Event planners and marcom managers recognize the effort needed for organizing and executing any type of event. If one-day events are exhausting sprints, multi-day events are all-consuming marathons, demanding long-term focus, energy, time and resources from an entire organization.
To avoid surprises along the route, here are 7 tips for planning a trade show, sales meeting, conference or other multi-day event:
- Set clear objectives and measure event performance
The success of a multi-day event experience can be measured in a number of ways. Core metrics can include attendance, trade show booth traffic and leads collected. But to satisfy marketing budgetary oversight, your events need provable return on investment. Don’t rely on digital marketing analytics after-the-fact. In planning your multi-day event, establish clear, measurable objectives and select metrics aligned with organizational goals. Collect and analyze performance indices across the entire process (not just during the event itself) to create benchmarks for your next multi-day event.
- Build a solid team and follow a shared calendar
Multi-day events demand months of preparation. Not every role is a full-time job, but as the event approaches, your team will work time-and-a-half or more. A well-staffed, organized team enables you to meet long-haul challenges in stride. Keep your team in step with a shared calendar or team chat tool, and track key milestones.
- Begin planning early
Multi-day events require more planning and longer lead times to secure venues and hotel room blocks. Trade shows and other substantial events often require venue commitments up to a year in advance to secure preferred booth locales and promotional spots.
- Publicize sooner
Attendees, presenters, partners, crew and other staff need additional notice to reserve multiple days on their calendars. Multi-day events also represent substantial investments on everyone’s part, so driving attendance is key to your return on a multi-day event.
- Don’t forget VIPs
While all attendees are important, catering to company and partner VIPs will assure you of executive support within your organization and help build ecosystem relationships. Poll this key audience for preferences that can include golfing, gourmet dinners, and wine tastings, and venue resort and spa packages.
- Factor in travel days and times
Don’t assume all attendees will follow the same travel schedules. Depending on the locale and the main event calendar, you may need to add 2-3 days to schedules to accommodate comings and goings of attendees. Don’t forget about weekends and holidays, too.
- Create contingency plans
Plans change. Stuff happens. You may need to change schedules, entertainment, venues or even cancel entire events. Create contingency plans from the start and ensure you understand cancellation terms with venues and other service providers before you sign on the dotted line.
Multi-day event experiences provide unique opportunities for strengthening customer and partner relationships, growing revenue and engaging with ecosystems. To elevate your event, reduce your risk and optimize your event ROI, look to Temple Rock Productions – our mission is your success.