By Sam Heyden, Skyline Displays Australia
Here are some quick tips to assist you in planning your events for the coming event season.
Review budgets against actual expenditure
As the year comes to a close you should be able to obtain financial records from your accounts department outlining the actual expenditure for each event you attended during the calendar year. Review this expenditure against what you had outlined in your marketing budgets so you can:
- Ensure that your Return On Investment (ROI) for each event is accurate
- Review what you have spent to pick out inefficiencies
- See where you are spending money and come up with a plan on how best to save money or increase value for your events marketing
- Determine whether an event should appear on your schedule for the following year
- Determine if your future budget is accurate and sufficient
Create an event schedule
Jot down a list of events you intend to participate in. Include information for each event like:
- Event name, date & location
- Stand size & orientation
- Number of stand staff and if you are super organised – who
- Budget for the event
- Event objectives and goals
Your schedule may change overtime however this list will create a fantastic foundation for your planning and the organisation of your future event.
Create a Brief
Your brief should include all the necessary information to ensure that you meet your event objectives and goals including:
- Key messages
- Promotions to be used pre-show, at-show and post show
- Key Measures of ROI or event success
- Required look at your shows
- Key functionality of your stand i.e.
- Meeting/hospitality space
- Audio visual integration
- Product display/demonstration
Get event stakeholders to review your brief
Once your schedule and brief are complete, distribute this information to other key event stakeholders in your organisation to obtain their feedback and suggestions. Doing this should increase buy-in from everyone in the early stages of planning and also ensure that you have all the key information to begin contacting exhibition suppliers. Your final display solution should be positively received by everyone in your organisation as you have designed it around everyone’s needs, objectives and requirements.
Begin contacting potential exhibition suppliers
Using the event schedule and brief you have developed begin contacting the exhibition suppliers that will help you bring your event objectives and goals to life.
Providing potential suppliers with a full event schedule and comprehensive brief will allow them to:
- Provide you with a solution with a consistent look and feel across all your events
- Provide a solution that is designed around your unique needs, objectives and requirements
- Provide recommendations to reduce unnecessary expenditure, increase impact and functionality
- Assist you to get the most value and impact from your event marketing dollar