How to Plan the Perfect Event
An expertly executed exhibition event requires advance preparation, clear communication between all vendors, and a willingness to be flexible to achieve the best attendee experience possible. Here’s how to plan the perfect event.
Plan It Out Early
From funding to operations and on-site installation, you should have every detail planned out as much as possible. Look for those gaps where issues could arise and build in time or funds to offer flexible solutions, as necessary.
What Are Your Goals for The Event?
Exhibition goals and business requirements should be aligned as one affects the other. This is how you will set benchmarks to know how it’s going and plan your budget to match.
At the end of your event, you should have a detailed recording of all expenses and a clear understanding of your ROI.
Share Curated Content
When deciding what topics you’ll take on for your event, frame them in a way that allows for casual discussion. What conversations are you hoping to spark with your attendees? Make the content accessible enough to match.
Allow for a variety of interactive content outlets such as live Q&A sessions, breakout groups, and demonstrations.
Automate What You Can
Exhibition managers always have many spinning plates in the air when organizing a large event. Using automation tools to help you manage manual tasks can ensure that your time is spent where it will do the most good.
Consider automation for attendee management and check-in, tickets, online webinars or live streaming, marketing channels, and post-event analytics.
Plan To Make It Memorable
How can you boost audience engagement and increase attendee satisfaction? How can you create a memorable experience? An experience they remember is one they will share or wish to repeat.
Think outside the box! Consider these options:
- Personalize as much as possible
- Create curated agendas
- Offer themed networking sessions
- Offer Q&A panels
- Chat support
- Take polls
- Gamify your event, make it fun
- Send thank you notes
Delight attendees with creative and engaging solutions to hold their attention and give a personal touch.
How To Stage the Event
Event staging is where all your planning comes together, and your exhibit or event begins to take shape. Don’t forget to include these crucial elements when planning your event.
Arranging The Space
How much space and the kind of space you need will vary depending on the type and scope of the event itself. Figure out the best configuration for your event and lay out the space to match.
In a classroom-style event, you will likely have one or more speakers engaging from the front and the attendees all facing forward at tables. Six-foot tables should seat no more than three people to ensure there is enough space between strangers.
If there are any audio-visual considerations, eight-foot tables are more suitable to allow for all cords and equipment. This setting is preferred for all-day or multi-day seminars.
Reception and banquet-style events work well for breakout sessions and small-group discussions. Use this arrangement to break up longer events and provide a common space for rest.
A theater setup offers the highest ratio of people to space as there’s not much activity from the audience. Use this option for shorter conferences or lighter topics where detailed notes and references aren’t necessary.
Keep attendees nourished and happy with light refreshments throughout your event. This will help them to stay energized and awake.
There should always be coffee! Most people consume two cups a day but if it’s ready and available, it could end up being more. Other beverages should be a mix of hot and cold, such as iced tea, juice, water, soda, and hot water for tea or hot chocolate.
When budgeting for snacks, it’s tempting to go with the cheapest option: prepackaged sweets. However, with the numerous food and additive allergies and dietary restrictions in our society, it’s important to also offer healthier, more natural alternatives.
Consider these snack options:
- Granola bars or protein bars
- Fresh fruit
What happens after your event is over? If you want to keep attendees around and offer more networking opportunities, consider evening dinner or cocktail events. Whether or not your activities will include a bar largely depends on the type of event and time it takes place.
An evening event should serve beer and wine on tap, while a full reception could host a cash bar where everyone is responsible for their own purchases. Keep in mind that an event with an open or sponsored bar is more likely to get higher attendance than a cash bar or one without any alcohol at all.
Now Go Plan the Perfect Event!
Starting with a strong, detailed plan is what will make your event a smashing success. If you’re looking for an event or exhibit success partner, reach out to our team for a consultation!