There's nothing like the start of a new year to get everyone thinking about new and creative ways to approach event and meeting planning. With the type of year many people experienced in 2010, with budget cuts all over the place, creating events on a shoe-string budget or cutting them completely! 2011 looks set to be much more of an exciting year as the industry is raring to go with new ideas and exciting ventures that will help you get your events back on track.
Debbie Marks, Managing Director of Qube Events and Productions talks about her '10 Top Tips for Planning Successful Events in 2011'
1. Set your Goals - It's really important to understand what you want to get out of your events and what you want to achieve; whether building your companies brand, educating customers, increasing sales or motivating your staff. Don't just dive straight in. Once you've worked out your goals you can then work out the best way of achieving these.
2. Plan Ahead - If you're able to nail down a marketing budget for the year, try to establish a specific budget for each event. Once you know what you've got to spend, you will be able to look at making your budget stretch as far a possible. Block book your suppliers for more than one event and you're likely to get rewarded with better deals.
3. Don't Comprise on Quality for Cost - If you do this it will bite you back, 10 fold! For those of you who may not have the luxury of planning ahead and with the trend of deadlines for events getting shorter and shorter, we expect to see this continue into 2011. All good events companies should have geared up their teams be ready for your last minute phone calls and bookings. If you've only got a few weeks to pull your event together then make sure you don't detract from the quality of products and services you use by making quick, rash decisions. 'As a rule of thumb we only provide our clients with quality products and services at competitive prices. We know people shop around, so we've done the leg work for you to save you time and always make sure that you get the best possible service, at the best price and with the customer service you deserve'.
3. Look at the Bigger Picture - If you're looking at planning several events in 2011, look out for opportunities where you can share costs across your events. For example, if you are having a banner or a display stand made, then make it generic, rather than putting the event date on it so that you can make use of it for future events. When you're not at the event, see if you can find a place for it in your workplace, maybe in your reception area or your cafeteria.
4. Think Outside the Box - It's really easy to organise what you know best. With the current market organisers are going to need to start to think a little differently and be open minded to new ideas, event styles and formats. We've started to come up with a full range of options for our clients that achieve the same objectives, but are executed in a different manner. Not only has this brought excitement to attendees at events, in-house event organisers have loved working together with us to develop these new ideas for their events.
5. Use an Event Specialist to Book your Suppliers - Did you know that it can be cheaper to use an event specialist to provide your event services than to try and organise everything yourself? Not only will this save you time and energy, you can also take advantage of the discounts we get from our suppliers.
6. Invest in your people - It's so easy to focus on the bottom line, your sales potential and results for the year, but the people who we rely on to make this happen are often forgotten. You're only as good as the staff you have, so make sure that in 2011 they are kept motivated and upbeat about the results you want them to achieve. Use team building events to bond teams and foster better working relationships. It not only boosts morale in the company it will make the culture in your office a much more fun and exciting place to work. There's no need to spend £1000's on expensive days out, there are plenty of low key fun activities you can do with your team which will give you the same results. Watch out in 2011 for Qube Events exciting new Team Building offerings, we've got some exciting new events to launch that the event industry has never seen before!
7. Use social marketing to increase event attendance - Using social media channels to market events is a great strategy for getting attention and building excitement around an event. It is a low-cost way to promote your events to a larger audience and build hype and fans.
8. Attend trade shows - The simple reason is that it provides both you and the company you work for the opportunity to further your knowledge of the industry, to help you network with suppliers and benefit from ideas that will enhance your events. Trade shows offer perfect opportunities for this because that is what they were made for; networking and education. When you attend a trade show, you will be learning about new and cutting edge products and services, some of which may have not even hit the market yet. Whether you are a consumer, investor, or client, knowing what is coming out helps you stay ahead of the game.
9. Don't get stuck in a rut - It's easy to get stuck in a rut with your events. We tend to organise and implement the same tactics because they are successful, but 2011 will be the year for taking carefully thought-out risks. Take risks, be bold and surprise attendees with ingenuity and value.
10. Deliver more bang for your buck! - I'm sure we've all heard this expression before and it's a classic in the events industry! Prioritise what's important for you out of your event, set your budget and get someone else to do the hard work for you! Outsourcing your events to professional event companies who are able to deliver quality products and services will save you hours and they're also specialists in making your money go as far as possible.
Qube Events and Productions, a division of the Super Duper Media Group are an Event management company and provider of quality Event Services. For a truly professional service contact us on 0845 463 0463 or visit our website www.qubeevents.co.uk for more details.