10 tips for creating the best event ever

Creating an event can be easy. Creating an outstanding event is hard work. There’s no shortcut to the perfect event with so much detail to take into consideration. Taking measures for risk management is also something we need to ensure so that’s more items on our checklists. Fret not, however. If you want a guaranteed successful event, all you need is to ensure you do certain things – while avoiding others. Small events present their challenges but – the bigger the event, the bigger the risk. So where does one start?

Define the Why?

Ask yourself why? What do we mean by this? You must – as a first step know – really know what the outcome you’d like to achieve is. Have you fully understood why you are creating this event – why you want people to attend – why they should attend? Prior to anything else – write the reasons down and make it absolutely clear what the intended result or outcome is to you.

Strategise. Strategise. Strategise.

Your next step will be to strategise your ‘why’. Without a solid foundation or strategy you cannot have a basis on which to build from the ground up. We simply cannot stress this enough. A solid strategy will help you map out a step-by-step way of achieveing your desired outcome. The challenge here is to keep it short and concise – don’t overcomplicate it and keep it to one page max.

Identify partners and stakeholders

When planning an event, you will want it to be successful. Collaborating with relevant stakeholders will help you do this. You will, however need to ensure that they are on the same page as you – and if they aren’t yet – ensure they get on the same page. This might entail the setting up of an organising committee with suppliers, your clients as well as colleagues involved in the organisation. If all stakeholders are aware of the ultimate goal and steps required to get there, there will be little room for surprises. Awareness is key and if all know what to expect each step of the way, it’s a recipe for a harmonious follow-through of the plan. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing your strategy with others – it will save you so much stress if you follow this step.

How well do you know your audience?

Do you really understand who your audience is? When planning an event, it’s easy to find yourself making decisions based on what you would like to experience and not what your audience needs and wants. The perfect event is successful because the audience are able to define it as such. Make your decisions carefully and always base them around your audience. This might include what food to serve and the venue choice – up to the little details such as the colours to use for the decor.

Get to know your audience slowly – until you can safely say you can describe who they are. The more you can describe them, the more you will understand them – and the better you will be at creating the perfect event for them. The more you can describe them, the more you will understand them. Create an event that’s right for them.

Failing to prepare means preparing to fail

Flawless planning leads to flawless execution. Before going on site, think through every possibly-imaginable detail and you will be ready to face any obstacle that occurs. Some consider it painstaking – but we love this part of the process and we know that this is what delivers great results. And it really does become less of a burden – the more you practice this.

Begin somewhere

Creating an event or experience can be challenging and difficult – even exhausting at times. Taking care of yourself throughout the process is crucial. This entails getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and managing stress levels. Plan ahead and avoid leaving things to the last minute.

Understand that something unexpected will always happen

Nightmare? It depends how well you handle the unexpected – and how prepared you are. On the day of the event, you shouldn’t be worrying or handling the matters you should have planned for. Rather, on the day you should be putting out fires that will inevitably happen. A live event is unpredictable to a certain degree. It’s part of the fun and there’s a thrill in the unexpected.

Practice gratitude

It might be an obvious one – but don’t underestimate the power of relationships in the events industry. Saying ‘thank you’ to each of your stakeholders and every crew member involved assures everybody that their efforts are appreciated. Basic good manners go a long way. Stay positive, smile and thank everyone who contributed to a piece of the pie.

Survey and analyse

Post event, you will want to first breathe a sigh of relief. You will then probably start thinking about the next project. It is of utomost importance, however, that you take a moment to analyse the event in a post-mortem. How did you fair – how did the team work together – what could have been better? This step may be considered irrelevant post-event – but the learnings that may arise from this step may provide you with invaluable information you can use later. How close to your planned strategy was the end result? Measuring and tracking will help you up the level the next time round. After all, you want to keep improving, polishing and excelling.

Your measurement should also link back to your strategy. Did you meet your objectives? As part of your strategy, what did success look like? Did you hit those benchmarks? Measuring your level of success is the only way to ensure that next time, you’ll do an even better job.

Take note of key learnings and satisfaction levels

Take the information that you learnt from this experience and start to think about the next step in the journey. At this stage you should also able to monitor satisfaction. This is a tricky one to measure unlike other measurable variables. Service is intangible and harder to measure – but when clients and audiences are satisfied, that will lead to retention – and there is nothing more powerful than a retained and returning audience. If you manage to master these 10 steps, you are ready to begin. Taking this advice helps create succesful events. If all else fails, engage On Site Malta for a creative, flawless and most of all, highly-successful event.

On Site Malta is revered as the Large Events Specialist. As one of Malta’s largest leading destination management companies, we are dedicated to bringing client’s ideal events to life – be it an association meeting, annual congress, company event, thrilling incentive or exclusive programme – ranging from 7 to 7,000 persons. More than a DMC, we are team of dynamic and creative experts specialised in meetings/conferences, incentives and events – based onsite in Malta. When engaging On Site Malta you are not recruiting an event specialist – but a team of inventors, mentors, designers, creators, reality checkers and implementers.

Meetings | Incentives | Events | Exclusive Travel | Leisure [email protected]

Unleash the power of the hashtag onto your events

There are so many perks of using social media that the list may seem endless. This varies, however on your ultimate goal or what you plan to achieve. With so many new social network sites cropping up all over the internet, an event marketer may feel overwhelmed to say the least.

So you already have and manage your social media portals on a daily basis. Prior to an event, however, it is of utmost importance, if not crucial, that you integrate social media in your event marketing plan. Why? The main reason is that you can extend the value gained from one single event today than ever before – pre-event, during the event and post-event.

Stay focused on the prize – engagement

What you must keep at the forefront of your thinking is that engagement is the ultimate goal. It is rather pointless to waste precious time on 10 posts a day unless each of them aims to engage your fans and followers. It’s more efficient and effective to plan fewer, but more effective ones.

Hashtag it

Hashtags are so in. (and often misused). Give delegates the go ahead to start using one, clear hashtag that will be associated to your meeting or event.

Brand it – treat your event hashtag as you would your logo

Include it everywhere – in the event backdrop, pre-event posts, all your signage – and basically any marketing collateral you are producing. The idea is to be consistent so it’s a good idea to spread it as widely as possible.

Create a sense of community

In order to engage delegates, one should create a sense of community that they aspire to being part of. You can create this sense of community before the day of the event – at times several weeks before the event – and this is where the hashtag comes in handy.

The Selfie Centre

Brand large full-sized mirrors with hashtag stickers where people can take photos individually and in groups holding quote bubbles with your event hashtag.  This creates immediate engagement and strenghtens the power of your hashtag as they will further post them on their own social media profiles thus spreading the hashtag even wider.

Digital screens and SocialWall

Something that can work with all levels of social media users is the SocialWall. This is an event technology that displays any content related to your event hashtag on a digital screen that is visible to your delegates. Attendees get their own chance to see their names and posts on the big screen – and let’s face it – it’s fun!  

Create photo challenges

Display various challenge cards within the event area and vary the type of challenges – always connecting them to social media via the hashtag as the main hook. These can also serve as warmers that help guests relax and ice breaking conversation starters or networking exercise.

Reward hashtag usage

Where there’s a challenge, there’s usually also a reward. Create a form of social currency where one use of the hashtag results in a reward. You can set up a Twitter-activated dispenser that releases a gift everytime one of your delegates uses the hashtag. This could include upgrades to VIP treatment during the event itself to create even more aspiration and engagement.

Engage via polling

Many conferences and meetings will inevitably have some form of ‘question time’. In order to facilitate Q&A time, try combine in-app polls where attendees ask questions or comment without having to raise their hands – pretty neat, huh?

Engage your speakers and keynote people

This one might sound pretty obvious, but it would help if you first manage to engage your event compere, panellists, speakers and keynote. Not only can they drop hashtag hints during the event – but they will most likely be influencers who might take the engagement and exposure further. This one’s powerful.