Business Tips: How to host a successful business event
It’s a little known fact that event planners have one of the top 5 most stressful jobs in the world. But don’t let this tidbit cause you gut-wrenching anxiety! As a party aficionado and moderate control freak, I’ve hosted a number of successful, and a few unsuccessful, business events. Through trial and error, I’ve come up with a humble plan to help guide you through your next business event and earn “hostess with the mostest”.
Know your audience.
First things first, who are you inviting? Do they work in the same industry? What’s the demographic? These are a few important questions to consider when starting the planning process. If you’re inviting a group of day traders, make sure to set the event time shortly after the markets close. If your intended audience belongs to professional associations, consider partnering with one of the associations or a-like business to share the cost/responsibilities.
Objective, theme & location.
What do you hope to gain from hosting this event? Once that’s determined, come up with a theme. Don’t forget about your audience when deciding your theme. Next, choose a location that is close by and convenient for your guests. Also, one that’s inviting and can manage whatever type of event you’re going to host.
Send the invite.
If your event is local, and doesn’t fall around any major holidays, your best bet is to send an invite 3 – 4 weeks in advance. This allows people enough time to plan accordingly. If your guests have to travel far distances, send invitations anywhere from 6 – 8 months out so they’re able to make appropriate airfare and hotel arrangements. Schedule follow up reminders if you’re sending the invite in mass and encourage the hostess, or hostesses, to do some personal outreach. Personal outreach is a guaranteed method to increase attendance.
Whether you’re hiring a caterer or working with a restaurant, keep the lines of communication open about the amount of attendees, dietary restrictions, and what type of occasion it is. If it’s a networking event, small bites are most ideal – if it’s an auction, perhaps a sit down meal would best suit your audience. About a week before, run through any remaining action items and purchase any additional materials – avoid last minute surprises.
“Hostess with the Mostest”.
At the end of the day, just have fun. If you’re worried, anxious or showing any emotion aside from elation, your guests will pick up on those vibes. Engage with all of your guests, thank them personally for coming, and connect the commonalities amongst the attendees. Most importantly, make sure you follow up with a thank you at least 1-3 days after the event. Follow up is key to re-attract attendees for future occasions.
Well, there you have it- a fool-proof plan to host a successful business event. It’s also imperative to regroup with your team after the event to discuss successes, failures and brainstorm where improvements can be made. For more information about business tips, visit our Q&A Residential Hotel blog.