In this age of online connections, live events continue to be an essential part of brand and business-building. Hosting a live event gives your brand and business the opportunity to stand out from your competitors. In this way you can have a deeper and more meaningful brand-building effect on your consumers that is more effective than indirect and media-centered marketing efforts.
Yet, with so many groundbreaking events happening all over the world, businesses and events professionals need to increase their efforts to make sure the event they stage will be engaging for their target audience and deliver their target objectives.
The live event industry is booming, so much so that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the event industry will grow by 44% from 2010 to 2020, exceeding most growth predictions for other industries. Even so, there continues to be a lot at stake when organizing a live event. They are very expensive to put on and necessitate a substantial amount of planning – even if they only last a weekend.
Here are the tried and tested best practices for staging a successful live event.
Audio is the number one component when it comes to staging a successful live event. No matter what size, or type of event, the top event companies know that you must always strive for great audio; otherwise, you will lose the interest and attention of your audience.
More often than not, microphones will be part of the setup, so plan to test each and every one of them early enough that your audio engineers have time to deal with any problems that may arise, paying special attention to wireless frequency interference.
Additionally, get in the habit of using fresh batteries for wireless microphones for every single event. If you are utilizing a webcast audio feed, make sure it is clean and audible.
If your event is going to include remote presenters, schedule a test round with each of them, as most won't be using a high-tech setup and, instead will be using a basic headset microphone or even a telephone connection.
In the past few years, live video has proven itself to be the dominant form of marketing, and when used correctly at events, increases audience engagement. Live video at events offers brands and businesses the opportunity to tap into this engaging tool, bringing you and your customers together.
Just like in a TED Talk video, plan to have multiple camera angles to create a cinematic experience. Capturing raw moments and different perspectives helps everyone feel closer to the action.
The power of video is elevated by the fact that you can stream your events to audiences around the world, enlarging the live audience and furthering the results of the event you are staging. Filming any speakers, panels, or performers can later be turned into content (such as webinars) to promote your next event.
In addition to the power of audio, visuals add an extra component to the story you are telling. The level and intricacy of the visuals are going to vary based on your brand's aesthetics and the nature of the event; however, in all cases, some form of visuals should be used.
Motion backgrounds are a fantastic way of adding an extra dimension, as the subtle movement lightly enhances everything else that is occurring on stage. For a more extreme visual experience, LED lighting rental is the way to go.
Another idea is to incorporate your brand or business's logo into the look of the event. All in all, you want the space that your event occupies to turn into an immersive environment.
When selling tickets for your event, you may encounter ticket or credit card processing fees. Depending on the company, these can vary from 2.5-3.5% and may have an additional flat per-ticket fee.
Make sure that you are building these extra charges into the price, instead of adding them on at the end. Psychologically, customers would rather see a slightly higher ticket price than have a load of additional fees added at the end.
Selecting a location and venue for your event is a question that may require a lot of brainstorming. First, take into consideration the niche your event falls under and what (if any) characteristics your venue should have for that niche.
Once you have selected a venue, don't solely focus on the positives, but also consider its limitations. Ask about power capabilities, if certain things will set off the smoke alarms, the weight capacity of the ceiling, etc. – go over all the small things that could potentially turn into big problems.
In the days and weeks leading up to the event, make sure the core team members know their way around the venue. When everyone is running around trying to get everything in place, knowing the quickest routes from A to B will feel like a blessing.
Wherever you decide to host your event, make sure that there are plenty of charging stations. You want everyone to be tweeting your event #hashtag all day long!
When dealing with product and service suppliers, the most important tip of all is to hire the right attitude. You want to ensure that the people you are going to be working with are the creme de la creme of the industry.
Organizing and hosting these events can get slightly messy and intensely stressful, which can only be made worse if the people who are in charge of your audio, lighting, stage and rigging have not been listening and can't remember what to do. A good, energetic, motivated attitude goes a long way.
Don't forget to make sure you are rewarding your crew with good food! It is amazing how much more motivated people can get when the reward for hard work is a tasty snack or meal.
After your live event has wrapped up, make sure to ask attendees to provide you with post-conference feedback. This is the key to ensuring that the next event runs more smoothly and is more impressive than the last one. If you don't ask, then you may never know that the chairs were uncomfortable, that too many panels overlapped, or that the coffee machine was never full.
Pro Tip: As you will probably need to sleep for three days once the event is over, prep your post-event emails and surveys before the event even starts. Check that all the links are working and leave space for pictures that you can add from the event before you hit send.
By hosting a successful and engaging live event, potential customers can begin to develop a relationship with you, increasing the chances of them purchasing from you in the future.