Dos and don’ts when holding your own event or exhibition

Holding your own event allows you to to demonstrate your product or service, or communicate your message directly to your invited guests without competition from other exhibitors. Get it right and your business has an opportunity to show your business off in the best light but, if you get things wrong, there's nowhere to hide

Do

  • Research your market carefully. Holding your own event is a high risk, high reward strategy. Get it wrong and you will never live it down, get it right and you will reap the benefits for months if not years to come.
  • Budget accurately. Costs can easily escalate under the best of circumstances so detailed requirements need to built in at the earliest stage possible. One of the main benefits to companies participating in or sponsoring existing events is the fact that the onus is on the event organiser to deliver a satisfactory ROI. For example, when using an established event as a promotional vehicle there is a measured degree of guaranteed return.
  • Seek expert help and advice, and listen to it. Either bring in a consultant who comes recommended or draw on the extensive event management resources which are widely available on the internet, within directories and via event industry trade associations.
  • Secure the support of your work colleagues. Event planning and implementation can be a drain on resources. With everyone on side and contributing to the success of an event you will be amazed at how much more can be achieved. Ultimately everyone will benefit from a successful event outcome.
  • Maximise the event on all fronts - sales, marketing, product development research, data collection and/or even staff motivation/incentives. Think of a department or a member of staff and potentially you will come up with a way they could take advantage of the event in some way.

Don't

  • Get carried away and always remember to stay on message. 'Wow factor' additions to your event need to be fully evaluated. Extra ideas and options introduced at the wrong time for the wrong reasons can distract and dilute your core messages and objectives.
  • Assume if you are planning a small low key event that the time and effort involved will be significantly less. Research, planning and implementation all still need to be thoroughly covered. Even the smallest seminar, lunch or open day needs to be run professionally in order to secure a positive outcome.
  • Think staging your own event is the easy option. Event organising is a skilled profession for a reason. Unless you are prepared to allocate the time, budget and resources needed then don't even attempt to undertake organising your own event.
  • Run the event on the cheap or conversely don't (especially in the current economic climate) go over the top to dress to impress. Cool, reasonably calculated and professional is the way to go.
  • Let me put you off! The rewards can be phenomenal. A personally tailored event can establish a close rapport, instantly, with potential clients. I am a strong advocator of face-to-face mediums and enticing and hosting potential clients on your own turf has got to be good under any circumstances.

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