Guide to Event Success

Your event in the fast lane! The guide to event success

What makes an event a successful event? We explain what makes the difference - in all planning steps from organization to execution to follow-up. Join us for a look at success factors, helping software, sponsoring, SWOT analyses, tips on live streaming and the most important KPIs.

What makes an event successful?

Everyone who plans an event wants to plan a successful event. But how is a successful event planned, how is it executed, and what does follow-up look like? And not least, the ultimate question: When is my event successful?

In the following article, we'll get to the bottom of event success.

How to plan a successful event

Probably the most time-consuming and lengthy part of an event is the planning. Without good planning, you quickly risk the success of your event. But what should you pay special attention to when planning your successful event? We present you some success factors, show you how software and a sponsoring strategy can help and give you tips for the SWOT analysis of your event.

These success factors will move your event forward

Whether you're planning a physical or virtual event, some success factors apply equally to both types of events:

Host and entertainment: An event is only as good as its host. Even if it is potentially more difficult to convince with personality, the bigger an event is: Participants should always feel well taken care of, informed and entertained. Service for your guests is paramount at all events. Provide them with all important information about the event, with content-related information about the event and also with the supporting program. An event should also be fun, so make sure that your participants don't miss out on the fun. Be it through human interaction or freebies and small attentions and goodies.

Communication: Communication is the be-all and end-all, whether at virtual or physical events. Ensure clear information and, above all, a good overview of all information on different channels, for example, via a website with a log-in area for participants at larger events such as trade fairs or conferences. For small events, a micro-website with a download area for all information is sufficient. Also plan advertising and communication on various platforms relevant to the target group, such as social media or trade magazines.

Communication is also crucial at the event itself, and quality is even slightly more important at virtual events. Ensure stable internet lines, good image and sound quality for the broadcast and check both several times beforehand.

Networking: Networking is an integral part of events and is highly valued by participants. However, especially at virtual events, this part is often neglected. Make sure that participants, partners, investors and speakers have a space to network and get to know each other.

Creativity: Creativity is often underestimated at events, but it could be the very thing that sets your event apart from others. Thinking outside the box is necessary for the WOW effect, but in return, with a little creativity, you can create an event that your guests will never forget.

Of course, this is just a small selection that fits a variety of event types. Exactly which one you go for depends on your concept and strategy, your theme and, of course, your attendees. Planning a virtual event? In this article we have analyzed the success factors of virtual events for you and shown some examples.

Software for your event success

Especially for hybrid and virtual events, good software is a crucial success factor. It supports you in the planning, execution and evaluation of your event. There are many different platforms and software offerings, but among the most common features are these:

  • Digital guest management: Your event software helps with the complete communication with the guests. For example, in invitation management, data protection compliant storage of guest information, update emails, check-in and follow-up with participants.

  • Marketing: Most vendors integrate marketing tools, such as for email marketing, and some help with building a website or with interfaces to social media platforms for social walls.

  • Platform for streaming: Digital and hybrid events need a digital platform for implementation. Here, speakers and participants can meet, lectures take place, or people interact with each other in chat rooms or certain digital seminars

  • Evaluation: The big advantage of event software is the data it collects. They make evaluation child's play, statistics are clearly presented and KPIs and the success of the event can be easily checked.

Are you now asking yourself if you need event software for your next event? In this guide to event management software, we'll get to the bottom of that question

Sponsoring

You have an excellent idea for an event, but lack the necessary small change to finance it? Event sponsoring could be the solution.

Sponsoring is common practice for sports events, why shouldn't it work in other areas as well? In the best case, event sponsoring is a win-win situation for all parties involved: organizers, sponsors and also participants can benefit. These are some of the advantages:

Financial support: Sponsorship does not always have to be of a financial nature: Sponsors can also contribute the location, catering or software, for example. The advantage of financial sponsoring is the numerous possibilities: You can use the additional financial injection to acquire new speakers, buy better technology or invest in marketing to increase your reach.

More reach: Sponsors not only bring financial incentives, but often also their own target group, which, if chosen well, can also be very interesting for your event. Sponsors can also help build relationships with new customers. When choosing your sponsors, look for overlaps in content.

Brand Awareness: A wider reach can also be very helpful to increase your brand awareness and also the image of your brand. This can have an impact not only on the event you are planning, but also on your sales in the long run. The same goes for your image. Sponsorship and greater reach help you improve your image within the industry, make a name for yourself and help potential customers build trust in you.

Want to learn more about event sponsorship? Read more about the concept of event sponsorship and some tips on how to implement it in this article.

SWOT analysis for events

The SWOT analysis comes from the business administration and belongs there to the small 1x1 of the strategic management.

The SWOT analysis takes its name from these 4 categories, often represented as a matrix.

The name, SWOT, can be derived from these four categories.

  1. Strengths (strengths)

  2. Weaknesses

  3. Opportunities

  4. Risks (threats)

A further distinction is then made between external and internal factors. SWOT analyses can be used in different planning stages of an event. We recommend a first SWOT analysis already in the planning phase. This way you can eliminate weaknesses, adjust your strategy and make your process more efficient. A template for a SWOT analysis for events including a matrix and possible factors can be found in this blog post.

The implementation of a successful event

The planning is done and now it's getting exciting: The event can begin. But the same success factors still apply to the execution, special attention is paid here:

Host: A good host naturally shines above all during the event. The most important thing here is that participants have everything they need. This applies to speakers as well as guests. Clear communication, friendliness and service are paramount.

Communication: Good communication, clear signage, maps and general information should be easy to find and also a smooth check-in ensure a successful event. Communication also includes quality, information should be clearly understandable, if necessary in all required languages and sound and audio quality should not be limited.

Interaction: One of the most important elements for a successful event is interaction - after all, people want to talk to people. As an event organizer, you should create spaces to interact and network, especially if your event is virtual.

While many seasoned event managers have no problem running physical events, the latest developments in virtual and hybrid events set new standards on streaming, posing new challenges. Live streaming is a key factor for the success of any event with virtual elements. Be it for webinars, webcasts or hybrid events.

Here are some of the elements you should consider when live streaming:

Recording quality: the standard for live streaming is full HD with 1920x1080 pixels. So you need at least one camera that can guarantee this quality and a team member who can handle this camera. You can always add more cameras to give you more perspectives and make your stream even more professional.

Sound: Good microphones should be part of the equipment - no matter if your event takes place on stage or virtually. It is important that the audience does not hear too many different volumes. Good sound engineers can help here.

Lighting: Proper lighting of your stage or stream can be a quality factor. Be sure to avoid harsh drop shadows on your speakers' faces.

If you want to learn more about the mistakes you should avoid when live streaming, take a look at our little 1x1 of live streaming.

The follow-up

How to check if your event was really successful

After the event is before the event. The follow-up of an event is often neglected, but it can be very important. For you as the organizer, to check your success and to learn for the next events. For your participants, to round off a successful event, to remain in their memory and to incorporate their feedback and to strengthen the relationship in the long term.

Communication after the event

Email campaigns are one of the most popular ways to stay in touch with guests after the event. Here are a few ideas of what such an email can look like:

Thank you! Just say thank you, after all your attendees took a lot of time and actively participated. A simple, personal thank you is a simple gesture but leaves a good impression.

Too bad! Also address the people who missed your event. Send a short summary, some exciting data and results and point out upcoming similar events.

Survey! a helpful tool to gauge the true success of your event is a survey for feedback from attendees.

Read more: Send a good summary of your event with highlights and key points. This can be accompanied by themed content links from your blog or perhaps you can offer videos, tutorials or whitepapers and e-books.

You can read more about follow-up emails after your event here.

The most important KPI's for your event

KPIs, the so-called Key Performance Indicators, are the most important key figures for your event. It is important that you set your KPIs as goals before the event, so you can check with your success analysis after the event whether you missed, reached or exceeded your goals. Here is a small selection of possible KPIs for your event.

On-site participants: A key KPI is the number of participants on-site or online. In the best case, you put this number in relation to your registrations. If there is a discrepancy, you should find out why: Was the time or location unfavorable? Or were content and topics not well chosen for the target group?

Social media engagement: Find out which content works particularly well with your target group and look at the number of likes, shares and comments. People only interact with content they identify with.

Profit: Was the event budget exceeded? Where was it underutilized and where would investment have been worthwhile? Was there still room for return on investment?

Email open rates: if you ran large-scale email campaigns for your event, you should have one of the most important KPIs in email marketing on your radar: Open rates and click-throughs to the registration page.



Want to learn more about event KPIs? Read our article on the most important event KPIs to learn more.

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Article by Oliver Edwards
A creative community builder with a knack for strategy, communication and humans.