In this age of online connections, live events continue to be an essential part of branding and business building. Hosting a live event gives your brand and business the opportunity to stand out from your competitors. In this way, you can have a deeper and more significant brand-building effect on your consumers that is more effective than indirect, media-focused marketing efforts.
However, with so many innovative events around the world, event companies and professionals need to increase their efforts to ensure that the event they host appeals to their target audience and meets their goals.
The live events industry is booming, so much so that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the events industry will grow 44% between 2010 and 2020, exceeding most growth predictions for other industries. Still, the stakes are still high when it comes to hosting a live event. They are very expensive to put up and require a great deal of planning, even if they only last for a weekend.
These are the tried and tested best practices for hosting a successful live event.
Audio is the number one component when it comes to hosting a successful live event. No matter the size or type of event, top event companies know that you should always strive for great audio; otherwise, you will lose your audience’s interest and attention.
Most of the time, the microphones will be part of the setup, so plan to test each and every one early enough to give your audio engineers time to troubleshoot any issues that may arise, paying particular attention to interference from wireless frequency.
Also, get in the habit of using fresh wireless microphone batteries for every event. If you’re using a webcast audio source, make sure it’s clean and audible.
If your event is going to include remote presenters, schedule a test round with each of them, as most will not use a high-tech setup and will instead use a basic headset microphone or even a phone connection.
In recent years, live video has proven to be the dominant form of marketing and, when used correctly at events, increases audience engagement. Live video at events offers brands and businesses the opportunity to take advantage of this compelling tool, bringing you and your customers together.
Just like a TED Talk video, plan to have multiple camera angles to create a cinematic experience. Capturing raw moments and different perspectives helps everyone feel closer to the action.
The power of video is heightened by the fact that you can broadcast your events to audiences around the world, increasing your live audience and improving the results of the event you are hosting. Filming of speakers, panels, or performers can later be turned into content (such as webinars) to promote your next event.
In addition to the power of audio, images add an extra component to the story you’re telling. The level and complexity of the images will vary depending on your brand aesthetic and the nature of the event; however, in all cases, some form of visual material must be used.
Motion backgrounds are a great way to add an extra dimension, as the subtle movement slightly enhances whatever is happening on stage. For a more extreme viewing experience, LED lighting rental is the way to go.
Another idea is to incorporate your brand or business logo into the look of the event. In general, you want the space your event occupies to become an immersive environment.
When selling tickets to your event, you may encounter ticket processing or credit card fees. Depending on the company, these can vary from 2.5-3.5% and may have an additional flat fee per ticket.
Be sure to include these additional charges in the price, instead of tacking them on at the end. Psychologically, customers would rather see a slightly higher ticket price than have a load of additional fees tacked on at the end.
Selecting a location and venue for your event is a question that can require a lot of brainstorming. First, consider the niche your event is in and what features (if any) your venue should have for that niche.
Once you’ve selected a venue, don’t just focus on the positives, but also consider its limitations. Ask about energy capacities, whether certain things will set off smoke alarms, the weight capacity of the roof, etc. – going over all the little things that could turn into big problems.
In the days and weeks leading up to the event, make sure core team members are familiar with the venue. When everyone is running around trying to put everything in its place, knowing the fastest routes from A to B will feel like a blessing.
Wherever you decide to host your event, make sure there are plenty of charging stations. You want everyone to tweet your event #hashtag all day!
When dealing with product and service providers, the most important tip of all is to hire the right attitude. You want to make sure that the people you’re going to be working with are the cream of the industry.
Organizing and hosting these events can be a bit tricky and intensely stressful, which can only get worse if the people in charge of audio, lighting, set and setup haven’t been listening and can’t remember what to do. A good, energetic and motivated attitude goes a long way.
Don’t forget to make sure to reward your crew with good food! It’s amazing how much more motivated people can be when the reward for hard work is a tasty snack or meal.
Once your live event is over, be sure to ask attendees for post-conference feedback. This is the key to ensuring that the next event runs smoothly and is more impressive than the last. If you don’t ask, you may never know that the chairs were uncomfortable, too many panels overlapped, or the coffee machine was never filled.
Pro tip: Since you’ll probably need to sleep for three days after the event ends, prepare your post-event emails and surveys before it even starts. Check that all links work and leave room for any images you can add from the event before hitting submit.
By hosting a successful and engaging live event, potential customers can begin to develop a relationship with you, increasing the chances of buying from them in the future.