How can you be sure you won’t go under on your next event, and that the return continues for days, weeks, months and even years to come? Take it from us, there are a number of steps you can take that will lead you in the direction of success. If strong event ROI is your goal, here is what you need to do:
Crunch the Numbers
Take some time to research your budget way in advance.Make a few phone calls, get bids, use experience and get realistic expenses down on paper.Once you have a good grasp on expenses, simply calculate how many guests you will need to cover the cost. Simply stated, to reach a stellar event ROI you will need to have a lot of attendees.
Any seasoned event planner can tell you that attendance can be tricky depending on the event. Maybe the weather is poor, the event date may fall on a holiday or other major conflict, and maybe people are reluctant to RSVP in advance to something they’ve never attended. You know the excuses and that these can be a challenge when income is based on number of guests.
To ease the attendance pressure a bit, think about taking on sponsors and if you are looking for a strong event ROI, consider taking on a lot of sponsors.
Set High Goals
Set high sponsorship goals and hit the pavement finding them. Set high ticket sales goals and incentivize early ticket purchase. Use social media and other forms of communication to create a buzz. Build on your positive momentum and try to capture as much buy-in as you can early in the game.
Take some time to get a clear picture of how income is relating to expenses. Two to four weeks out from the event look at sponsor dollars coming in and attendance. If income numbers aren’t where you want them, it’s time to adjust expenses.Think of ways you can cut costs, is there a less-expensive food or beverage option, can the live band be replaced with a DJ. Offer sponsorship to one of the vendors. Get creative with cost cutting because now is the time be realistic.
Build Your Network
A successful event comes from a strong team. Event work is strongly based on relationships, so form as many strong ones as you can. Hold on to people’s business cards, send thank you notes, and work with others with the frame of mind that this relationship will continue into the future. Create networks of professionals around you that you work well with and that you can rely on.
Timely Wrap Up
A timely wrap up meeting impresses stake-holders. A week or two after the event, treat your team to a leisurely lunch and process how the event went. Spending quality time face-to-face will make people feel appreciated for their hard work which will go a long way in the success of your next event, should you work together.
Get organized early and give yourself ample time to follow these steps and you should see a positive event ROI.