From national industry-wide trade shows to the grand opening of a local business, brands are increasingly investing in live B2B experiences to attract and interact with their target audiences. These corporate events may seem smooth and effortless when you’re attending one, but what you see the day-of is the often product of weeks or months of meticulous planning and coordination.
If you’re thinking about planning your own corporate event, it’s important to understand everything that goes into it. On the surface, it may seem like it’s just booking a venue, hiring a presenter, and inviting your contact list to show up. However, there’s a whole lot more to pulling off the perfect B2B event.
Below, we debunk five common event planning misconceptions and myths you may have heard.
1. A small-scale event doesn’t require as much preparation as a larger one.
While larger events like trade shows do indeed call for more planning and coordination, small events like seminars and awards dinners still require attention to detail and thorough preparation.
Just like a large-scale event, you still need to book a venue, plan out your programming and guest list, hire vendors, and come up with a plan to market your event to the right audience — and all of this takes time and effort. The more lead time you can give yourself for an event of any size, the better.
2. Booking a room and hiring great speakers is the biggest part of the job.
Sure, the date, time, location and agenda of your event are hugely important — but planning out these logistics is just one small part of the bigger picture. Arguably, the most critical part of an event planner’s job is getting the right people in the door.
To do this, you need to be on top of a lot of moving parts. You’ll need to research and select the right industry influencers to invite and develop a marketing campaign to reach them. This may include creating a landing page for the event, spreading the word on social media, designing an email drip campaign to encourage sign-ups, and much, much more.
3. Your venue will provide everything you need for a successful event.
While some venues do have in-house resources for setting up a stage, spotlighting, a podium and mic, presentation equipment, and other audio-visual (AV) elements, you may find you need to book an outside vendor to get the event layout and setup you’re looking for. Before you sign the contract, understand what’s included with your venue so you can properly budget for AV rentals.
4. Your job is done once the conference begins.
From conducting research and mapping out a budget to designing the venue layout and marketing the event, there are countless tasks that must be handled before your event happens. But the big day is finally here — your vendor bills are paid, your registration desk is set up, and your speakers have arrived. All you have left to do is smile and guide people in the door, right?
The reality is, you’re going to be hustling and bustling throughout the entire event. While you hope that everything will go off without a hitch, hiccups do happen, and as the point person, you’ll need to know all the right people to contact in case any difficulties arise.
Additionally, you’ll need to have a plan for following up with attendees after the event to keep your company top-of-mind and solidify any new business connections made the day-of.
5. Business events are a big investment with very little payoff.
Planning an event comes with a lot of expenses. As the line items start adding up — space rental, catering, AV equipment, speaker fees, swag bags, etc. — you might wonder if it’s even worth it to host the event at all.
At BridgeTower Media, we plan more than 250 annual events in 30 U.S. locations, and we can confidently say that yes, it is worth it to host an event. You will, of course, see some immediate ROI if you’re selling tickets to your event, but the real payoff is the long-term brand awareness and exposure to your ideal client base.
Trade shows and conferences are among the top-three sources buyers turn to when researching a vendor’s products and services. By hosting an event, you can gather high-level decision makers in your area of specialty, all in the same room, and exponentially increase your potential business opportunities in a single day.
The bottom line? Business events attract clients, drive revenue, and put your company on the map, so don’t let these event planning misconceptions scare you away from hosting your own branded event.
BridgeTower Media offers end-to-end event planning, consulting, and management services for companies looking to host their own corporate events. Learn more about our private label services here, or contact us for a quote.