“5 Steps to Hosting a Stellar Biz Event” by Ali Brown - Glambition Radio

“5 Steps to Hosting a Stellar Biz Event” by Ali Brown

Hosting a business event is like your very own film premiere or book launch—an opportunity for greater exposure, and a powerful way to engage new clients, lever­age your brand, increase profits, and generate some fantastic PR. While it can be an exhausting process, it’s usually highly rewarding when planned and executed well. Read on for vital tips and essential information to set you firmly on the path toward event hosting success.
A lucrative event needs a clear vision behind it, so you must first decide on its objectives and goals. Ask yourself the following questions:
What outcome and tangible results do I want to see from this event? (i.e., increased sales, introduce a new product, raise awareness of business)
What change do I want to effect in my guests?
What do I want people to say after the event?
Once you know your purpose you can then set about envisioning the event. Planning for it is crucial and should be started at least four to six months in advance.
STEP 1: Map out your overall content, look, and feel
Your content, of course, is of the most importance, but you must also spend time thinking about the look and feel of your event. I see many entrepreneurs overlook this critical part that influences how your attendees will feel, which is important for sales and action.
Reverse-engineer your entire event around the end result you want to create. Start by writing a plan of what you want to offer and teach, and develop a general theme. Work out a comfortable schedule, and remember to allow enough space between sessions so participants can network and exchange opinions.  (Have you ever attended a multi-day event where they barely give you any breaks and then keep you in the room until midnight every day? The hosts do that on purpose to create a controlling environment. It’s an old school, fear-based, model. And it’s insulting to your audience not to give them ample time to eat, go to the bathroom, network, and sleep!)
And no matter what the event or who is in the audience, include a host of ice-breakers and team-bonding exercises to get everyone electrified and energized. You’ll be amazed at how quickly a room full of strangers will be chatting away like old friends and swap­ping ideas.
Plan to decorate your location with banners and signage, and don’t hold back on handouts or other materials. Offer gift bags and other promotional items and set up an attractive stall or store for your merchandise.
STEP 2: Choose the right venue
The venue is more than just a roof over your guests—it must also offer superlative facilities, an enjoyable atmosphere, and be easily accessible. Use our venue checklist to help you select the perfect setting:
– Venue size—This is a delicate decision. You will want as many people to attend as possible, but if it is too large and you don’t get a full house, the atmosphere will flatline. Some events benefit from a more intimate setting, so it is important to ensure that the venue complements the occasion.
– Aesthetics—Are you looking for a visually stunning setting or a space that you can decorate yourself?
– Amenities—Are they up to scratch and do they fulfill your needs? You need to check that the venue has:
* Adequate parking facilities
* Disabled access
* Enough chairs and tables
* Nearby restrooms
* Enough power outlets for electronic equipment
* No visual obstructions within the room
* No noise obstructions from adjacent rooms and halls
– Location—While most people have a car, it is preferable to find somewhere that is easily accessible by all forms of public transport. If your clientele is national, being near a major airport is key. Host your event at a hotel or make sure there are good hotels nearby, and negotiate preferred room rates for your attendees.
– Catering facilities—Ensure that your guests are well fed and watered, or there are enough options for them to feed themselves. The food and drink must be excellent with more than enough to go round, though you don’t want to give people too much, as they might doze off during your sessions. Using external caterers is an option.
– Is it within budget?—You have found a terrific venue in a wonderful location with first class facilities, but can you afford it? Don’t stretch your budget to the break­ing point to acquire the perfect place. Some venues may offer discounts, and it may also be worth bargaining about the price. Consider additional costs, too. For example, will the venue’s insurance cover your event or will you have to take out your own?
Above all, it’s about common sense. So visit the venue several times if necessary, and ask yourself if it is somewhere you’d like to spend several hours. If it doesn’t feel right, move on to the next location on your list.
STEP 3: Set a fair price for the event
Consider the value you’ll be delivering at your event, then do a little market research:
– Look at what the competition is charging and how much you think participants are willing to pay.
– If this is your first event you may want to charge less to attract a crowd, but don’t go too low as this will send out the wrong sort of message.
– If the people are only selecting your event because of price, you are in trouble, as a competitor can always lower theirs.
– Quality never goes out of fashion and is always worth it. You have devoted your energies to creating an amazing event that offers incredible benefits, so charge accordingly. The key is conveying the value in your marketing copy so your prospects see it as well worth the money.
STEP 4: Fill the room!
Focus your marketing—Direct your marketing message toward the event’s unique selling points. It can be tempting to list every element and feature, and lose sight of the ben­efits. Attendees will want to know the event program, and mentioning a well-known key speaker will create a lot of attention. Remind people of the networking opportunities. Your marketing message should be bold, be memo­rable, and stand out.
Promote the event with multi-channel marketing—Ideally you want to attract people to your event without spending a fortune on advertising, and one of the most effective ways of achieving this is to have every piece of online and offline promotional material pointing toward your event website. Get commitment—Establish a deadline for attendee registrations and offer discounts for people who register on or before the closing date. You can also offer a variety of gifts in exchange for early registration, such as bonuses or gift certificates.
Create excitement—Start telling people about your event as early as possible. Catch their attention and prepare some enticing materials and sneak previews to create excitement. Tailor your promotional efforts to reach people who are already interested in you and what you have to say. There is nothing worse than planning to host a magnificent event, only to have it ignored or have the wrong people turn up.
Develop a sense of urgency—Send a reminder email to anyone who hasn’t regis­tered yet. “Only 10 spots left. Register today!” Remind them of just how they’ll benefit from attending, the sort of information they will only receive by being at your event.
Encourage attendees to bring their friends—everyone loves a bargain, so reward attendees who bring guests. For example, you could offer them a small discount.
One of the crucial ways of getting the word out is to have others talk about it. Use regular emails and newsletters to generate a buzz and encourage people to tell their friends and family—it will save a lot on your marketing dollars.
Take advantage of ALL the tools in your marketing toolkit. Don’t just rely on email. Provide links to your event website on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts. You can also send press releases and photographs to newspapers or trade publications and cross-promote on the websites of your sponsors. And don’t forget about direct mail—postcards are a great low-cost way to get the word out.
STEP 5: Assess your results
After the event you should be able to measure the results to know whether you’ve achieved your goals as well as a good return on your investment. Events are all about forging long-term relationships with your clients, and by creating a memorable experience you will motivate them to act.
Many marketers don’t make a ton of money on their first few events. Aim to at least break even, but keep working your numbers and improving each event until you turn your events into big paydays. Be the best you can be and deliver what you promise—you will create a spectacular occasion that everyone will remember for a long time to come.
Event hosting is just ONE way to establish yourself as an expert, reach a broader audience, and increase your revenues. But if you’re looking for even more fresh ideas to take your business to the next level, don’t forget about my “57 Income Streams: For More Money, Now and Later” 4-part telecourse. From event-based models to passive income streams, we’ll cover it ALL. To learn more and save your spot for this course, go here now. (Early Bird Discount: SAVE $50 on your registration—but only until next MONDAY, October 10 at midnight.)
© 2011 Ali International, LLC
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“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com

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