By Tiffany Stock
One of my favorite things about what I do at RISQ, after working directly with our clients, is spearheading the development of client events. Whether it is a social event, educational event or a combination of the two, the responsibility that I have gives me a lot of energy and creates some excitement in my day-to-day. With the assistance of other members of our team, I feel like we’ve done a good job of creating and executing some wonderful events for our current and future clients. From multiple sessions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), having a futurist at our 10-year anniversary celebration, or celebrating our new name and RISQ brand at the Bear Tooth Theater with a live band – we like to have fun and bring value to our clients and the relationships we develop.
According to a study done by Eventtia, 98% of people feel more inclined to purchase your products after attending an event and 74% of attendees have a better opinion about a brand after an in-person event. Don’t get me wrong, we host our fair share of webinars but we definitely put an emphasis on in-person events so we can get some face-time with our clients outside of our normal day-to-day interactions.
Here are some items our team likes to keep in mind when planning a live event:
- Know the “why” or purpose for holding an event – keep that at the forefront of your planning to make sure your objective is being met.
- Focus on the big tasks first – then let the little details follow:
- Determine your Why/purpose
- Form your budget
- When? Give yourself plenty of time to put the event together. Three to six months at least. For bigger milestone events, longer may be necessary. Keep in mind the seasons and the time of year that might work the best for the majority of your targeted audience.
- Is there a theme?
- Who will be on the guest/invitee list? How many people are you expecting to attend?
- Where – location! Make sure it’s easily accessible for attendees or considered a preferred destination that will attract people. Be sure you venue will fit with your number of attendees and/or theme. If you’ve got your heart set on a specific location, make sure that gets factored into the preliminary planning.
- Entertainment – is it needed? What will it be?
- Invitations – will you be using email, mail, phone call, etc. Make sure the method you choose is easy to use for both you and your invitee!
- Put a big emphasis on making sure you give them a memorable experience and make them feel special! Do you have a special giveaway or gift for attending? Is this the first chance they will have to hear the information?
- Making sure your clients or prospects know what is in it for them – is your plan to educate them on a topic or situation that will affect them or is important to them? Are you giving them access to peers to help them build their network of contacts and resources?
- Recruit help! While client events may be the focus of only a few of our staff members, we always recruit others from the office to help us pull it off!
- Develop a way to get feedback after the event – especially if the goal was for education.
The points above are not all encompassing, but I hope they give you a few things to think about if you will be planning any events for your organization in the future. The key for us is to create engagement and loyalty amongst our clients in hopes of creating that lasting relationship as their trusted advisor. I look forward to seeing you at one of our future events. To keep tabs on what RISQ is planning, both virtually and in-person, please check out the “Events” section of our website by clicking here!