Event planning and management can be very stressful for all concerned. You may have the knowledge, experience and capability, and so may your team, but without a strong event management plan, your efforts may bring about lacklustre results. Instead, you should have an automated and centralised event management plan to help steer you and your team towards a common goal.
What is an event management plan?
Simply put, an event management plan outlines all the organisational details of your event.
Using a strong event goal and strategy as its jump off point, an event management plan should outline how an event will be pulled off, from promotion to on-the-day logistics, and post-event analysis.
What are the steps of event management?
Managing an event can seem like an overwhelming task – especially since it involves the management of many moving parts. Holding an event is one thing, but planning that event, and managing adds extra layers of complexity.
The 6 Steps of event management (in a nutshell):
- Confirming logistics: Event Budget, Event Venue, Event Catering, Event Content, Event Speakers
- Promoting your event: Email Marketing, Landing Page, Social Media
- Registration & ticket management
- On-the-day attendance management, and SMS communications
- Post-event feedback and report analysis
Event Management Strategy
Your event needs a clear, measurable goal. You can’t get to your destination if you don’t know what it is!
Strategising is foundational to any event management plan. It outlines the goal, how it is measured, and outlines the (well-researched) steps to reach said goal.
Without a strong event management strategy, your event management plan won’t have direction.
“A high-quality events strategy delivers a return on investment every time: not only for your events’ participants who invest their time and money to attend – but your own organisation and employees.” – Caiman Consulting
Event Logistics, e.g. Budget, Venue, Catering, Content, Speakers
A live event needs a where, when, what… and how much.
Working out the details of your event’s budget is the first step. Your event budget will set the expectations for what venue, catering, content and speakers you realistically have access to.
When shopping around for venues and catering, make sure to explore many different vendors and make comparisons in reference to costs, your target audience and your event’s goal.
Your Events Content
Your event’s content will also affect your venue decision, as you may require certain facilities (board rooms for simultaneous workshops, large screens for powerpoint presentations, or round tables and plenty of seating for discussion over meals).
Make sure your event logistics are laid out clearly as part of your event management plan.
Promoting your event: Email Marketing, Landing Page, Social Media
Your event can only be a success if you promote it properly. You may want to cover your bases, and market your event across both traditional and digital channels.
Here are some online marketing campaigns that you may want to run to promote your event:
- Email Marketing: e-invites, event shout-outs in e-newsletters, auto-triggered emails that send to site visitors
- Landing Page: a dedicated web page for your event with easy registration access. Drive all your other marketing channel traffic here to capture interested audience members as registrants.
- Social media: run boosted posts on Facebook to advertise your event, and target a specific demographic. Promote your event regularly across Twitter, and Instagram – driving traffic to your landing page.
Multi-channel Marketing Campaigns
Running a multi-channel marketing campaign for an event sounds like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be.
With a centralised, all-in-one marketing automation platform, you can automate much of the work involved. We cover the benefits of such a platform below, at the end of this article.
Event registration & paid ticket management
You need strong, easy-to-use event registration in order to reach your event goals. After all, what is an event without registrants?
Using an online registration form, and an integrated payment gateway for paid tickets, takes the pain and error out of registration for both your business, and your attendees.
Your event management plan needs to have a clear idea about the registration process. For best practice tips when it comes to event registration forms, check out our event management handbook.
On-the-day event attendance marking and SMS communications
You’ll want to create the best impression possible when your attendees get to your venue. This is probably the most boring part of the entire event for them, so an effective and seamless registration process is crucial.
Swap out paper attendance-marking and human error for an automated registration management application for a better experience for both your staff and registrants.
Otherwise, make sure that your event staff can effectively connect your paperwork to the real, live person standing in front of them.
Communicating with SMS
SMS is a fantastic way to keep in touch with your attendees, to get them fired up about your event and keep them on track when they are there.
Keep all the details in one place and make sure that your messages are sent out in a timely fashion.
Post-event feedback and report analysis
How did you do this time? You’ll want to know so you can determine your ROI, and do even better next time.
Online surveys are great for retrieving feedback directly from your event attendees. Max out your feedback responses by promising a reward in return, like a downloadable white paper or voucher.
This is where having a clear, measurable goal as part of your event strategy comes in handy.
Measuring your Results
Measure your results against your goal to declare your event a roaring success – or in need of improvement.
You will want to know:
- if your promotions were effective and whether your emails produced a good engagement rate (opens, clicks, conversions)
- if the amount of money spent on your event budget directly resulted in meeting your goal, or not. Also double check that you even stayed within budget for reference next time.
- Where most of your registrants came from. Check your landing page stats to see which channels were most effective at driving traffic.
How do you organise an event checklist?
If you haven’t got the time for creating an event management plan from the ground up, you might be looking for something easy and quick to refer to and guide you instead.
The easiest way to manage an event is taking it step by step. An event management checklist is perfect for this.
If you’re looking to organise a checklist, but simply don’t have the experience, or time, we’ve come up with our own event planning checklist that you download and customise to suit your needs. Check it out, here.
Benefits of an All-in-One Event Management Platform
Automated event management software can take the strain and help to give you valuable room, so you can shine at what you do. If you know that you should be automating your event marketing activities, but have yet to start the ball rolling, talk to Swift Digital. We can help you to create the perfect strategy, so every one of your upcoming events will be a roaring success.
To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s platform, contact our Sales Team today on 02 9929 7001.