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There was a great view

There was a great view  - event management - Marketing Doris

“If you’ve got nothing good to say, then say nothing at all”

It’s a phrase we’ve all heard and probably said ourselves at times.

I’d like to think that I live by this philosophy, but I’m also honest enough to admit that I like a good moan, whinge and can be as critical as the next person, though I am quite choosy about who I’m vocal to about those criticisms*!

Mainly I consider myself a cup half full type of person and where possible I will focus on the positives, which is why you’ll hear or see me regularly highlight #goodmarketing activities on here or on social media, and why I won’t mention (what I consider) to be the opposite.

I was pushed to my limits though when I attended an event in Manchester recently, and ever since have felt the urge to write about this experience.

In the spirit of putting across a balanced view, I’ll attempt to find a positive about each point raised.

  • The location – I am a proud Mancunian, so any event held in my beautiful city is a winner in my book. It also happened to be on one of the most gorgeous days of May with brilliant sunshine and blue skies, so double points. For the hat trick the venue was superb; well positioned and a bit different. The flipside? Well the signage didn’t reflect the event name. The reception team didn’t have all the information and it was only because I had the suite name that I managed to locate the right room.
  • The customer experience – business owners, senior management and especially marketers – we should always put ourselves in our customers shoes and check that the experience they have with our business is what you would want it to be. Communication is key, especially at event, so it is important to engage with your audience, pre / during and post event. For example:
    • Pre-event - drop them a note in advance of the event to check they are still able to make the date. Any changes can then be made in advance i.e. the number of chairs required / handouts you need to prepare / the number of people to cater for. This will not only save you time and money but will also mean you don’t end up with a half empty room and feel you need to delay the start time by half an hour in case others turn up (it’s unlikely!)
      • Give the attendees details of the agenda i.e. the speakers, their topic areas and times. This will give them the option to adjust their plans if only part of the event is of interest. I sat through 90 slides worth of content that was not relevant to my role. It would also have been useful to know that an event running from 12.30-3.30pm wouldn’t have any food until a small selection of pastries at 2.30pm. This would have meant that attendees could have eaten in advance of arriving and not have to help themselves to an inch square piece of flapjack from the catering at the event next door (sorry about that, it was an anti-rumbling cure)
    • During the event - Greet the attendees when they arrive, introduce key people from your organisation, offer them a drink, advise on any changes to the agenda i.e. change in the start time or running order, tell them where the facilities are and talk to them about why they have come to the event, what their objectives are, what they are hoping to learn, who had invited them and explain that they weren’t coming until just before their slot at 3.00pm. 
      • Be more selective in the giveaways. It is incredibly generous to provide each attendee with a bag, 43 pages of single sided slide handouts, leaflets, pen and coaster, but it really wasn’t necessary. Again, time and money could have been saved with just giving everyone a pad & pen and offering to send electronic copies of slides to anyone after the event. 
      • If you want us to complete an evaluation form, then it would be useful to be given one.
    • Post event - Drop attendees a note to thank them for coming along and ask if they needed any further information or for their thoughts on the event. I received nothing from the organisers. 
      • It’s also a good opportunity to contact people who didn’t attend – ‘sorry you couldn’t make it’ – can we help you with anything or would you a copy of the information given out.

On the plus side:

  • the speaker I came to see was a breath of fresh air and was almost worth sitting through the rest of the event. He covered the topic well, was informative, engaging and had chocolate to give out for questions being asked by the audience. He also invited people to contact him by email following the session if they wanted copies of articles and tools that he had mentioned.
  • I was inspired to write this article
  • The view from the window of the Manchester Skyline in the sunshine was fabulous!

For event management guidance give me a call on 0790 3717750 and I’d be happy to help!

*Yes really, so if you have heard me then consider yourself lucky / special / a chosen one / a friend!!

Feedback:

Independent Management Consultant
James Perryman
"I first met Helen at a local networking event, and of all the people/businesses present, my first impression of Helen was that she was personable, authentic and knowledgeable - plus, I was totally intrigued"
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