Hosting a hospitality event to engage your target audience can be a great way to create meaningful relationships outside of traditional business settings. Hospitality events can also be the PERFECT way to generate buzz when done right. Who doesn’t love to receive an invitation for a coveted event? Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning an event that will keep people talking.
1. Begin with the end in mind. When planning any event, you should always begin with the end in mind. What are your objectives for the event? Is it simply to create brand awareness? Are you launching an exclusive new product line? Whatever the occasion, you should always clearly identify what the goal of the event is and then begin to formulate your event plan to achieve that goal. A significant part of your planning should be dedicated to establishing the budget for your event, which will in turn allow you to choose a venue, create a guest list, most importantly, defines your Return on Investment (ROI) for the event.
2. On the list? Putting together your guest list requires a fair bit of time and consideration when planning an event. Keeping in mind the objective of your event, creating the right mix of people is hugely important. Is the event intimate and exclusive, reserved only for VIPs? Are you inviting potential clients, hoping to make a big splash? Take all of this into consideration when compiling your guest list because the right mix of people and their interaction is critical to the success of any event.
3. Location, location, location! Finding the right location to host your event is one of the most important parts of your event plan. The right venue provides the backdrop for your entire event, so find a great location that will be inviting, plus sets the right atmosphere and mood for your guests. The venue will also dictate what type of hospitality you will be able to provide, based on what in-house capabilities they have or if you will need to find outside catering and event production partners.
4. Last call! After the final guest has departed, all the delectable food consumed and the last cocktail has been downed; did you accomplish your goal? While being known for throwing a great party will certainly make you a very popular person, will it further your business objectives? Will you see a measureable ROI? If not, you’re going to have one heck of a hangover, that is, unless you just wanted to generate good will. Follow up is a great way to stay top of mind post event and provide some feedback on the overall effectiveness of your function.
Thoughtful event planning and production can generate networking opportunities, invaluable face-to-face interaction and, hopefully, loyal clients.