Don't Let A Beautiful Event Go To Waste! (Part Two)
Welcome to the second post in our three-part series that teaches you (almost) everything we know to help you set and measure goals for event success.
Before we dive in too deep, you might be wondering why an event planning company is teaching people how to plan an event...
Here’s the secret: we’re not.
The hard truth about big, creative events is that they require an enormous amount of internal work and strategic planning to be a truly good investment. (Not leave you wondering six months later why you spent ten thousand dollars on the branded cupcakes handed out by a street team on rollerblades!)
The real work for you as a marketing team or person in charge of planning is to get the key stakeholders on board, identify your goals long-term, look three years ahead, and communicate with key clients before, during, and after the event. We’ll help you make a plan for that.
So, we’re not really giving away our “secrets.” We’re giving you a guide for the internal work we recommend that our clients accomplish before, during, and after your event. We’re here to help ensure that you’re seeing results and can quantify to your board members and C-levels exactly what the return was on those cotton candy stands. Setting, agreeing, and holding yourselves to clear goals may be the things that only you can do, but we’re here to help guide you on the how.
During the Event
Congratulations, you’ve made it to event day! Now you have the most captive audience you’ll have all year. Grab that opportunity by the lanyard and make good use of it!
During your event, take the time to have one-on-one conversations with your customers. Even better, use the opportunity to secure a testimonial or other content assets you can use throughout the year. This is an enormous opportunity to learn from your customers and to increase their loyalty to your company.
A few questions you can ask your clients to get great responses:
What have you learned today that you wish you knew before?
How will this [company product] impact your business in a different way than before?
What will change for you or your company as a result of what you learned here?
This is an especially perfect opportunity for the marketing and sales teams to get close to key clients.
Opportunity for Increased Brand Loyalty
An event is a highly visible time for your brand; a rare opportunity to have this much face time with clients and prospects and a great opportunity for them to grow in their loyalty to you. No matter the starting point of a client’s brand loyalty, this event is an opportunity to level-up. For example:
Go from “heard of it” to “love It”
Go from “love it” to “can’t live without it!”
Go from “can’t live without it!” to “I have to tell everyone about this!”
Creative Alternatives to Surveys
Surveys are helpful, but they’re a bit stale and people would often rather be talking or getting another drink than handwriting paragraphs of feedback. Click through rates on your post-event survey will remain low; even with tantalizing raffle prizes on offer for completion. Soup tastes best when it’s hot, no? So let’s find ways to get quality feedback while your audience is still at the event.
Creative event feedback is so important that we’ve written about this elsewhere on our blog, and we’re constantly adding new ideas to our wheelhouse.
Here are a few of our current favorite ways to get creative feedback:
Ask your attendees to answer quick polls on the event app that you push to them a little at a time throughout the event.
Pair up feedback people are eager to give with feedback you need. Use your event app to push a quick survey like “how’s the food?” alongside “how can we improve your experience with our company?”
Be sure push polls are quick and easy to answer. People won’t type out long responses from a mobile device, but they will press a button on a simple spectrum from 1 to 10 .
Have roundtable discussions with a member of your company at each table to take notes and facilitate questions. Even better, do this at “dine around town” small dinners on night one of a multi-day conference.
Ask people to give feedback in real time by putting emoji stickers on a board with a statement on it. For example, you may have a board with a statement like “I have a better idea than before of how to use this product in my day-to-day business.” Provide attendees with a smiley face, a frowny face, a heart eyes emoji, or a steamed angry face to express frustration. Let them use these emojis with these statements, and you’ll have a good idea of the emotional range of responses, without tiring your attendees.
This feedback board was for a 1,200 person nonprofit boot camp for which we designed cards that invited attendees to say what they were inspired to do as a result of the day’s events. The results were fantastic, and everyone benefitted from this simple exercise.
Here’s a board where attendees could give conference producers their vision for where the event and company should focus its attention, and other attendees could up-vote ideas with stickers. This simple method gave the company premium feedback they could use for months to come.
Does your team need help finding clever and useful ways to get feedback during your event? Do you need help planning the kind of feedback you’re hoping to get? If so, then let’s chat about your goals and how to achieve them.
Paige Buck is the co-owner of Kennedy Events is a large-scale event management company based in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. Our team creates stress-free conferences and events with a positive impact, which allow our clients to resonate with their audience. Kennedy Events specializes in producing flawless product launches, award ceremonies, fundraisers and multi-day conferences while keeping our eye on retention and engagement goals.
About Kennedy Events
Kennedy Events began in 2000 with one goal in mind—to produce corporate events with just as much strategy as style. Since then, Paige, Maggie, and their team have built one of the most sought after corporate event companies in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.
Make sure that your event is as valuable to your company as it is meaningful to your attendee.
We’ve (nearly) done it all when it comes to large scale events.