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December 7, 2011 / Steve Hennigs

Tips for successful Event Management

Event Management

In the past week I have attended two different events that the company I work for has sponsored.  One was a multi-day event while the other was just one day and in both cases I was very underwhelmed with how the event was managed.  Things that I thought were common sense were not done which left me (and those who were with me) very disappointed with both events.  With this being in the forefront of my mind I wanted to share a few thoughts on what could have been done better in hopes that people will read this post and do one of two things.  Take my advice or add additional thoughts on how to professionally manage an event.  In either case I believe that other event managers can use these thoughts to ensure they do a great job.

Introduce yourself to every sponsor

I thought this for sure would be a no-brainer but alas this was not the case at either event.  It is important that the event sponsors know who to turn to if anything were to go wrong or if they have any questions.  Simply by introducing yourself you show early on that you appreciate their sponsorship and are willing to help make sure that the event is successful for the sponsor.  This level of personal service can go a long way towards potential sponsors coming back for multiple years to your event.

Make sure there is a reliable internet connection

I may be more interested in this than some companies because I sell software that assists with Website Governance but anymore there should be a reliable internet connection at most any trade shows.  Many people have multiple devices that take advantage of internet access (laptops, smartphones, tablet devices, etc.) and when they cannot access the internet it can be very frustrating.  Sponsors and event attendees alike have work that needs to be completed even though they are attending an event.  Some work can be completed without internet access, most however cannot.

The food has to be good and easy to serve

Not many things can derail the positive energy at an event like bad food or poorly organized service of the food.  Attendees spend their day learning about their industry, talking with vendors, doing work remotely for their company, and much more.  When it comes time to eat they do not want to hassle with poor organization and expect a good meal for the fees they have paid to attend the event.  This in my opinion is one aspect of Event Management that should be perfect at every event.

Do your homework on the Keynote Speakers

I only bring this up because I have gone to events with great Keynotes and events with equally bad Keynotes.  A great Keynote Speaker can set the tone for the entire event.  Attendees and Sponsors are energized by these people and the Keynote can become the face of the event and the reason people decide to come back year after year.  I see the complete opposite effect when there is a poor Keynote.  Attendees begin to wonder what the rest of the sessions will be like if the Keynote is bad.  I have found myself thinking if this is the best they could find to kick things off the rest of the sessions can’t be any better.  You only get to make a first impression once, so make it count by bringing in a solid Keynote for every event you manage.

That is my two cents on ensuring an event runs smoothly and leads to people coming again year after year.  Please comment if you agree, disagree, or if there is something I have left out!

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