June 25, 2019

The Road to Success for Multi-City Events

Our last blog highlighted 7 tips for planning a multi-day event. With today’s global marketplaces, audiences can cross countries and continents and span the globe. Multi-city events are more than just scaled-up single city productions, requiring different strategies and planning considerations:

  • Scale and sequence: Will your multi-city event take place simultaneously across different locales or in sequence, touring from city to city, and in what sequence?
  • Audience: Will the audience in each locale comprise similar attendees or will different cities require customization of content, themes, language and other attributes?
  • Staffing: Will each city be staffed by local teams/partners or will staff and crew tour from locale to locale?
  • Branding: Does your brand extend across the planned locales or has your presence been localized and adapted to local markets? Are your brand and company new to the locales involved?

Tips for Multi-City Events

Establish clear success criteria – many multi-city events end up in locales based on direct corporate or partner presence (local offices), or because of top-line budgetary considerations. Agreeing on event goals and establishing metrics will help in selecting the best locales.

Goals: branding, customer engagement, quality lead generation, product launch, etc.

Metrics: attendance, pre- and post-event brand equity and share of voice, trade show leads collected, impact on sales, etc.

Fit the scale of your multi-city event – multi-city event experiences don’t have to be major productions. Training and promotional tours, for example, can be packaged up and repeated across locales and venues without a lot of fuss. However, don’t miss opportunities for a big splash – memorable, wide-ranging launches, for example, contribute greatly to the success of consumer and tech products.

Choose cities compatible with your audience – some industries and events engage customers and partners across locales. Others are definitively location-specific, e.g., the automotive industry is centered in Detroit, Tokyo, Stuttgart, Seoul; the music industry is concentrated in Los Angeles, Nashville, London and Tokyo. But events that draw consumers are usually not geographically tied to the industries that serve them.

Factor in travel and transportation costs – event locales should be easy to reach. Scheduling events in a major metropolis may not yield event ROI. Traffic, scarce parking or costly airfares can overwhelm the cachet of a metropolitan setting. These factors apply to attendees and to event staff and crew. If your multi-city events are grand tours, consider hiring a dedicated travel agency and/or long-term rentals of equipment, trucks and tour buses.

Minimize disruption to regular operations – multi-city events can deliver high returns but require substantial resources and commitment from internal event organizations. If such events are not your group’s sole focus, consider outside professional event management. Outsourcing and contracting will save you money (vs. FTEs) and will interfere less with your day-to-day business.

Well-planned multi-city events can yield impressive results by wowing audiences across countries and continents, establishing and extending brand and presence. But multi-city events can be many times more challenging to plan and execute. Look to Temple Rock Productions to meet and exceed your most demanding multi-city event needs.