4 steps to planning a successful event:
Tips from our events team
April 22, 2019
I’m often asked, “Why do you like your job?” by prospective employees, interns, or groups of students I speak to. The answer is easy – and something we say a lot around our office. At the end of each of our days, those of us in financial services are in the people business. We have no purpose without the end client in mind. In all of our many roles, that’s what important at the end of the day.
And so, it naturally follows – no matter how well written that email was or how many attendees participated in our last webinar, nothing replaces spending time in person with our clients. But I know what you’re thinking – Erica, you’re talking about the things that require MOST of my time and MOST of my money! Is it worth the investment? Technology has simplified our ability to replicate that face time, but we see our highest levels of engagement with our clients at events. I want the same for your practice!
To make planning these events easier for you, I thought I’d go to the experts – our in-house events team, charged with creating memorable, strategic events on a weekly basis – for some steps to make your next client event less intimidating and a more effective.
Since time is money, and money is time, before you do anything, ask yourself, “What am I hoping to accomplish by hosting this event?” It is extremely important that you have a defined and clear objective in mind in order to measure success.
Five to six weeks before your event start date, determine your target audience. Having a developed list of anticipated attendees will help you determine what type of event you will host and where.
Secure the location
Four to five weeks before your event, find a location that fits the purpose of your event and the audience. Consider available options within your client or local chamber of commerce network. First impressions are key, so make sure the venue and time of day you choose are favorable for the invitees you have in mind. For example, if your clients are in the suburbs and your office is in the city, look to secure a location closer to your clients even if it means a long drive to the ’burbs for you.
Three weeks before, begin the invitation process. This may sound daunting, but the key is to keep it simple. The most important information to include in your invite is WIIFM (what’s in it for me), the where, and the when. Email invitations are always preferred but also consider posting your event information to LinkedIn®, Facebook, and/or Twitter.
Two weeks before, organize your event materials. Consider creating name badges for your guests and personalizing packets of information. A custom folder or wire-bound materials make for a nice presentation and indicate who you are and the type of business that you run. And, oh yeah, make sure you have extras of EVERYTHING!
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Macquarie Investment Management (MIM), or any of its employees.
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