7 Event Industry Leaders Share Their Planning Advice
Asking for help is an important skill that allows for development of both personal and professional abilities. Whether you work in event technology, event planning, event marketing, or just love the event planning field, embrace the idea of learning from professionals around you. This not only allows for networking development, but breeds innovation.
This article details key advice from seven event industry influencers. Learn what the people responsible for shaping the industry's future have to say about what it takes to plan successful events!
David Adler: CEO of BizBash Media
“Social media is like an orchestra - it’s not that one person going in tweeting something and all of a sudden it goes viral on YouTube for millions and millions of people. The future is that it's all about the strategy.” (Click To Tweet)
David Adler, explains the sometimes cryptic methodology behind social media. Unlike a blog post or article, social media operates along other networks to form one cohesive plan. Adler compares social media to an orchestra - every instrument needs to work correctly to create a symphony. Simarlarly, your social network platforms need to align. This may include the style of posts, the design of the pages, the tone in which you articulate information, or the values you try to portray.
Julius Solaris: Editor of Event Manager Blog
“2016 will be about event technology, more than ever before. As the event tech market expands, VCs invest and attendees grow tired of usual concepts, more event professionals see a direct link between the use of technology and better engagement.” (Click To Tweet)
Solaris touches upon a point that should surprise nobody, technology is the future of the event industry. There remains a clear divide between attendance at events through technology, and successful events through technology. As event software progresses, engagement at events will increase exponentially. Not only does this drive direct communication between organizers and attendees, it creates a platform that equalizes the playing field. Now, all attendees can have a larger impact through readily available technology.
Kevin Jackson: Director of Ideas and Innovation, The Experience is the Marketing
"The dynamic of the consumer has shifted, and no longer is content effective when it is created with the purpose to make some noise, to fill a gap, to present a product, to release a statement. The first and foremost purpose needs to tap into the heart of the intended audience, almost like a spell, and conjure the desired reaction within them, which inspires them, captivates their attention and instigates an emotional connection." (Click to Tweet)
Kevin Jackson, explains every event planner's major question: what do attendees want to hear about?
Content drives attendance. Jackson feels that in the current era, people yearn to be moved. With news and information accessible at the tap of a touchscreen, attendees want to be emotionally connected to a session.
Liz King: CEO of Techsytalk
"Get your attendees to take a photo at your event. For our recent techsytalk LIVE event, we asked everyone to take out their phones and take a selfie. We had them share it on Twitter or Instagram using our hashtag so we could collect them all." (Click to Tweet)
Aethetics are pivotal for social media interactions. In our increasingly visual world, social media users feel the need to be connected. Liz King, well-know podcast host and CEO of techsytalk, tweets about the importance of visual marketing.
She argues the key is through visual involvement. Making your event feel inclusive, exciting and fun, by posting a selfie using a common hashtag, will help to raise event awareness among social media users. It will make everyone at the event feel as though they are part of a larger, welcoming community.
Miguel Neves: Digital Manager of IMEX
"Engagement isn’t all about coming up with great content or planning for good photo opportunities. The best engagement can come from simple answers to questions or requests. When an exhibition is active on social media there is an implicit expectation that the organisers will respond to social media." (Click to Tweet)
Neves accurately depicts a simple, yet necessary point about event engagement, all who attend conferences appreciate the little things.
Increasingly attendees not only appreciate responsiveness on social media, but they expect it. In some cases, poor social media response can lead to a social media disaster. Make sure to have staff members ready to support attendee questions on event day.
Sarah Yeats: Client Services Director of Sledge
“Being organised is a key skill to have. How an individual manages their own time can be very reflective to how they work on site. A calm approach is also needed as no matter how much planning takes place, things will always change at the last minute and you need to be able to deal with this effectively to ensure a successful event for all involved with as minimal disruption as possible.” (Click to Tweet)
Events change - sometimes weather, attendance, content, or entertainment throws off your plan. Yeats claims that you need to roll with the punches. Anticipate that things could go haywire and be prepared to deal with them calmly and readily.
Will Curran: Founder of Endless Entertainment
“There are hundreds and hundreds of events. We are all naturally creative people but too many people are thinking “outside of the box” instead it’s time to just CRUSH the box and start from scratch. Too many people are taking ideas from others, sometimes you need to look for inspiration outside of events to really take your events to the next level.” (Click to Tweet)
Will Curran, argues that creativity breeds success. The development of untested waters, though treacherous, paves the way for great events.
These event planning experts truly have their fingers on the pulse of the events industry, readers would be smart to heed their advice when planning upcoming events. Whether that means focusing on building an engaging social media influence, investing in event technology, or simply finding inspiration from sources outside of the industry, it's time to look forward in order to bring new and exciting experiences to attendees.