When doing events, Mom always said, ‘Think before you act’

Event professionals love to talk about events. Whether you are maintaining relationships, learning about new and best practices, or meeting new people, participating in the events community is a must. Karen and I had the pleasure of attending the local San Francisco Community Manager Meetup to discuss events from a community manager’s perspective which included talking about logistics, sponsorships, planning and ROI. It was a very educational panel discussion between the following:

Panel Moderator:

Panelists:

Meghan Murphy not only lead the discussion but also organized the event. She wrote a fantastic recap, with the help of my passion for note taking. Here are some of my thoughts:

‘Your budget should drive everything.’ It sure does!! That’s an easy statement to make but it really takes an experienced event professional to put together a great budget. You need to consider every little detail from the very beginning. The budget really builds the framework for an event, it helps you understand what you can afford.

‘Sponsorships are nice because you don’t have to plan the event but can access the attendees.’ Sometimes full marketing budgets don’t allow for you to plan your own company event. By partnering with a company, sponsorships give you a chance to achieve your marketing goals without all the headache of planning your own event. Invest in a process of how to participate in events as a sponsor and figure out what your criteria is. What is the sponsorship value? A few things to consider are:

  1. What are our goals? How will they be achieved by this sponsorship?
  2. What is the quality of the projected attendees? Is this your target audience?
  3. Relevancy–does this make sense for my company?
  4. Does the sponsorship exhaust the team?
  5. How is this event going to help our brand?

Know when it’s a bad opportunity. You can get a sound first impression from the event organizer or sponsorships sales associate. Are they willing to work within your budget to create a unique experience for your company? Does it feel like a partnership or a dictatorship? You can also give credits or other barter services rather than declining all together.

Community managers constantly attend events and have their own constructive feedback that you can learn from as well. Always consider what you don’t like about events, what stood out among the rest, and what you cannot live without. These things will help drive you to the overall success of the event.

I encourage you to reach out to your community and start your own event meetup. Ignite your own discussions about events, discussing what you have learned from them, what your biggest challenges are, and what obstacles you hope to overcome.

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