It’s the age-old question that mulls around the minds of most event planners – “How can I improve your event”. No event is ever perfect, even if it runs smoothly and according to plan there are always elements that could be added or changed to make it even more impactful. But how do you identify what that element is?
Following each event, it is really important to conduct a debrief with your staff and key stakeholders. There should also be a survey being sent to the attendees to gather their point of view – Survey Monkey is great for this. During this debrief most people will identify which elements they felt failed to meet expectations. Truth is most people are much better at finding the errors than identifying the improvements. These are the “easy and obvious” elements to change in order to improve your event. The part of the debrief process that is often forgotten is the “Opportunities” portion of the SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat). Identifying the opportunities for improvement is often more difficult but is a key element to improve your event. The following list will assist you to get better at identifying the ways in which to improve your next event.
1. Research similar events & new technology
New event technology is being released every day and “but we have always done it this way” is a sure-fire way of ensuring event failure. Taking the time to research the new technology and looking at what similar events are offering is a great way to identify improvements for your own event. Now we aren’t advocating making a carbon-copy of their event! Looking at how you could adapt some of their processes and event elements to put your own “spin” on them is a great way to improve your event.
2. Review your objectives
Every good event will have a list of event objectives to meet. Chances are one of your event objectives isn’t quite being met or you feel you could improve it. This is a great place to start when reviewing your current event model for improvement. It allows you to focus in on a key area and helps you to identify elements or strategies that will directly correlate to improvements in the results for that event objective.
3. Analyse the results
As we mentioned at the beginning, people are really good at identifying what they didn’t like. Some are also very good at identifying what they did like and attributing the praise. However, there aren’t many who can easily identify the opportunities. This is where the event survey and debrief comes into play – you need to analyse the results to find what they are NOT saying. Is there an event objective that isn’t featuring in the results, has there been a lot of praise for certain elements but others have not been mentioned? Reading between the lines on your results will help you to identify the areas for improvement.
4. Streamline your processes
It’s not just what happened on the event day that you need to focus on. What happened during the planning process – was there an element that took a lot of time? Reviewing your event planning process is a great way to improve and streamline your future events. Implement systems and procedures that can alleviate the time pressures and it will leave you with more time to implement new ideas.
5. Fix the Flaws
We left the easiest one till last – review your event and look at implementing changes that will fix any issues you experienced. After all – you can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Some elements may be unavoidable – for example there was a freak storm that collapsed your marquee 30mins prior to the event. That doesn’t mean you can just write it off as an isolated incident. Ensure that next time you run an event you compile a list of things that could go wrong and the procedures you will follow to mitigate the risks. That way you will be prepared and have more options at your disposal.
Events by nature open up the possibility of things going wrong but it’s how you deal with it that matters. Forward planning and risk management are two key areas for event managers to master. By ensuring that you are always looking for ways to improve, you will keep your event fresh and exciting. Of course, if the above tips have you reeling then it’s best to reach out to a professional. Events Outsourced can assist you to identify the areas for improvement, as well as rank them by importance so you know which to implement first.