Events require a lot of time and resources to do well. Starting from the very first planning phase, make sure you are doing everything you can to make the event worth it, both for your association and the attendees. Below are four ways to ensure you are maximizing the effectiveness of your events.
1. Have a Clear Purpose
The first step in maximizing events is having a purpose behind the event. What goals are you trying to accomplish through the event? Some options could be:
- Continuing education for members
- Social event to benefit members
- Connect to hear important updates
- Raise funds for the association
Have a clear purpose before you plan any other elements. Having an event with no goals or purpose in mind can be a poor use of resources.
2. Use Resources Well
Beyond financial resources, consider the staff and volunteer time required for the event. For example, if you want to promote an event to your members, it may not be a good use of resources to mail out save the dates to everyone before final details of the event are announced. Many people decide to go to an event based on what it offers. There is a small percentage of members who will attend every year without first looking at the details of the event. Because of this, mailed save the dates can be expensive to print and mail with little return on investment. Instead, you can save time and money by utilizing different event communication strategies.
3. Event Communication
Members need to know about the event well in advance to allow for them to make a decision to attend and plan accordingly. Consider the ROI of every prospective communication strategy. This is where social media channels and email lists are essential to have. You can also promote the event on your existing website for free. Use your website as a landing page with everything potential attendees need to know with no additional cost to the association.
4. Reach Beyond Attendees
Not everyone who can benefit from your event will have the opportunity to attend. To maximize the reach of the event, consider sharing event materials with non-attendees. Consider event recaps, virtual attendance, purchasing session recordings, accessing session materials or other ways to engage.
Events require substantial time and resources, so be sure that your event is maximizing its impact. By following the above points, you can create an event that is both meaningful for the association as well as the attendees.