As an event planner, you might have used your best resources and ideas to execute a smooth event for your client. But did it live up to your client’s expectations? Were the sound and lights favorable? Was the catering decent?
Learn about the needs and expectations of your target market to improve your future business and marketing strategies through curated post-event surveys. Post-event surveys often provide the most meaningful feedback in knowing if your efforts were successful from the attendees’ perspective.
To ensure the highest participation rate, send your post-event survey to attendees as soon as the event has ended, while their experience is fresh in their minds. The most important information collected from post-event surveys is whether attendees found value in the event, whether it was worth their investment of time and resources, and whether they would participate in the event again.
Online surveys are the most useful – you can get the responses faster than collecting them manually and collate data to help further your research. When creating the survey, keep it short — under 10 questions is best — and only use one or two open response answers. People will be more likely to answer the survey if it contains choices instead of requiring them to write answers to everything.
Below are samples of questions to ask in your next post-event survey:
How would you rate the overall outcome of this event?
How would you rate the competence of the event staff?
Do such events help in increasing visibility for the company?
Was there a networking opportunity for attendees?
What could the event organizers have done differently?
Compared to other similar events you have attended, how does this event compare?
Can the information you gathered from this session be applied to your business?
Collecting feedback from your attendees is the best way to make your events better and better each time. You want to keep your current audience and make it grow. Use the feedback to see what works and what doesn’t work and plan accordingly. You can go from being a good event planner to a great one simply by listening to the people who experience your events first-hand.
The seating arrangement at your event is a deciding factor in making or breaking the event. The venue for any event is chosen after examining the layout and the space available. However, venue seating charts are often deceiving and are not good measures of how many people can be placed or seated comfortably. Before event planners can pack in as many attendees as the venue can allow, it must be determined what kind of seating will be used and in what configuration.
The dynamics, networking and participation at the event depends on seating. Depending on the objectives of the meeting or the event, assigned seats or tables can be beneficial.
Deciding the type of seating at events depends on some factors like – where the food will be served, if the attendees will be taking notes or using laptops during the sessions, if there will be an award ceremony that requires people to walk up to the stage, the shape and size of the stage and the size of the audience.
The different types of seating generally used are:
Theater style seating
Classroom style seating
Round table/cluster seating
To ensure that you are selecting the best seating solution for your event, ask yourself what is needed and what is available. What you need will be determined by the size of the audience and the itinerary of the sessions held during the event. Whether you are planning an award show or a training seminar, specific furniture and configurations will be more functional than others.
With people being inseparable from social media, it’s safe to say that technology has taken over our lives. When it comes to events, the more shares/photos/tweets you get, the better right? Wrong. Although event planners find it extremely important to promote their work through all platforms available, they must give a thought about the actual focus and attention that their event gets from their attendees.
Phones, Ipads, tablets and all other devices pose as interruptions during an event – with people feeling the constant need to update photos or tweet about their event experience. There is a fine line between your guests advocating your seminar or conference; and being digital zombies in front of their screens without having a definite understanding of what exactly is going on. When you discourage devices from your event, you encourage your guests to look up and drink in their surroundings.
When you want hundred percent attention from the crowd to a particular time in the entire event – a product launch for instance, ask them in advance to keep their gadgets aside for that moment. Setting aside a special booth like a charging station, might actually help. Asking people to tune out emails or messages from their contacts is a huge factor; respect their need to catch up with their updates throughout the event. They might have to check in with an employee or make some personal calls, and you wouldn’t want to hinder that. This in turn allows them to understand why you need their undivided attention.
The first thing that people resort to when they get bored is turn to their phones. Try making your unplugged event fun by rewarding your attendees – make the overall experience more engaging and lively so they genuinely feel the need to concentrate and remain disconnected from all that tech!
The event management industry is a complex & dynamic environment, and comprises of a wide variety of events.
In this post today, we intend to focus on the kinds of corporate/business events that event planning agencies often organize.
Conferences and Seminars:
Seminars and conferences can focus on internal operations and be limited only to your organization; or they can be used as vehicles for company promotion.
A conference is a participatory meeting or a gathering of members of organizations, designed for discussion, fact finding and problem-solving. It facilitates the exchange of information and gives an opportunity to discuss matters of common interest. Conferences generally have keynote speakers and breakout sessions by topic. They can be held over one or two days or sometimes longer.
Seminars on the other hand are usually smaller in terms of targeted audience size, lasting over a couple of hours with single or multiple speakers.
The debut of a product into the market defines a product launch. It signifies the point at which consumers first have access to a new product. Product launch events are important and require attention from the media and the public.
These launches give the public and the media a chance to hear everything about the product before any negative reviews are given. The task of putting together these product launch events could fall to a company employee who organizes meetings or an outside company.
Trade missions and Road Shows:
Trade missions are international trips by government officials and business people, organized for the purpose of exploring international business opportunities. A trade mission is a way in which countries or organisations can seek out potential buyers and sellers.
Roadshows can be small training sessions tailored for your colleague’s needs or much larger scale events in public spaces to reach out to potential customers.
Every company reaches a point in their annual operations or project milestones that calls for a celebration. Awards ceremonies can be held to honor team members who have gone beyond the call of duty, or to compliment the achievements of people within your industry.
Executive Retreats and Team Building Programs:
The primary or only occasion during the year – when an organization and it’s employees meet at a site away from their primary edifice. The objective is to generally offer a creative environment from which they can focus on clear, specific goals and objectives for the coming year.
Executive retreats have a more casual ambiance while team building events define team roles, and are useful tools for improving communication withing the organization and improving productivity.
Exhibitions and Trade Shows:
Event planning for trade shows involves negotiating sponsorship rates for trade show booth space, advertising and promotion at the event, and also sometimes design and execution of the trade show booth. They are important lead-generating activities.
Themed Office Celebrations:
Corporate office celebrations provide great opportunities to socialize with colleagues and co-workers. Celebrated in almost all organizations, they encourage the employees to generally bond over drinks and dinner.
Theme corporate parties also provide great opportunities to instigate guest interactions. The scope for paying attention to detail is huge, with the costumes and decor elements creating a fantasy environment.
Some corporate event agencies also manage lifestyle events like high profile luncheons, fashion shows and press events.
These are a few common business events that event managers generally execute, under the corporate event umbrella.
Food is one of the best marketing efforts that engages all the five senses. Good catering and excellent service often stand out to companies as much as the corporate event’s message itself.
There are many items to consider when planning your menu and venue for your corporate event. A few ideas to keep in mind are:
- The size of the crowd
- How long they’ll be attending your corporate event
- What your venue is capable of handling as far as serving and seating
- Your budget
Make sure the food you serve at your corporate event is easy to eat and not too messy, as not to distract guests from conferences and team meetings.
Keeping in mind the preferences of guests or the mood of the event, a novel idea to engage your clients at your corporate events is to experiment with the cuisine – people generally remember having a new experience when it comes to food.
You can be as creative or as traditional as you like, but incorporating special dishes by breaking out of the typical mold will surprise and interest your attendees.
One of the main intentions of corporate cocktails is to initiate guest interactions and enable networking. Finger food works very well for this purpose – and a platter of canapes which are bite sized and creatively presented, are the best pick.
Food that is flavorful and beautiful to behold is essential at corporate events, but when it compliments the theme of the event, it’s even better.
Another fun idea is to match the theme or style of the food to the theme of the corporate event. How much fun you have with this idea depends on your company’s guidelines, so make sure to check them.
Dessert is a must have at any corporate event, it acts as the perfect finish to the culinary experience and the event itself.
A corporate event can benefit greatly by the presence and support of a celebrity – it sets a special tone and draws added excitement to a corporate seminar, conference, trade show or any business event; also generating goodwill and making the event a success in the eyes of the attendees.
We’ve listed a few of our events where certain celebrities made a big difference. Have a look:
A media master class and luncheon was organised by Tourism Victoria, in order to promote Melbourne as a tourist destination. Gary Mehigan, chef and co-host of Masterchef Australia, was the highlight of this event – he conducted a master class for the special invitees from the media, which was followed by the luncheon. A special menu was designed and implemented by Gary for the same.
The Victorian Government’s Super Trade Mission to India was executed in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee joined Tourism Australia to promote the country’s tourism experiences.
At the Yuvraj Singh Foundation launch, 20 children from Make a Wish Foundation were granted the one wish which would make their day. Having their favorite cricketers, like bowler Zaheer Khan, grant that wish, made the feeling more special than one could even express.
The Product of the Year Awards saw participation from industry experts and analysts who came together to discuss and profile the winners. The emcee for the event, T.V anchor and theater personality Cyrus Broacha, was at his humorous best, and maintained the perfect balance of entertainment for the crowd that evening.
Mid Day’s Center Stage Second Anniversary bash was an intimate gathering of celebrities and friends who showed their support in style. From discussing industry news and signing the Center Stage Wall of Fame to posing for pictures, Dia Mirza, former Miss Asia Pacific and Bollywood actress, certainly made the celebration special.
Tara Sharma, a British-Indian actress and model, posed for the shutterbugs at South Africa Tourism’s cocktail event – a photography exhibition, to set the tone for their upcoming roadshow. The event showcased the beauty, vibrancy and diversity of South Africa captured by award winning photographer Sudharak Olwe.
The Fashion Show for Gitanjali Jewellers at IIJW 2013, was executed in Delhi and Mumbai. Popular Bollywood faces like Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Neha Dhupia and Sonakshi Sinha, made special appearances on the ramp.
The number of people attending your event along with the media automatically create a buzz about your event and organization, when a celebrity is present, thus making your event marketing easier.
Grand Hyatt Mumbai is one of the best conference hotels in Mumbai for all types of meetings and Events that are conducted with unparalleled style, elegance and attention to detail.
Pegasus Events executed a media master class and luncheon organised by Tourism Victoria, at this venue. Gary Mehigan, chef and co-host of Masterchef Australia, was the highlight of this event – he conducted a master class for the special invitees from the media, which was followed by the luncheon. For this reason, the venue used was Celini, where a special menu was designed and implemented by Gary. The set up at the venue was designed in a way to bring the feel of Melbourne, with its must-visit and popular destinations.
The Westin Mumbai Garden City is a 5 star deluxe hotel which is 20 minutes away from Terminal 2 at The International Airport, located close to the business district and within easy access of the Bombay Exhibition Centre. Overlooking tranquil views of the Mumbai’s only National Park makes this premium hotel easy for guests to combine business and relaxation.
This venue played host to an annual awards ceremony for Aranca, a leading provider of customized investment and business research for global clients, executed by Pegasus Events. The venue’s muted colors, soothing lighting, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and sound systems created the perfect environment for an event of this kind.
Picking the perfect place for your private or corporate event is as easy as making a simple checklist and going through it. Here are the main points you’ll need to focus on in order to make your gathering a success.
Define Your Event by Considering Your Attendees
Think about what kind of event you’re going to host and the needs of those who’ll be participating. Will people have to drive long distances or fly into town to attend? Is your event going to span more than one day? The answers to these questions can help you decide whether you should select a venue that’s close to lodgings or dining establishments.
Other important considerations include timing and overall duration. Your guests are certain to become hungry and tired after a while, especially if they have to do a lot of walking or socializing. While these aren’t unmanageable problems during shorter gatherings, you may still prefer a venue that offers on-site accommodations.
Matching Amenities to Your Guests’ Needs
Once you’ve identified pertinent attendee needs, check on the amenities available at each potential location, but don’t limit yourself. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, for instance, find out about local dining, shopping and lodging options. Choosing a venue within walking distance of such conveniences can make it much easier to schedule multi-day events. When combined with outdoor shelters or local resources, like nearby parks and entertainment, a minimalistic venue can become the scene of an unforgettable gathering.
Ensuring the Location Can Support Your Schedule
Of course, you’re also responsible for the actual activities that will occur during the event. Your venue must be able to accommodate lectures, speeches, dances, banquets or anything else you need to make the overall gathering enjoyable.
So, how can you tell if your proposed location is suitable? In most cases, the easiest way to get a good feel for what you’ll be able to do with the place is to check it out in person. While two competing venues may seem to be comparable on paper, touring them yourself will make it much easier to choose something you feel comfortable planning around.
The Value of Close Inspection You should also take advantage of your inspections by comparing each venue’s listed amenities with what you actually see. For instance, it’s not enough to simply have audio-visual equipment of uncertain quality on hand; you need to ensure that the cables, connectors and devices are current enough to meet your standards. Similarly, you should inspect critical fixtures, such as outlets and lighting.
Be certain the space can create the aesthetic effect or impression you want to promote. True, some of your attendees will be considerate enough not to blame you and your organization for the patchy wallpaper or shabby decor, but can you say the same for your international business partners? If you plan on dressing to impress, then your venue ought to do the same.
Distinguishing Price Factors
Finally, remember that venue pricing isn’t just about space rental costs. Most venues work on a contractual basis, and if you’re careless about the details, you may be confronted with additional expenses or unreasonable fees.
Be certain to ask about special rate availabilities for repeat events and investigate whether you’d pay less during other timeframes. Even if you’re dead set on a date, learning more about your options may help you gain more bargaining power and make a smarter choice for future events. Good luck planning!
Design a venue floor-plan that helps provide details about all entry, exit, charging points, and access to conveniences. A copy of this floor-plan should be included within the event paraphernalia given to all attendees. These tiny details help make the event more organized and at the same time provides attendees all information regarding what they require, saving them the trouble of finding an event coordinator any time they require something.
On – Ground Team Recruit your friendliest, most knowledgeable employees to remain scattered throughout the venue so someone is always available to answer attendee questions — and make sure they stand out! For example, your employees can wear company badges attached to their shirt pockets. People will have lots of questions. Making it easy to find and identify event point persons will thrill attendees and nip frustration in the bud.
Welcome and Survival Kit
A welcome packet that includes a map, nearby places to eat, local activities, taxi or car service contact information, and emergency phone numbers accompanied by Hand Sanitizers, Protein Bars, a mini first-aid kit, Chocolates and an Energy Drink goes a long way in terms of appreciative value and makes guests feel like royalty. Many attendees may be coming from out of town, and this would help them feel at ease navigating a new city or location.
Designate an area where people can lounge around, have one-on-one discussions, check their email, and make phone calls. This should ideally be space where people can escape the conference and be free to deal with any tasks they might have at hand. Doing this will prevent attendees from leaving the event when they need a break and will help avoid the risk of them not coming back.
ID Tags with Lanyards and Jackets
There should be a clear distinction in the ID Cards given to different people at the event; you should differentiate between partners, sponsors, VIP,customers and company employees. It will make the attendees feel special to be part of a group, recognized for their relationship with your company, and easier to network with others who are part of their group.
Lighting during events has an unbelievable impact on the mood of the audience attending, the key is to always make sure the light is just right for every session taking place. For example, during a presentation the lights should be dim but at the same time bright enough for people to take notes or during a cocktail reception the lights should be ambient helping people relax. We always recommend that your clients should control all event lighting from the console and have preset combinations for every segment of a particular event.
After invitations have been sent and RSVP done, it can be advisable to have a calling unit doing a round of calls to the invitees asking them if they need any help making their bookings or any help with regards to them attending. All queries should be noted and duly acted upon. This goes a long way in invitees feeling special and ensures there are minimal drop-outs.
Post Event Follow-Up
After the event, it is a good practice to have the same calling unit do a round of calls to all who attended asking for their feedback and providing them access to the presentations from the event.This helps keep in touch with customers well after the event is completed and helps keep them posted on any other initiatives you might be planning.
Provide real-time updates on sessions and presentations from your event on available media like Facebook, Twitter and the event website. Let people sign-up with their information and access the event live on the event website as it happens, this would help reach a wider audience, and if people cancel, alert them of the opening. Also generating hype of the event on all available media before the event happens would help reach a wider audience. Concentrated email marketing campaigns to a broad audience can play a big part.
Effective Registration Process
Registration is a thorn in everyone’s side — attendees and conference organizers. Having a minimum of two people at the registration desk helps carry out registrations with ease. One person ticks out the persons name from the list, the second person hands over the id card and collects the persons visiting card. Alternately, what we recommend to clients is to set-up an online registration portal, to help ease out the process of pre-event registration and RSVP.