Companies regularly organise events to meet their objectives, whether that means improving their brand image, presenting a new product or service, offering training, or organising conferences or conventions.
By following a few simple principles, you too can successfully organise your professional event. In this article, we share our recommendations for organising an event that lives up to your expectations and those of your guests.
Planning is an essential tool for achieving the aims of a corporate event.
1. Objective, target audience and type of event
Not all professional events are alike. Depending on your objective and target audience, the type of professional event will be different.
Your event must have an objective. To identify this, ask yourself: why am I organising this professional event?
Here are some example objectives:
- To launch a new product or service
- To gather your employees for a company party
- To bring your teams together through a seminar
- To create an opportunity for professional networking
- To boost your company’s profile
- To share your expertise with an experienced audience
b) Target audience
Defining your objective will allow you to offer your event to the right target audience. Would it be more appropriate to invite your employees, clients or prospects? How many people can you host at your event?
c) Type of event
Once you’ve identified your objective and target audience, you’ll have a clearer idea of the type of event you should organise. The format of your event must be carefully thought out to attract your target audience and maximise their participation.
For example, it could be:
- an evening event in a celebratory venue
- a conference in an auditorium
- a multi-day trip to a foreign town or city
- a day of presentations and roundtables
2. Location, date and time of the event
Once you’ve defined the broad outlines of your professional event, it’s time to look at the details of its organisation such as its location, date and time.
When looking for a location for your professional event, keep in mind the number of attendees expected. This number will determine the amount of space needed to hold the event.
Remember that outdoor events are generally more informal than indoor ones.
To stand out, make your event an original experience for your attendees. You can do this by hiring an unusual venue or providing unusual activities. To help with this, we offer you 4 tips and ideas for organising an original professional event.
To ensure that as many people as possible come to your event, the date must be chosen with the utmost care. Identify the ideal date by taking into account your target audience and their habits. Think about their expectations based on their age, family situation or professional activity.
As well as your target audience, you should also consider the weather. If you’re planning an outdoor event, you should of course avoid the rainy and cold months in your region.
Make it easier for yourself by reading our advice in our blog post: How to choose the date of your event?
Although this might seem like a mere detail, the choice of time for your event is very important. This is especially true given that it’s a professional event!
If your event falls within the scope of your guests’ missions and sector (e.g. a specialised conference), there’s no reason you can’t hold it in the middle of the day. However, if your event is centred on informal meetings and networking, evenings seem more appropriate.
Will your guests mainly be travelling to your event by public transport? If so, make sure your event’s timing is suited to the local transport network.
3. Budget for the event
Drawing up a budget and sticking to it is one of the pillars of event organisation. Without money, it will be difficult (but not impossible!) to organise a successful event.
In one column, list your financial means: how much money do you have to organise your professional event? Where does this money come from? Can you easily exceed this budget, or should you spend as little as possible?
In the other column, list your different expenses (venue, suppliers, catering etc.) and the associated costs.
To help you draw up your budget, read our blog post: Basic rules to create your event’s budget.
4. Content of the event
The next step is to think about and create your professional event’s content.
To achieve this, ask yourself the following questions:
- What will be the main highlights and activities?
- Who will be the speakers?
- How will the guests be welcomed? What about the end of the event?
- Depending on the time of day, should there be a food offering? Sweet or savoury?
Try to answer all the questions your attendees might have before they come to your event. That way, you can ensure that your event is well organised and meets all your guests’ needs.
5. Communication around the event
Your event’s organisation wouldn’t be complete without a good communication strategy. Indeed, thinking about your communication strategy sufficiently in advance will allow you to attract more attendees and build loyalty among them.
a) Communicating before a professional event
Before your professional event, plan several communication actions to attract your target audience.
Think about varying the media you use to communicate (e.g. email, social networks, website, press) and the format (e.g. text, audio, video, visual).
Remember that email remains one of the most effective marketing levers today. To help you attract attendees by this means, discover two dedicated blog articles:
b) Communicating during a professional event
On the day of your professional event, keep communicating!
This can help you attract new interested attendees, provide the necessary information to everyone, and also broaden the reach of your event.
If people follow you on social networks but were unable or unwilling to attend your event, you can still send them behind-the-scenes news from the day to make them want to join you at the next edition.
c) Communicating after a professional event
Communication around your professional event should not stop after the event. Plan other actions to take advantage of your target audience’s recent interest in your event.
Here are some examples of effective post-event communications:
- Thank your attendees for their involvement in your event’s success
- Gather feedback from your attendees on their experience
- Create content around what happened, e.g. photos, an interview filmed during the event, an after-movie, a summary of the day in figures, a blog post on the main lessons learned.
- Offer attendees an exclusive price for the next edition of the event
You now hold the key to organising a successful professional event!