Event management is a fast-paced and unpredictable field that often requires event planners to adapt to sudden changes. It is exactly this dynamic nature that makes planning an event such an exciting occupation for many. Event managers need to be able to roll with the punches, but if they have a structured plan in place for the event it becomes far easier to manage any contingencies.
Here are some event management tips to help you get started with your event plan.
Send Your Invites at the Right Time
If you send your invite too early your attendees might be unsure of their own schedules at that time. This might cause attendees to either decline the invitation or simply ignore it. If you send your invitations too late you might find that their schedules are already full.
Unfortunately, there is no set amount of time that guarantees a higher attendance, as every event is different. Generally, it is better to send your invites no later than four weeks before the event and no earlier than six weeks before the event. This allows for enough time to properly plan and execute the event while also affording attendees time to plan their schedules.
Pay Close attention to Your Guest List
Knowing how many people are attending an event is valuable information that can be used to your advantage. Whether you are hosting virtual, hybrid or face-to-face events, this piece of info helps you to plan more effectively and ensures that you are able to stay within your event budget. Knowing who your guests are is often equally important, especially if you are sending email invitations to attendees and gathering feedback.
Some event software solutions are capable of generating guest lists and tracking email invitation bounces, allowing organizers to see how many guests have declined or failed to RSVP by the due date. This takes a load off of the event manager’s shoulders and enables them to have easy access to guest information.
Welcoming Attendees to Your Event
No guest wants to show up to an event feeling lost and not knowing where to go. Having a well-branded and clearly visible entrance to your event hall is important to help guests navigate. Having a team member available to greet your attendees with a smile can also go a long way toward making them feel welcome.
This meet and greet is the perfect opportunity to supply guests with everything they need for the event such as name badges, accreditation or the event schedule. When your attendees enter your event in a good mood, feeling appreciated, it reflects positively on the event as a whole.
Follow up With Attendees
By following up with attendees after an event you are able to gauge their experience and gather valuable insights. However, the challenge often lies in persuading guests to respond to follow-up questionnaires. A well-designed questionnaire could compel attendees to provide their feedback, but the timing is likely the most important factor.
Ideally, a follow-up should be done within a few days, be it telephonically, by email or in person. Attendees are less likely to respond if the event was concluded weeks prior to the follow-up.
We hope that these event management tips will help to guide you as you plan any future events. Many organisations choose to use an all-in-one event software solution that does a lot of the heavy lifting and helps them avoid many of the pitfalls we’ve discussed. This software automatically sorts information and takes care of some administrative tasks, such as sending invites and compiling a list of attendees. This has the potential to free up a lot of your time as an event manager, allowing you to focus on more important matters. And if there’s one thing you can never have enough of, it’s time!