5 Steps to Planning Your Next Business Convention

Event planners and marketing professionals know that all successful conventions begin with a message and a plan. But what makes a business convention effective? Here are five tips that will make your next event memorable, interactive and results driven.

Maximize the User Experience

Event attendees are technology savvy and goal oriented. They expect an experience, not just a gala with a PowerPoint presentation led by an authoritative speaker. IBM's Events mobile app features a session search and reservation-making capabilities. Engage them with real-time polling, contests and product demonstrations. IBM has designed InterConnect BUCK$, a program that lets attendees win prizes.

Strategize with Integrated Event Marketing

Registration is key. With hyper-intelligent systems like RegOnline, Amilia and Configio, registrants can enjoy the centralized process that has features like e-commerce and shopping carts.

After the event, guests can connect with other attendees and discuss your brand. Emotionally affected customers are likely to demonstrate brand awareness and customer loyalty. CRM systems and marketing automation should be integrated and provide track-able metrics.

Research the Best Venue and Vendor

Whether the event takes place in a four-star hotel, golf course or airplane, it must be especially suited for the corporate event. How does the location support the event’s objectives? What services does the facility offer? To choose the best vendor, make a wish list. Then solicit proposals and determine if the vendor can provide the services you require. Find vendors on Yelp for corporate catering in Manhattan or other locations that best fit your plans.

Analyze Guests' Preferences

The menu selection, table design and room decor must titillate the senses and support your theme and intended message. Based on attendees’ detailed profiles listing age, occupation and ethnicity, choose meals according to dietary preferences. Select in-season foods. Offer decadent and low-calorie choices. Coordinate the event's colors with the taste of your target audience. Use bright colors for decorative pieces.

Embrace Technology

Previously cell phone usage was discouraged. But consider the following.
  • Beacon networks lets attendees network with other guests via a mobile app.
  • iWall features realtime interaction from guests who can send photos and messages including hashtags that appear on the big screen.
Corporate events account for almost 36 percent of the total revenue from special events. Educate yourself about event trends and work with industry professionals in order to grow your network. Then sell your services to corporate clients eager to buy your exclusive line of products.



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