Growth and optimism currently characterise the events industry in the UK at the present point in time according to the trade body EVCOM (Event & Visual Communication Association).
Whilst the research shows the volume of events in 2013 was lower than the previous year, 2012 – 1.25 million compared with 1.3 million – both the number of delegates and delegate days were higher in 2013, which is also the forecast for 2014.
That’s good news for businesses in the UK events industry and businesses looking to put their best foot forward with the events they host.
Why Host a Business Event?
Businesses host events for any one of a number of reasons, most of which relate to business promotion – there’s a lot of excellent exposure to be garnered by hosting a successful business event.
Whilst the most prominent business events are hosted by large companies, that doesn’t mean small businesses shouldn’t also host business events. For although they likely won’t have the same budgets to work with or the same guest pulling power, the same benefits, when the event is successful, apply.
Exposure is the most prominent reason for businesses to host events, particularly those held at unique events venues that are, in many cases, attractions in themselves, though there are other reasons why businesses of all sizes and sectors should consider hosting an event at a unique venue.
Attendance fees don’t deter people from attending events – not all events are subject to attendance fees – and when attendance fees are charged and people attend regardless, it’s a sure sign that they’re interested in the event, that they believe attending is in their best interests and offers them value, and that they’re interested in the business’s message, making them likely candidates for the business’s target audience.
Events also present an excellent opportunity to meet with clients face-to-face and interact in a way that digital interactions, interactions that are fast coming to define business communication, can’t play out. “There’s something different about meeting face-to-face and having a conversation that’s not delayed or happening through Facebook messages or limited to 140 characters,” says Karen Hartline, Mashable’s event manager.
The opportunity to establish a relationship with current and future clients on a more personal level is an opportunity that’s too good to overlook, making event hosting an excellent marketing method, one that offers greater opportunities than other methods of marketing, even social media which is frequently hyped as the best means of client interaction business owners have.
Hosting a Successful Business Event
“Anyone can throw a great party, but this isn’t about throwing a great party. It’s about hitting business objectives,” says Tres McCullough, co-founder of Fathom, a New York-based experiential marketing firm.
This is a great point to make about hosting events because there’s so much more involved in hosting a successful event than sending out invitations and putting on a bar tab for attendees, and whilst ensuring everyone in attendance has a great time is a key ingredient to a successful event, there must be business objectives to meet.
“What people do wrong is they don’t have a clear objective,” says McCullough, “A lot of companies have a great idea, everything is water-tight and clear, and they race to execution mode. The event engages the client base, goes off without a hitch. Then it’s gone.”
Business objectives, although very important to have, aren’t everything and businesses should also be looking to make an outstanding impression by, amongst other things, holding their events at unique venues of London in order to make the events they host really stand out in the minds of attendees.
Unique venues are often historical venues that have seen many prominent events in the past, and indeed unique, historical venues can really attract attendees, which is naturally very important when there’s an attendance fee involved, which often goes to a charity after the costs of venue hire, etc. are deducted.
Hosting a successful business event isn’t exactly straightforward and there’s usually a lot more involved than most businesspeople realise at first; however, with the right venue and a good understanding of what’s involved, including the need to meet business objectives, hosting an event at a unique venue offers many outstanding benefits.