Beyond the basics: 8 Finishing Touches Every Event Planner Need to Know
Planning and orchestrating an event is hard. Planning and orchestrating a memorable event which people actually enjoy is even harder. Even if you are not overseeing the entire event, hosting a stall or small section of it can be challenging in its own way.
We here at My Own Stationery know that the finishing touches to any event can be the difference between being okay and great. You may know your way around venue event staff, and have a few great vendors up your sleeve, but have you considered the cherry-on-top extras that could really make your event?
Check out our top tips and see how you could make your event even better:
1. Create a photo-op
Sometimes looks do matter. The aesthetics of your event or even just your booth will play a big part in whether your guests will take the time to snap a few pictures and post them online. This is obviously something to consider from the very beginning of your planning, as some venues have more natural beauty than others, but there are plenty of low cost ways to spruce up any room.
For example, you might create an interesting display out of the food being served, or use seasonal, local flowers as centrepieces. Adding candles or fairy lights can create a lovely, atmospheric effect or you might try ordering bespoke paper plates and quotes with highly shareable jokes or quotes printed of them.
2. Clear event branding
From banners to branded items, like notebooks, pens and cupcakes, ensure that your logo and corporate colours are easily identifiable. Even if you are only running a booth or sponsoring an event, it’s an essential that attendees know who you are, who you are with and why that might be important. This counts just as much for the digital world, when pictures of your event will be uploaded to the internet, and it’s up to you whether those images will include that very important reference to your brand.
3. Free samples
Got an easily packageable product? This is a great opportunity to get it into the hands of potential customers. Save the postage and get the first-hand opinions from people mingling right in front of you. It also helps that attendees away from the office and in more of relaxed mood are all too happy to receive your free samples.
Again, make sure to brand your samples to ensure they will remember your name!
4. Create talking points
Try not to plan an event so rigidly that it gives no opportunity for casual conversation and spontaneous happenings. Some of the best parts of an event are those that weren’t planned or accounted for, so give people room to mingle and be themselves.
You can, of course, do your best to ensure ‘spontaneous’ fun occurs. For example, giving your attendees a challenge, or a few Polaroid cameras, can encourage them to talk to others and be a little more adventurous.
5. Free samples
Have an easily packageable product? This is a great opportunity to get it into the hands of potential customers and clients, as well as get their feedback. Take the time to offer the product and some information about it, and if they are able to try and react then and there, make sure to note their thoughts. This can be valuable market research as well as a chance to connect personally with potential buyers.
Even if your product isn’t so simple to package up and hand out, get creative about how you can showcase your product without it being in the room.
6. Have staff on the floor
By all means, give your guests space, but don’t neglect them entirely. A personal touch from your brand can make all the difference to some attendees in remembering your name. This will also give attendees an opportunity to ask you any follow up questions, such as what your company does differently to your competitors or what interesting things you will be doing at the event. It’s important to actually be amongst the guests, instead of watching from afar.
7. Make it digital
To give your event a broader scope, make it digital. Have a hashtag, so that you can collect all of the posts and pictures from your event, and consider whether you should livestream short sections of it. Be sure to film your speakers, if you have any, and maybe even run an additional hashtag so that those who could not make it to the event in person, can still ask a speaker their question, blending the physical with the digital.
8. Surprise and delight
‘Surprise and Delight’ has become a relatively common phrase in marketing, often referring to a brand’s commitment to going to an extra, unexpected mile for customers.
Likewise, your guests will love surprises, too. It might be as simple as personalised place settings or welcome cards, or a more carefully planned aspect, like a secret speaker or entertainer. Whatever you decide to do, just remember that surprising people can be one of the best ways to create a positive, lasting impression.