Small Business Saturday Blog

Organising a Small Business Event - Tips from the Experts

Friday, January 26 at 11:23

Organising a small business event is no mean feat. It takes attention to detail, knowledge about your aims and goals, and plenty of creativity and flexibility.
Know Your Audience
Before you can start planning anything else, determine what your target audience looks like. Closely linked with aims and goals, nailing your audience will help with everything else from location, to event content and activities, catering, entertainment and cost.
Know Your Purpose
      Product launch
      Lead generation
      New services offered
      Local business networking
      Professional conference
      Employee rewards
      Business milestone celebration
      Reward loyalty
      Create awareness
      Boost profits
There are many reasons why you might organise a business event, and pinpointing your unique reason is one of the keys to success. When you know why, you’ll have a much clearer picture of who you need there to help you meet your end goals.
Knowing your audience and purpose also shapes how you’ll stage the event, what type of seating, barriers or fences you’ll need, and whether you need to hire an actual stage. For staging supplies, budget for professional equipment so you’re sure of the quality and can meet health and safety requirements.
Choose Dates Carefully
Holding your event at the same time as other big events in your location can ruin your chances of success. Check the calendar, keep ears and eyes open through social media, and avoid major holiday seasons if possible.
Define Your Budget
Whatever your budget is, some compromises along the way are almost inevitable, for example:
      A smaller venue.
      A simpler menu.
      A less well-known, but still expert, speaker.
As you get deeper into the planning process, keep a sharp eye on estimated vs. actual costs, and be willing to scale back where necessary. Professional event planners are worth considering, as they have the experience to know how and where to trim the budget.
Have a Financing Plan
Could you get sponsorship from other companies? Ideas include inviting catering companies to sponsor the event, working on a joint venture to save money for you both. If you manage to secure sponsorships, make sure to give your sponsors the VIP treatment.
Advance ticket sales can be a good indicator of likely popularity, so you should consider this as one of the first planned activities even before venue booking, and certainly before you sign any contracts.
Have Contingency Plans
Always make contingency plans well in advance of the event. It helps to make a couple of lists, with every activity in one column and everything that could go wrong in a column next to it. Suppose, for instance, the catering company lets you down, or the sound system fails, or your guest accommodation double-books and your VIP overnighters have nowhere to sleep?
Things can and will happen outside the plan. Figuring out the worst-case scenario and how you could solve it, gives you a plan of action, just in case.
Alistage is the only UK company to manufacture its own staging equipment.  Modular stage systems, tiered seating, catwalks, barriers and bar systems are among the event equipment available for hire and sale, and used for concerts, TV and film work and exhibitions.

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