to your audience

Track and Measure All Marketing Channels

Selling tickets or registrations? Track all channels to maximise your advertising spend. By using unique links for each channel it is a lot easier to track responses, in doing so you can focus your efforts and spend on the real money makers. For instance, your advertisements on Facebook could be reaching more people however your Linkedin advertisements could be the reason your event registrations have spiked.

Failing to use data that is available to you could cost your event in dollars and a lot of missed opportunities…

Shift Your Perspective

STOP. Look at the event from the attendee’s point of view. Where would they first interact with your brand? What would their first impression be? Does the event website answer their questions about the offering, logistics, etc.? Can they voice their concerns and ask questions?

Event Outcomes

Can the attendee see evidence of social proof? Is the registration portal easy to use? Can they easily promote your event?

What you need is a fresh perspective, ask somebody who hasn’t been involved with the project to identify potential bottlenecks.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if you do the same as last year, the event will be just as successful. Take some time to think about your event strategically before you get stuck into the tactics and to do lists – it will make all the difference!

If you need assistance with your next conference or event, let us know how we can help. Please call the team at Nectar Creative Communications on 1300 878 815.

*This blog was originally published in February 2018. It has been republished in May 2022 with updates.