How To Plan Events For The 21st Century

Event planning has changed a lot in the last couple of decades, mainly due to the vast improvements in technology and our newly-formed addiction to our mobile devices and online social media.  Today’s event attendees expect more from events including more access to information, more ways to connect and share, more choices and an overall better experience.

Give them what they want and more, using these simple tips for event planning in the 21st century:

Embrace Technology

The first rule is to embrace the technology that is available and use it to create consistent community engagement, all throughout the event cycle.  In terms of social media, your event could start online with the initial announcement and include news and updates as your plans start to solidify. In this phase, the event agenda should be revealed piece by piece, like a drip feed.  Just give your attendees enough information to keep them wanting more.

In the second phase, the day of the event, include things like up-to-the-minute tweets and status updates about what is happening now, photos and/or videos.  This will give your event social proof that people are actually attending, and enjoying, your well-planned event and create more excitement and interaction with those who are coming or are on the fence.

The third phase would be the after-party and would include the news releases, statements and testimonials from the event goers or planners, or other noteworthy things about your event.  You might post about event turnout, a few surprises that people may have missed, the initial plans for next year (if it is an annual event), or even hold a contest asking for the best event photos or memories.

No matter what you do, remember this: it is less about you and more about your community. Ask them questions and get them involved in any way you can.

Get Instant Feedback

Want to know what people really thought about your event?  You can do one of two things to harness the power of social media to find out what people are saying to their friends (and the world) about your event.

First, you can simply ask. It is easy to set up a poll on Facebook and let people vote on different aspects of the event. You can even ask if attendees would come back again with a simple yes, no or maybe answer choices. People love to share their thoughts when they feel they are being heard.

Second, you can track or monitor discussions online.  To do this, simply set up a Google alert that will send an email to your inbox every time someone comments or mentions your event online using certain keywords.  You can also use sites like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to track specific keywords or hashtags associated with your event. This is probably even more revealing, as people will likely be giving their honest opinions about your event if they think you will never know.

Don’t Forget About Mobile!

The PC is not completely outmoded yet, but mobile is quickly overtaking PCs in terms of usage, especially for searches.  This means that you have to make all of the information for your event very easy to see and use on people’s mobile phones.  Make sure that you either have a dedicated mobile website (which is probably the best choice) or a responsive website that will stretch and contract to fit many different screen sizes (the second best choice) to ensure that your website visitors get the info they want without becoming frustrated.

Making It All Happen

As an event planner, organizing the registration, putting together the event agenda, creating effective marketing, and taking care of all of the other major details can be a tough job.  But remember, you don’t have to do it all on your own.  There are many professionals out there that can offer support and even completely take jobs off of your hands for you.

At Stretch Structures, we can’t do your social media for you, but we can definitely help with your live marketing efforts in the form of promotional custom branded stretch tents; promotional custom branded stretch marquees; tent hire, delivery and setup and all of the unique accessories you can imagine.  If you need a partner who can help ease your mind, take some work off of your hands, and provide you with a wow factor that will get people talking about your event, contact us today!

We look forward to partnering with you to make your next event a huge success!