With spring on the horizon, so too are the plethora of industry and public sector events, conferences and briefing sessions which aim to inform, inspire and amaze people from industry, government and the public sector alike.
To this end our thoughts have turned to the idea of events and the steps you can apply to ensure that your business or industry can maximise its benefit this upcoming events season.
For business and industry, the first step is weeding out what events are relevant in the jungle of events season. A simple key word search in Google will bring many events to your attention that at first glance appear to be applicable to you and your business. However, not all of these events that appear to be relevant will give you the same quantity of quality engagement with those people who are influential within your industry as well as those stakeholders with a vested interest.
Despite this, a little research can give your business a level of insight into the stature of the event. Key indicators of the event’s importance in the wider community include:
- Is the relevant minister attending and/or speaking at the event? If not the minister, will key political staff be in attendance instead?
- Ministers have limited time and as such are very picky with what functions and events they choose to attend. This means that their attendance should give an indication of the event’s quality and importance to the Government.
- For industry events, are the leading companies in the industry sending representatives to the meeting? Are they presenting at the event?
- This may be an indicator that this event is significant and important to attend.
- Are the event’s organisers or sponsors direct competitors for your business?
- If so, the event may present a unique opportunity to gather an insight into their priorities and messaging.
- Are the speakers considered to be an expert in what they are going to talk about?
- You’ll find the event as a whole to be more beneficial to attend if the content comes from trusted sources.
- Has the event been running for a long period of time?
- Events that have ran for a considerable period of time can serve as an indicator of the event’s stature in the industry.
All of these indicators should form part of your business’ consideration when deciding whether the price of attendance is justified compared to the potential benefit gained.
It should also be noted that while it is good to attend a wide range of events and be seen, there is an argument to be made that less is more when it comes to event attendance. Attending less events that are of a higher standard may actually yield better engagement opportunities for your business for a small outlay.
Now that you have determined what events are relevant the next step is ensure that you are prepared for the events you plan to attend.
Attendance preparation does not only mean that you’ve got your business cards in your pocket, it also means that you should have a goal for the event you are attending.
The goal will change based on the type of event that you are attending, but whatever the goal, it should be clear before you leave. This will give you a single-mindedness when attending the event and will make it more likely that you’ll get the most out of the event.
Finally, after attending the event, attendees should undertake an attendance post-mortem. This will this allow you to collect your thoughts and evaluate the experience.
It should be noted that not all events will be a roaring success and this just the nature of large-scale events. This is what makes the evaluation step one of the most important for stakeholders, because without evaluation, there is no process to ensure that you and your business will not make the same mistake twice.
Furthermore, be sure to follow up all the prospects that presented themselves during the event. Make an effort to grab those business cards from your coat pocket and connect with those people during the event by sending some introductory emails. You never know where an introductory email can lead.
Events can be an extremely beneficial experience for your business, but to get the best bang for your buck, a concerted effort in pre-event preparation and post-event evaluation is necessary.
Nexus has team with extensive experience in event planning and event project management, including organising a number of Parliamentary events to achieve our client’s business objectives and desired outcomes and ensure they align with the policy priorities of the day. Furthermore, the Nexus team regularly attends a range of events which allows us to provide unique insights on how to maximise these important engagement opportunities. Should you require any of these services, please don’t hesitate to contact our national award-winning event producer, Sarah Cullens or any of the Nexus team.