TYPES OF EVENTS THAT CAN BENEFIT YOUR BUSINESS – By Asif Zaidi

“The number one unwritten rule of success is networking.”

Sallie Krawcheck

Events Benefiting Business

By dint of their ability to offer face-to-face contact, events are eminently useful in business. A business event is an effective low-cost marketing method for developing sales opportunities and contacts as no other form of marketing offers such close personal communication and networking at a large scale. Let’s talk about some of the different types of events benefiting business you can organize.

BUSINESS MEETINGS

Meetings are the most ubiquitous and basic type of event in business. However, given the time we spend in them, they can be counterproductive when not organized properly. The better prepared its participants turn up, the more effective a meeting is likely to be. Be clear who will chair the meeting and who the attendees will be. Send out the invites well in advance. Let the participants have the agenda in advance of the meeting.

CONFERENCES

Events Benefiting Business

Whether it is an internal conference for your colleagues or an external conference for customers or other outside participants, it needs to be imaginative and stimulating. It is important to understand what the participants expect to achieve at a conference and that they feel that their time at the conference has been productive. It also has to be organized in a manner to make every session effective. The most usual components a conference events benefiting business includes are:

Plenary Session

The plenary session is a good way of communicating with all participants at the same time and is usually slotted at the start of the conference. Consider carefully who will host the plenary session and keep it short to keep people focused.

Seminars

 Following the plenary session, a conference usually breaks into different seminars on various subjects the conference intends to address. Seminars are different from breakout sessions in that they usually have designated speakers and are less interactive. The delegates generally have the choice which seminar they want to attend. Generally, you should ask the delegates to book in advance so that you have an idea of the number of participants expected at each seminar and can organize accordingly.

Breakout Groups/Workshops

 Most conferences involve splitting the delegates into smaller groups and getting each group together in different rooms at the venue. This is a good way to have the right people focus on various themes during the conference as well as to allow interaction between people of different backgrounds. Make sure that you have enough content to be addressed in order for the breakout groups to be productive.

Team Building

 A team building session is usually a necessary component of an internal conference. Pick an activity that is not only fun but also enables people to together communicate, solve problems, and build mutual trust in a pleasant way. Be mindful of your audience profile to make an appropriate choice of the activity.

Networking Opportunities

 Networking is an important part of any conference. Often for a large business an annual conference is the only occasion for its managers to meet people based in different locations. Networking events can be either cocktails or meals or other informal social events allowing people to interact and hold conversations.

EXHIBITIONS / TRADE SHOWS

An exhibition can be a part of a conference or a standalone affair. It intends to bring together people around a common interest in an environment facilitating display and communication. Exhibitions can be both internal or external.

As regards external exhibitions, most often you would look to display at an exhibition rather than organizing the entire exhibition on your own. Using the space at an exhibition is an effective way to display your product or services to a large number of target market people. When booking a space, think about traffic flow and where people are going to flock and spend time the most.

MARKETING DRIVES

Launching marketing drives or products is a regular feature in business. These can be scheduled with a larger event like a conference or a trade show or can also be planned as a standalone event. Press coverage and PR are the key to their success. These are generally aimed at creating high level awareness of the product and its service coverage and precede all out advertising.

AWARD CEREMONIES

Award ceremonies offer huge potential to use an event with utmost creativity and punch. An award ceremony can be for an industry, a chamber of commerce, or for your own company. The idea is to reward the highest performers and to inspire the others to emulate them. Have someone who is highly respected by the likely recipients and the audience alike present the awards.

SPORTS EVENTS

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While businesses often sponsor them, sports events are not so usual for businesses to organize unless a business functions in the sports industry. Sports events thrive on competition and community. Make sure you can cope with the capacity expectations.

CELEBRATORY EVENTS

These events are put together to use an occasion -such as an anniversary, a milestone, literature etc.- to create a community event and to highlight an achievement or a cultural aspect. Your decision to organize them is usually driven by your objectives and budgetary provisions.

A literary festival generally has a niche audience. You have to think how you get the local business involved in your festival.

Food festivals are a great opportunity to rally your target audience around a theme that everyone can relate to and savour.

PERFORMING ARTS EVENTS

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If you are thinking of organizing a music, comedy, dance, or drama festival, begin by asking yourself if you know the right people or how you can get to them. You will need some big names to draw in the crowd you aim to get. Substance and atmosphere are pivotal for the success of such festivals. Artists and their managers have to view your event as important for them.

ROAD SHOWS

Road Shows represent a traditional discipline. This is an event that is usually organized by distribution or sales team rather than the marketing team. Here interactivity with the likely buyers is the key, where face-to-face interpersonal action is the focus and a brand or product is introduced in an engaging and convincing manner. The audience for these is limited and is selected carefully, comprising potential buyers or distributors.

(To discuss events benefiting business please write to us at info@meadowvalepartyrentals.com)

Asif Zaidi

The author of the book “The Stuff of Life,” Asif is a proven business leader, a business leadership advisor, and an entrepreneur. He works with top executives, teams, and organizations as a strategy leader and has deep expertise in facilitating strategic thinking in organizations. He is a strategic thinker with sharp business acumen and global experience. A corporate and investment banker, he was a Managing Director and fulfilled several country and regional CEO assignments with Citibank in various regions. He has also led and served on various boards and business, community, and educational forums. Asif is a powerful communicator, a key-note speaker, and has taught at an elite Business School. He also has a widely read personal blog www.masrif.net.

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