Reasons to host your own events and start increasing your business profile

In business we must always strive to get that competitive edge, to stand out from the crowd, build new audiences and improve profiles. Though in today’s world we are very much concentrate on the online side of marketing from websites to emails, social media to apps, we must still remain focused on face to face marketing which includes seminars, exhibitions, networking events etc.

I have now hosted a few events in different business sectors and though on the first couple of occasions it is a trial and error situation from knowing the best location to hold an event to the best day of the week and time, making sure your event does not clash with another and who will sponsor it, provide drinks, name badges and much more, in the end it is very worth your while hosting your own event.

So, where do events stand and what is it so important to consider when thinking about hosting your own? Let us look at key benefits of an event and if you are in the position of being the person / company of actually hosting an event, how your business can benefit:

  • Build your database. A big positive to hosting your own event is that you can build contacts such as by using Eventbrite and selling / offering tickets which captures you a full name and email. Those attending will then become opted in to your email newsletters / marketing and when you meet these people face to face they go from virtual connections to real connections in just one event.
  • Build your reputation. By hosting an event you are positioning yourself as an industry leader, an expert, a guru, a go to person / brand that people will see as trustworthy, respected and are likely to call upon when their needs fall in to the services / products you offer.
  • Build a revenue stream. Some event will be free and some will have a fee on each ticket and both work very well from my experience. If you do not opt to share ticket fees then you can instead look for a main sponsor or one to sponsor the food / drinks. You can also set up an area for exhibitors as you will be having a group of target people attending your event and most businesses will want access to people who will have a direct interest to their business service / products.
  • Build your sales. By holding your own event and attracting a target audience you are then in full control how you market yourself to them from a quick speech at the beginning to key banner advertising in the room you have hired. You can also make sure a member or two of your team are assigned to working on building new and long lasting relationships with people attending and making sure they hand out literature and business cards.

An event can take any form from a social evening of networking and drinks to a day of seminars. You just need to make sure that the event you hold is memorable, you have engaged well with the attendees and given them strong reason to share good feedback or return visit to future events that you host – If you make a success of your first event then it is likely you will then be in a position to repeat it and grow the concept going forward.

As I have held a few events now from PropTech to Champagne tasting, here are some key tips to consider for your own event:

  • Social Media. Create an account / event page / group for the event you are putting on so that not only you can capture emails from the evening, you can also capture the group of attendees now and in the future on a social media account. Think about a hashtag for the event also, ie my last one was #PropTechDen.
  • Photos and Videos. Do consider either capturing images yourself or subbing this work out to someone so that you have a good collection of images to use for future reference. If you can, a busy event will also merit a video so again think about finding someone who can capture video content for you. Do not forget that your mobile phone is likely to have a camera and video recorder so take ten minutes out when things are busy and get snapping / recording.
  • Competition / Raffle / Charity. Think about buying a bottle of Champagne or similar and holding a raffle either simply by the names on your guest list or you can focus your event on supporting a charity and ask for small donations.
  • Pre plan and pre plan again. What you do not want to be seen as is an amateur by silly basic errors. Most people accept that any event will have a mishap or two, ie speakers not working, mic playing about or it’s so busy that you have run out of name badges, but how the event runs and basic necessities you must make sure are taken care of. Plan out the event to include timings, run it over in your mind so that on the evening, even when you are highly busy and people wanting to speak to you, you have things in control.
  • Follow up from the event. When your event has ended then in all honesty this is when the work starts. Make sure you communicate with all those who attended, send emails out to ask for feedback, update photos / video to social media regarding the event and if you plan to do another one then quickly fix the date and location and let people know soonest whilst your past event is still fresh in their minds.
  • Visit the venue you have hired prior. This is important, do not leave things to last minute as you may end up with problems that just can not be resolved. See the size of area, check disabled access, security/fire exits, location of toilets, speakers, projector screens, mics, plug sockets, parking, nearest tube / bus routes, confirm events manager details for the event and other fine details so that you are in full control of what is what during your event.

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

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