Preparing for a Business Event or Program

Putting on a business event or program is no joking matter. Like the saying goes, “Failing to plan, is planning to fail,” holds true without a doubt in terms of running successful business events and programs. I’ve worked with a lot of companies, and I’ve done a lot of events, and what I’m going to share with you is a simple template to follow when preparing for a business event or program, so that everyone knows exactly what to do, how to do it, and when it needs to be done by.

I call this strategy my “90-day out” template to hosting or running a business event. With proper preparation, matched with delegation and accountability, the business event or program will far exceed your expectations. Use this template as your talk track to guide you through your next business event or program.

Initial event call held.

This is a 1-hour conference call held “90-days out” where everyone on the leadership team will come prepared and ready to discuss all topics below. This is a no-nonsense fast-paced call that covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Pre-work will need to be done before the call so maximum productivity may be had. The following questions will be covered.

What is the name of the event?

The simpler, the better. Be sure to include keywords.

What is the start date of the event and what is the end date?

Simply list if this is a one-time event, or multi-day event.

What time does the event start and end during the day or evening?

A simple start and end time works fine.

What the event offers to participants?

Provide what value the participant is going to receive by spending money and participating in this event. Must be crystal clear and easy to understand.

What’s the tagline or mission statement for the event?

In one sentence, state the value that the event will provide and the importance of why someone attends.

Is the event being hosted onsite, online, or both?

Discuss the advantages of all event aspects. If only one method was used in previous years, discuss the advantages of utilizing the other method as well this year.

What staff are going to participate?

Mention staff that participated last year, who succeeded, who didn’t, and then sort out if anyone is going to come off the project, or if anyone new is going to come onto the project.

Who’s the target audience?

Clearly create demographic or psychographic profiles that want to be attracted to attend the event.

What’s the cost to participants?

Describe how long the event will last and list the start date and end dates along with times.

What marketing materials are needed?

If anything physical needs to be printed, describe what they are and why they’re needed. List everything needed. Decide if the event is going to be supported with both offline and online methods, or just online.

What marketing channels are going to be used?

If offline, list them. If online, list them. If both, list all of them. Some examples may include, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, your blog, influencers, websites for online ads, local printed maps and guides, billboards, PR outlets, news stations, and street fairs.

What marketing outlets delivered the best ROI the previous year?

List out each specific channel, what the total spend was, and what the total cost to acquire an event participant was from each channel.

What was the total overall spend for last years event?

This is the simple (all up and all in) number.

What was the previous years’ attendance?

List what the goal target was for last years event, and how many people actually attend the event. Also, list how many people registered or paid, but didn’t show up.

What’s the goal for attendance at this year’s event?

Put down a target number of attendees to make it worthwhile and turn a profit.

What incentives are going to be used to increase participants?

List any discounts or incentives being provided to the participant.

What are some success stories from last years event?

Write down names, get in touch with them, and have them share a written or video testimonial.

Are there any concerns?

Share any specific topics of concern that may help or hurt the event.

Ending the call.

Once the call is completed, everyone on the leadership team needs to jump into action, notify any support staff needed, and be held responsible for their part in running a successful event. As you can see, there are a lot of areas to cover, but nothing is ever too much to handle with the proper planning.

Remember to use my “90-day out” template to hosting or running a business event for all your events moving forward. I assure you that it works without a doubt. Remember, proper preparation, matched with delegation and accountability, will help your business event be the best that it can be. Lastly, quickly mention the next (3) upcoming events you have coming up along with their start dates, and lock-in “90-day out” conference call dates for each upcoming business event or program at that moment.