We recently surveyed Marcomms Professionals to find out more about creating successful events. We were curious to know the reasons why Marcomms Professionals put on events and industry insiders shared five reasons:
- Education-driven – to bring in outside expertise to provide lasting value or to help new ideas stick
- Award-driven – awards, prize giving & celebrations
- Objective-driven – i.e. client retention & requisition
- Interest-driven – built around the interests and hobbies of the team, but designed to help them understand the business landscape better
- Relationship-driven – a networking opportunity to meet and mingle with the supply chain with the event/ speaker as a focal point of the meeting
This article explores one of the five reasons given for running events. We’re exploring it here with the aim of arming you with new insights that will help you when it comes to creating successful events in the future.
You will want to know this information because it will:
1. Help your company improve its ROI on events
2. Help you in your career (because this article shares information few others in the industry have been privy to!).
This article will focus on how events can be used to build relationships because building relationships. It’s one of the 5 reasons Marcomms Professionals run events. But before you jump to conclusions and assume you know everything you need to know on this topic, pause for a moment and consider this…
In this article, we’re not just going to give you the research results. We’ve pulled together golden nuggets from event industry providers such as event production companies, PR experts, venue finding services and professional speakers, so you can see the bigger picture, and get insights into how to create successful events that have relationships at their heart.
This article focuses on one of the five reasons to run events: Education.
Creating a successful event with the intention to educate your audience
The event organisers dream is to arrange an event, that everyone wants to attend, enjoys, learns oodles from and waxes lyrical about for months or years to come.
For this to happen the event has to have components that make it memorable.
Event organisers work on an event for a number of weeks. Having organised the event the last thing you want is an empty room, or people who come, but who lack interest in the event, because they were told attendance was compulsory. So, the question is how do you make an education-driven event memorable?
Here are some considerations:
3.The event production
4.How you make the education stick
How Do You Find The Best Venue For An Education Driven Event?
Carina Booker helps event organisers find venues. She says, “For educational events, there are a couple of really important factors that a venue needs which are actually very simple.
“The venue needs to have natural daylight because let’s face it, we all concentrate far better if a bright pleasant space which is noise and distraction-free where possible!
“The space should also be kept at a level temperature, definitely not too hot so people feel sleepy or too cold! The other important factor is that the venue offers great food and drink options. Fueling the mind ensures we soak up as much information as possible. The coffee needs to be of excellent quality too!”
How Do You Source Speakers For Your Education-Driven Event?
It seems like common sense to arrange a speaker that relates to your business goals or agenda, but many businesses struggle with this for one very good reason.
Many businesses go from year to year hardly considering goals. They just roll from one year to another. Other businesses set goals, but struggle with accountability for those goals. Some businesses simply forget, or simply don’t see the opportunity to link the event theme to their business goals.
The businesses that relate their event to their annual goals put on events that have strong coherence i.e. people get why the event is being run and why a particular theme has been selected for this event. As a result, audience buy-in is higher.
As an agency, when an organisation tells us they are looking for a speaker on a specific topic such as climate change, or advancement of tech, or mental health or belonging, it makes our job, as agent, very easy.
If you contrast this with an organisation that contacts us and asks for a speaker who can “motivate” or “inspire”. The words motivate and inspire tell us nothing. In fact, we will tell you that those words describe all of our speakers and the majority of speakers with representation. It doesn’t give us much to go on.
If you relate the topic to a business goal and also know (or survey) your likely audience to discover more about their interests and hobbies you can often relate a speaker to a goal and an interest. This helps raise the level of engagement as well as buy-in.
What Are The Considerations For Production of An Education-Driven Event?
Joe Gilliver and his team at, The Chameleon Agency, specialise in event and experience design. They focus on helping businesses engage, inform and inspire their audiences.
Joe says, “When thinking about events that need to be educational, we need to think about how people best take in information and learn. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Taking this to heart can make a massive difference on how the agenda and content of a conference can be shaped. Using simple tools like Slido can help make sessions interactive, involving people in polls, quizzes, Q&A sessions, etc. to help them reflect and involve themselves with the content more. Don’t just tell people, involve them.”
How Do You Make The Main Points Of An Education-Driven Event Stick?
The key to having the event education stick is all in the after-event follow-up.
If you invite a speaker to talk on a subject that relates to your goals, you will need to consider how you reinforce the message the speaker gave you.
Ideally, you think about these things upfront and consider if the speaker can be involved in aiding this process. For example, can the presentation be video recorded and can the main messages be broken down into bite-sized pieces of information that can be shared with your team either immediately after the event or periodically through the year, serving as reminders of the event and the key messages.
Another option is to ask the speaker to record a podcast or Q&A audio with you after the presentation where they can reinforce what they spoke about. This way you then have the presentation they gave, plus a recording that can be shared with the audience say 30 days post-event. Again, this serves as a reminder.
If you ask the speaker about the video option and podcast recording prior to booking they can ensure they accommodate you. Most speakers are happy to accommodate these kinds of requests and they rarely charge more for them. Their biggest concern is usually about the usage of their material, which we will note in the contacts.
Other ways to reinforce the message is an email follow up by the CEO, sharing something about the theme of the day and what they would like to see people take away.
When you hold an event that is driven by educating the audience the key is in the event’s relevance, initial planning and follow-up. The speaker is important, but only in relation to the other components.
We believe all keynote speakers should be Stellar Speakers – able to entertain, connect with an audience and make a positive impact. As a unique speaker agency representing change-making keynote speakers, we provide expertise to help you manage your budgetary expectations and provide realistic options. We provide a preferred partner’s service base, so that partner clients get everything they need, lowering your risk as a booker of speakers, so you can make your choice about your next speaker with confidence.