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How to Successfully Conquer Your Association’s Next Event

Make your next event amazing! Start planning early, use your best promotion tools, bring on incredible sponsors, and keep the ball rolling post-event. Using these strategies, your association will be ready to tackle even its biggest event.

Holiday Shaped Cookies on White and Grey Textiles

With the warm weather slowly creeping in, there’s no denying: Event season is upon us. Your association is probably preparing for its next big event. Whether it’s an annual event, a conference, or even something brand new, you always want to put your best foot forward for your attendees.

According to Bizzabo’s 2018 Event Marketing Statistics report, 95% of marketers claim live events provide attendees value, including the chance to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world. We know how much event organizers believe in events. But do events actually result in success?

In a report by the Event Marketing Institute & Mosaic, 84% of event attendees reported having a higher opinion about the company, brand, or service being promoted after they attend an event. In addition, 30% of event attendees look forward to future events after attending an event. Even getting your members to one event can seriously affect how they interact and engage with your association.

So, the results are there. Events are really all they’re cracked up to be, and your association wants to knock it out of the park for every single event. Let’s go over some of the top tips and tricks to make sure your next event is one that makes your attendees come back for more.

Plan accordingly

The start of any great event is a well thought-out event plan. When it comes to event planning, you always want to start early. An early event plan allows for your association to combat any problems or challenges that come along during the event planning process. 48% of event marketers start planning events at least 6-12 months prior to the event itself. It takes at least half a year for most marketers to create a solid and successful event plan. You also want to take into consideration the idea of bringing on help for your event.

Professional event planners or event facilitators can be a huge help for your association’s event efforts. While they come at a cost, more often than not they’re worth every cent.

When it comes to hiring an event professional, you want to consider whether their ROI will be worth their cost of labor. Chances are, your association has a limited budget. You want to make sure your investment comes right back to you, with interest. Finally, you want to make sure you have a good system of event organization in place. Setting up a planning schedule is a great way to keep all of your event materials and meetings in one place. You can easily track how far you are in your event plan, while also recording important dates and activities.

Make sure to record all of your event meetings on your calendar. This lessens confusion for all members involved in event planning. It also reminds you what was discussed, and what has to be tackled before it’s time for your big event. Be sure to check out some of these event planning software tools for easier event planning.

Promote on social media

Using social media to get the word out about your event is a surefire way to build excitement with your members.

FreemanXP and Event Marketing Institute report that 88% of US marketers use social media to boost event awareness before the actual event. That’s right- 88%! Social media is a tool that can’t be ignored for event promotion. So, what are some of the best practices for social media event promotion?

To start, you need to create a great hashtag for your event. According to Buddy Media, tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than those without. By including a hashtag in your event posts, you have the opportunity to attract twice as many viewers. Create a hashtag that relates to your event. You want it to be catchy and attention grabbing while also being simple. You also want to avoid any controversial or offensive language in your hashtag.

You can also utilize specific app features in your event promotion. Let’s take Snapchat for example. If your association is looking to use Snapchat as a promotion tool, it can create a Snapchat Story to generate buzz about its event. You can also create your own Snapchat filter during your event for extra branding! Looking for even more promotion power? Consider creating a web page for your event on your association’s website. A web page is a great place to organize all of your event information for interested members. It’s simple- send out a link to your audience and they have everything they need to attend your event.

Make sure your event page is an extension of your website- you want the same branding and design. A smooth transition from your website to an event page will take your branding to the next level.

Gather strong sponsorships

Looking to amp up your event, but with a limited budget? Event sponsors could be exactly what you need. Developing a relationship with an event sponsor can bring a new stream of revenue to help power your event and take it to the next level. It’s also an amazing way to create a new bond with an organization that fits in with your association’s values.

To start attracting bonds with sponsors, you first need to offer them deals they can’t refuse. Having a variety of sponsorship packages is a great way to cater to every type of potential sponsor, no matter their budget. You can offer smaller packages for those looking to sponsor in smaller ways. You can also offer larger packages for sponsors who truly want to dedicate their all to your association’s events. Create sponsorships that vary in price and offers. You want lower-priced packages to feel cost-friendly, but you also want high-cost packages to feel exclusive.

Once you have your sponsorship offers locked in, it’s time to reach out to sponsors. Sponsorship proposals are important when creating a deal that works for both parties. You need to make sure your sponsorship is beneficial to your partner while also being impressive for your event attendees.

Partner with sponsors that your attendees will want to see at your event. This means picking businesses with similar values as your association. Or, you can also choose businesses your members work with as well. Loading up your event with some serious sponsorships can boost your event and make your members take notice.

Don’t let the excitement die

Once your event is over, you don’t want to let that magic that your attendees felt disappear. Always follow up your events with a post-event survey. You can hand them out to attendees at the end of your event. Or, even better, send out an e-mail with your post-event survey attached inside. Make sure your post-event survey is short and sweet, but that it asks all the right questions. You don’t want to take too much time from your members, but you also want to make the time you do have efficient. Once your event ends, don’t forget to promote your next event as well.

Use your post-event emails as a chance to promote your next event. Whether it’s a fun graphic or even just a hint of something in the future, give your members something to look forward to. So, we have four major concepts that go into making an event amazing. Start planning early, use your best promotion tools, bring on incredible sponsors, and keep the ball rolling post-event. Using these strategies, your association will be ready to tackle even its biggest event.