Our team have a packed 2013 event calendar, last month we attended and presented at the NZ Hotel Industry Conference, this week we were at MEETINGS, and next week we're off to the Wairarapa for the annual HAPNZ Conference, followed by the Top 10 Conference in Queenstown.
All this handshaking at the events got us thinking. We wonder how many businesses actually have a strategy in place when they go to an event? especially if it's one they attend every year, seeing the same faces in the same places.
Regardless of whether you go to the same event every year, or are attending for the first time. These 3 ‘P’s are designed to make you look at your presence a little closer:
It's surprising the number of businesses who attend an event without a clear objective in mind. To get the most out of participating, take time to first define what it is you really want to gain. This will also help you determine whether it was beneficial.
Objectives might include;
- Seeking a solution to a specific challenge
- Gaining the latest industry knowledge
- Learning at least one new tip that will grow your business
- Networking with suppliers, peers or potential partners
- Raising awareness about your own business
- Sharing your experiences with others
There are two aspects to consider. Firstly, who from your business is heading along (yes, that's probably you) and who you want to connect with at the event.
Find out who else going. Do your research to learn more about the people or businesses that'll be there, including the line-up of presenters and suppliers. Be sure to note anyone you really want to talk to and put it in your objectives.
Don’t underestimate the value of sending other members of your team to an event. Of course in contrast, the cost of time out of the business also shouldn’t be underestimated.
Sending different staff to the event will increase their knowledge and encourage them to work not only in, but on the business too. They could also bring a fresh perspective and even make new connections you’ve been unable to build on your own.
Evaluating whether an event was truly beneficial is often overlooked. Consider what you've invested into going to the event; registration, travel, accommodation, staff and time out of the business, the costs all add up. With this in mind, do you intend to measure whether it was worth the effort?
The key to measuring performance lies in setting clear objectives before you attend. Each goal should have a target to let you know if it was achieved. Because without measuring performance - how will you track your return on investment?
Whether it's information gained or networks made, you need an indicator of success.
To find out more about making the most of an event, contact Ariana Tucker on 07 541 1111 extn 225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.