Written by guest author Reno Macri
From conferences to conventions, a corporate event can be extremely important in terms of building and maintaining business relationships. However, it also provides plenty of scope for things to go wrong, which is why it is absolutely crucial that you take the preparation stage seriously.
Here, we take a look at seven common corporate event disasters and explain how you can avoid them.
1. Miscalculating Attendance
One of the biggest problems a company may encounter relates to attendance. If too many people turn up, there may not be enough seating; if too few people turn up, speakers may find themselves talking to empty chairs.
The best solution is to ask attendees to register their attendance in advance, even if admission is free. Ideally, there should be a deadline for registration, giving you sufficient time to make adjustments to the venue or layout.
2. Disastrous Guest Speakers
Another common problem is the guest speaker who goes off-topic, says something controversial or fails to turn up. Indeed, a disastrous guest speaker appointment will reflect terribly on you and your business.
To avoid this, stay in contact with your speakers and make your expectations clear. Ask questions, seek the opinion of those who have booked them before and avoid hiring anyone you have concerns about.
3. The Wrong People Representing Your Brand
A typical corporate event requires directional, registration, and several other types of staff. Even though these people might be brought in on a temporary basis and are not permanent employees, they will be representing your company. These are your front line ambassadors who will be directly interacting with attendees. Ensuring that they align with your brand values and identity is of critical importance.
If event staff are not the right fit, or if they are not trained properly, it can negatively affect the way your event runs. It will also dramatically affect attendee perception of your company. Many organizations choose to partner with an event staffing agency for this reason. These partnerships can help ensure that you have the right people, every time.
4. Problems with Branding
Events provide opportunities to build brand awareness, which is why event branding is so important. However, as any event company will tell you, there are potential pitfalls – displays that don’t arrive, insufficient time to decorate, etc.
To get around this, ensure that displays are in your business’s possession prior to the event and you have reliable transport. Get to the venue as early as possible and set up long before your guests arrive, making sure that you have planned enough help for the installation stage of the event.
5. Equipment Failure
Nothing can spoil a corporate event quite like technical issues. Whether it’s a faulty microphone, a corrupt memory stick or flickering lights, equipment failure can bring even the most successful events to a screeching halt.
To reduce the chances of this, set equipment up with plenty of time to spare and test everything. Make sure you know how to use each item and put contingency plans in place in case slide shows don’t work.
6. Issues with the Venue
Not every disaster will be your fault. You would be amazed at the number of businesses that book venues, only to later find out they have been double booked, or are not actually available.
For this reason, until you are certain you will have the venue, keep a back-up option in mind. You must, however, make sure you have the means to inform everyone about a relocation, should it be necessary.
7. Same Old Content
Finally, no matter how good your corporate event branding, refreshments and literature are, you will struggle to save an event that repeats too much content from a previous event you have hosted.
Repetition will not add value and will make you look disorganised, or even worse, irrelevant. To avoid it, hire different speakers each time, make sure they are delivering fresh content, and use different handouts.
Reno Macri is a founder and director of a leading exhibition and event company Enigma Visual Solutions, specializing in retail designs, interiors, graphic productions, signage systems, office refurbishment, event branding, customized exhibition stand and much more. He specializes in experiential marketing and event productions. He enjoys sharing his thoughts on upcoming marketing ideas and design trends. Feel free to follow him on twitter.