Events may be a one-time deal. More often, though, it’s recurring. The frequency differs from event to event. It may be as spread out as annually or as often as weekly.
Regardless, having a series of recurring events requires more diligent planning to ensure you have the adequate resources and time. Here are some quick tips to help you manage the planning process a little easier.
1. Use Ticketing Software
It goes without saying that hosting a series of events with little time gap in between requires some organization. It’s strongly recommended that you use some sort of ticketing software like LIVEIT to make the logistics easier.
Every event software is different, but most share similar features, such as a way to simplify ticket purchases with multiple payment options, enable RSVP via mobile, enable promotional offers and/or upsells, and store customer data. This drastically simplifies the logistics and reduces possibility of human error when crunching numbers.
2. Include a Theme
Events are just so much more compelling when there’s a specific theme. You can have a recurring theme or change them between events to keep things fresh. If possible, try to connect the themes together. If you have a throwback event with a 70s theme, for example, then perhaps the theme for the next event can be the 80s.
In addition, themes can also be holiday-specific or reflect a current trend. Pokémon Go, for instance, is massively popular. Perhaps you can incorporate this into your event. This is especially great for a networking event where guests can break up into groups and wander the venue premise to add new creatures to their collection. This certainly makes for some excellent bonding time. Comic-Con International actually incorporated a Pokémon theme into its 2016 convention in San Diego.
It’s also okay if a theme like Pokémon has no relevance to your industry. What matters is that it introduces a fun and light-hearted element to your event.
3. Create Continuity
There should be some sort of element that connects the events together. This motivates attendees to return to the next one.
One idea may be to divide the event into parts. If the first event features a seminar called “IT Cybersecurity in the Workplace,” for example, then the next event can feature a seminar titled “IT Cybersecurity in the Workplace Part 2.”
This, of course, will be a continuation of the previous seminar. Guests that want to get the full scoop will have to attend both events. Also, consider using the same event hashtag to give the sense that the events are all interlinked and part of a bigger whole. This also prevents you from having to create and build up a new hashtag.
4. Offer Bulk Discounts
Many membership services, such as gyms and dating sites, offer various package plans. These usually include the member’s choice of monthly or yearly membership. Those that opt for a yearly commitment pay less than if they were to pay by the month.
You can do the same if you host frequent events. Give attendees the option to pay for every event in advance at a discount price. Of course, they’ll have to commit to every event, which is the whole point on your end anyways. Make advance bulk ticket purchases an option and promote it on your official event page, outlining the total savings compared to buying tickets individually.
5. Hold Smaller Events in Between the Big Ones
Perhaps, due to budget constraints, you only hold three or four events a year. If you feel that is too big of a gap, then you can hold smaller events in between. These sub-events can be a small get-together in person or online via livestream.
The purpose of these is to fill in the gaps between the bigger conferences. It’s the same reason some sports leagues hold pre-season exhibition matches. It keeps the brand from fading into oblivion during the time being.
By keeping the events small or even limiting it to an online affair, you can keep the overhead low. These smaller events can comprise of:
- Q&A session
- A follow-up of the product promoted at the previous event
- A networking event to strengthen connection between guests
- A preview of the next main conference
- Highlights of the previous event (think of it as a Cliff Notes version)
6. Consider Diverse Speakers
Presentations make up the meats and potatoes of the event. Should you reuse the same speaker time and again? While you can have speakers returning on more than one occasion, consider mixing things up by swapping out people that may be able to bring a different vibe or area off expertise to the table.
You can also occasionally bring in a speaker to cater to a specific demographic. If you’re trying to increase your female consumer base, for example, then consider hiring a woman speaker if the last few presentations were conducted by a man.
You should also consider speakers local to the venue’s location. Recurring events mean hiring a speaker every time, which can add to the cost. Hiring a local speaker reduces some of the overhead as it spares you the speaker’s travel and lodging expenses.
When you hold regular events, event planning becomes a part of the job description. It means a lot more work but with equal the rewards if you plan the events the smart way.
This is a guest post by Dan McCarthy, Event Manager at JD Parties, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has five years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.