Here are my Top 3 tips I’d like to share on how you can prepare for a successful customer event.

1. Location Scouting

If you plan to do a presentation at your customer event, be sure to scope the room to get a feel for the room capacity and ease of connecting a laptop to the projector or TV. Yes, you can start by googling images of the venue and presentation room. But it’s always best to go in person so that you can anticipate any setbacks.

For example, I learned this lesson when I coordinated a Lunch and Learn at a restaurant. I was unaware of the room capacity, so we packed 18 people (majority were customers) into a room. We ate elbow to elbow as we watched the presentation. In addition, the projector was placed awkwardly on the table with little room for the presenter’s food and laptop.

On a positive note, almost all the attendees and the presenters were engaged in great discussions and follow up meetings afterward, making it an overall very successful event!

2. Promotions

One of the roles that Marketing provides to events is publicity! How far in advanced should you promote the event? From my experience, at least 4-5 weeks in advanced.

Where to promote your events

  • Promote your event on your social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc).
  • Launch an email campaign from your Email Automation program.
    • What is the right amount of emails? How often you send reminder emails will be dependent on how aggressive your Sales Development or Business Development team is on follow-up and is dependent upon your audience.
    • Continue to launch the campaign until the day before the event. Last minute registrations are bound to pour in. Your customers will likely register as the actual date draws closer when they’ll have better visibility of their schedules.

The goal is to find the sweet spot between sending too many emails (causing your audience to opt out and unsubscribe) and sending too little emails (letting your audience lose you through the multiple emails they’ll receive in their inbox).

Unfortunately, there is no scientific formula. Research varies and results are sporadic. It will be dependent on your audience’s click and open rates. In our experience, sending 2 emails/week works for us.

3. Nailing Down The RSVP

Drop-outs are inevitable for any event—alas an element that it is out any event coordinator’s control. Last minute fire drills can happen at work, family emergencies, etc. The list goes on and on.

To better ensure attendance, continue to keep the line of communication open with the attendees in between the time they register and the day of the actual event.

Some ideas:

  • Asking for meal selection (if the event will include lunch or dinner).
  • Inquiring dietary restrictions (if there is a fixed menu at the restaurant).

When our event team applied this step, for our technical hands-on workshop, our attendance went up by more than 60%!

A lot of preparation goes into running events smoothly. I hope these tips help you prepare and setup your next customer event for success. Remember to have fun along the way, even as hiccups happen! One of my favorite quotes by Robin S. Sharma states,

“There are no mistakes in life, only lessons. There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance…”