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Apr 11, 2017 · 1 min read

Small business events; Planning, Budgeting, Promoting and Action!

Small business events; Planning, Budgeting, Promoting and Action!

Running a business event isn’t the same as running one for your community organisation or a small not-for-profit. The stakes are higher, and the consequences of getting it wrong could be disastrous.

You need to make sure that you have everything in place before going ahead, and be sure to execute everything properly. You want to make sure your business walks away with a sterling reputation – and brings in new business.

Here are 12 tips to make sure your event is a success. 


Stage one: Planning

1.    Establish your goal

Just like a business plan, every business event needs a goal. You need a specific take-away – is it that you want to increase your marketing list? Do you want to actually get people at the event to sign up for a product?

Everything you do needs to be geared around that goal. Without it, you don’t have any direction and will flounder. Get this right first.


 2.    Think big – and then small

At first, you want to think about what could be if you had an unlimited budget. Go nuts – think of everything you possibly could. Make sure that no idea gets left unsaid.

Then, you want to be more realistic. What would the event look like if you could only do the bare minimum, and get a result? 

Thinking along these lines means you have a range of possibilities, and you’re not locked into one idea. Be flexible when planning so that you can adjust your expectations accordingly.


 3.    Think of the tone

Think very hard about the tone you want to set – which will be guided by your goal in step one – and then use that tone to inform every decision you make. Whether it’s location, decorations, staff, uniforms, whether there’s alcohol served – anything. The tone will help set everything else, so you want to get that right first.

For instance, is this going to be an event at which people are networking? In that case, you may not want to push your brand too far. However, if there’s less business going on, then you may feel comfortable using your logo more often.

Set the tone – that will inform everything else.


Stage two: Budgeting


 4.    Set the minimum

Just like with your idea for the event itself, think about the minimum amount of money it would take to achieve your goal. From there, list out your essentials and non-essentials. Don’t scrimp on the essentials to get things done.


 5.    Think about what you can or can’t give up

People put too much stock into location. Remember, a business event isn’t ruined if you use a slightly older building but decorate things to make it fancier. Scrimp on money where you can and make sure you don’t get stuck in the trap of spending money for the sake of it.


 6.    Consider sponsorships to save yourself money

Can your event get sponsors on board? Not only can this save your business some money, but it can add some legitimacy to the event as well. Working with partners will take some of the stress out. Check out our other post on how to secure great event sponsors.


Stage three: Promoting


 7.    Go with your targets first

Remember the goal you set in step one? That will dictate who your core audience is. You want to go to them first. Don’t blast an invitation to your entire email list if you only want a select group going – and vice versa. Think carefully about you want there, and then target them first.

8.    Don’t underestimate media

Think about the most relevant ways you can get the message out. Should you use a video, or even a podcast? You have access to social networks, where you can easily spread the word and even build a following with a variety of media. Mix it up!  For more tips on promoting your event on social media, check out this post.


 9.    Use online registration to make things easy

Give people peace of mind. Just saying “turn up on the day” isn’t going to solidify your event as something they definitely need to go to. Instead, you should use online registration or ticketing services to make the event seem more authentic. 


Stage four: On the day 


 10.    Keep your event staffed

There’s nothing worse than an event that isn’t staffed, or with people who don’t know what’s going on. If you’re managing things yourself, make yourself known to guests. If you’re using trained volunteers, then make sure they know what they’re doing and that guests know who to ask if they need anything.


 11.    How’s the mood?

Watch the mood of the event – is it striking the tone you’re going for? Are people talking if they need to, or are they paying attention to the main event? Just getting to the event may have been hard, but you actually need to run it. Keep an eye on things and make some adjustments if necessary.


 12.    Get involved

As the event organiser, you need to be seen to get things done. Short on people to hand out food? That means you need to do it. Need someone at the front desk? Get involved. The more you do, the more people will be encouraged to help you as well – and the better your event will run. 


Get in touch if you need any help with your business event,

The TryBooking Team 

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