Running successful events

Neil SimpsonLast week marked the official launch of Storey Creative Industries Centre, where we presented our fabulously refurbished building, our event listings for the coming year and our vision for supporting the creative industries of Lancashire.

In planning our own launch and through our regular hosting of a wide variety of other events from one off business meetings, networking events and conferences to live cultural events, we even had our first wedding last weekend, a pattern of what makes any event successful is beginning to emerge and I thought I would share some of those key factors here.

What’s the ‘big idea’?

Getting the idea right is critical to any event we put on.
What need are we addressing for our potential guests? If we were attending an event on this subject, what would be our dream event, then, how can we make that dream event real for our guests? How can we make our event unique and the most useful event ever?

Making sure we answer these questions early on can make the difference between a great event and an average one.

Put your guests at the centre of the event

From the planning stage to the post event feedback, putting your guests at the centre of everything we do makes a real difference to people who attend.

Remember, they are the only people who are paying to be at your event. The speakers are paid to be there, you are paid to be there, the venue is being paid to host your event.

Putting the guests at the heart of everything we do will make a huge impact on how well it is received.

Let your guests know what they will get by attending

Attending any event is an investment in time and money and in the current climate resources are short for many organisations, particularly small ones.

Making it very clear what guests will gain by being at a particular event makes it much less of a risk. We need to ask ourselves, what can I guarantee my guests will get from my event?

What will they take away with them, physically, socially and intellectually? Then we need to make sure that we make this clear on our publicity, then deliver it.

If it’s a networking event, will they get more contacts? Or if it’s a seminar, will they get information that is critical to their future success? Can we provide downloads or podcasts or video of the event that means they don’t have to take notes constantly and just enjoy the event?

Answering these simple questions while planning an event, from a celebration to a business conference can make your marketing more effective, your events more successful and your business thrive.

Neil Simpson, manager, The Storey Creative Industries Centre.