event management

Event Management Tips: Keeping your Exhibitors Happy

If there's one aspect of event management you need to perfect, it's keeping your exhibitors happy. A satisfied exhibitor is guaranteed to book a stall at your next event. Furthermore, that exhibitor is definitely going to consider increasing his in investment. Essentially, what you need to realise is this: it's a lot easier to get returning exhibitors than it is to recruit new ones.

ROI Equals Traffic

What exhibitors are looking for, more than anything else, is a return on their investment. Basically, they want to know that they are going to get a decent amount of traffic to their stalls. After all, they signed up to your event to get as much exposure as possible. To them, a slow day is a huge waste of their investment.

Provide Both Online and Offline Information

Your exhibitors are going to be on the lookout for ways to increase their investment. Remember that their marketing decisions are almost always made by a team of people, so you need to have tons of information available. Sponsorship packets are always a win. Similarly, your online information needs to be completely up-to-date and on-point.

Content is King

One of the keys to successful event management is a proper content marketing strategy. Get your content creation efforts up to speed, and mention your exhibitors on your website, blog, and social media. Get the word flowing, get people talking. Make sure that your exhibitors feel valued and supported.

Get out of that Stuffy Box (Hall)

There's a lot to be said for networking that happens outside of the traditional conference hall. Yes, driving traffic to vendor booths is important but that isn't necessarily where the "real" networking happens. Consider setting up a less formal event where exhibitors and customers can meet and chat at their leisure - people are generally more comfortable in a setting that is less loud and jostling than your traditional bustling conference.

Assemble Follow-Up Lists

Anyone in the event management business will tell you that tons of sales often happen directly after event, rather than at the event itself. In essence, vendors are facing two types of consumers: impulsive consumers and those that need some time to mull it over. Your exhibitors are definitely going to want to follow up with attendees. Offer them an easy way to connect with their audience by providing follow-up lists in a popular format.

Your goal is to become the preferred event organiser for exhibitors in your industry. Remember that your planning and management endeavours are the heart and soul of the event - you determine how the day will run for your vendors. Make sure that it's a roaring success.

Event Aftermath: An Event Manager's Work is Never Done

Your event was a raging success. Exhibitors left feeling as though their ROI was well worth it. Consumers left feeling like they really found a few gems. Everyone managed to fit in some fantastic networking. All in all, your job as an event manager is well done. Right? Wrong. In this highly competitive industry, there really is no rest for the wicked...or for event professionals either. Once your event is done and dusted, the real work begins.

Recognize the Event-Cycle as a Delicate Process

As an event manager, one of the most important things you need to realise is that events are cyclic in nature. The aftermath of your event is just as important as its conception and launch.

At the completion of your event you have the opportunity to collect invaluable feedback and data. Essentially, these post-event details help you to iron out the creases for your next event. You have the chance to learn from your successes and mistakes in order to greatly improve your skills.

Mind your Manners

Thank-yous are an important part of the post-event procedure. After a strenuous, busy, and challenging event, Fatigue may try to convince you that thank you notes are overkill. Ignore that little voice. You need to thank everyone who participated in the event. It helps to keep the memory of the event fresh in their minds.

Better still; go the extra mile and personalise those thank-yous to make sure your good impression last even longer. Acknowledge every single person involved in making the magic happen from your side as well; it's not just about attendees and vendors.

Reach Out on Every Platform

Social media is your greatest friend in terms  of post-event tasks. In most cases, event manager's place a heavy emphasis on social media engagement in the period before the event. During the event this engagement reaches a plateau. After the event, there seems to be a distinct lack of conversation aside from the cursory "thank you for attending" update.

People love to talk about their experiences. So, encouraging online conversation after the event is a great way to build an audience that will be interested in the next one. Share content from the event. Encourage vendors, sponsors, and attendees to tag themselves and share your tweets and updates. Engage as much as you can.

Maintain your Website

Website maintenance is seriously underrated. Too many event professionals are only concerned about their website directly before an upcoming event. What you need to remember is this: stale content hurts your image.

Directly after your event you have the opportunity to update your website with a goldmine of content. People want to see what you've done - they want to know that you kept any promises you made prior to the event. Additionally, forgetting to freshen up your site can make you look lazy or careless; which isn't really the impression you want to give.

In addition to your regular post-event duties (balancing the books, debriefing the team, etc) the above tasks can greatly improve your event-cycle overall. Try not to take them lightly.

Colour Matters in Event Design

Colour choices in event design are more important than most people realise. There is almost no way for an event to be 100% successful if the design is not up to scratch. The correct colour palette is the very foundation of your decor; and event attendees' experience begins with the eye.

The Emotional Connection

Whether you choose to believe it or not, the colours in your surrounding environment can have a very real effect on your mood. Certain bright colours inspire high energy buzz whilst others have a more soothing effect. You need to think carefully about the core concepts behind your event, and the kind of vibe you're hoping to generate.

Don't Clash with your Venue

When choosing your colour palette, you need to remember that you're not starting with a completely clean slate. Your venue already comes with an array of its own colours which will need to work in cohesion with your choices.

A single colour can look completely different depending on its surroundings. Some colours compliment each other whilst others are in complete contrast.

Play it Safe, Go Monochromatic

If you're worried about a colour clash, you have the option to choose a monochromatic palette. It almost seems as though monochrome will never go out of style - and that's a real stroke of luck in terms of event design. Choose a single colour and work with varying shades (darker and lighter) thereof. You can go two ways with this: subtle or dramatic.

Keep it Simple with Neutrals

Neutral colours are quite often the favourite for people who aren't fully acquainted with the ins and outs of design. There's a very real sense of comfort in neutral colours - it feels a bit like home. Neutral tones lend an air of relaxation and calm. You can add an accent colour here or there for that bit of pizzazz if you feel the need.