During this roundtable, Novi Customers discussed best tips for events including marketing, event setup, event management, and how to add value for sponsors.
Of the customers participating in the poll during our roundtable:
75% offer both virtual and in-person events currently
62% are not offering hybrid events
54% are offering the same number of events as pre-COVID, 33% are offering more events, and 13% are offering less events
Best Practice for Marketing
Use more than your email marketing platform to reach your attendees.
Facebook and Instagram were the most effective social media outlets for event marketing for most customers. (GCCA, AAMD)
Use your prior attendee lists to reach out via personal email to those who haven't registered yet. Personal email can yield better results. (AMA, GCCA)
Don't be afraid to go traditional - snail mail can still be a nice touch! (AAMD)
Incentivize early registration with rewards or late fees.
Avoiding late fees often motivates more than early bird rates. (AMA)
First 100 people to register get a "swag bag" - even if you intend to give more out, make them feel it's limited. (GCCA)
Creative tip! from PAA: The first five people to have a "watch party" for a virtual event received a "party pack" with champagne, flowers, and more that was personally delivered.
Best Practice for Event Setup
Keep your tickets organized and determine what attendees see as available.
Use Ticket Categories to avoid the confusion of too many visible options in your registration. For example, create a Sponsor ticket category to keep all sponsor options together. You can also Limit Ticket Visibility in categories to members only, or specific groups, so only the groups you choose will be able to see and add those tickets. (AMA, SPA)
Set a capacity for your event to show how many spots are still available and give a sense of urgency to registration. (LAA)
Creative tip! from GCCA and AAMD: Create a Product Add-on for foundation donations. You'll be surprised at how much you can collect.
Best Practice for Event Management
Know what attendees will see and what questions they may ask ahead of time.
Have a fake account you can use to test registration from an attendee's perspective on the frontend before you go live. (MRWA)
Include important information like Safety/Liability disclaimers and agreement on the event landing page, in post registration details, and details on the ticket. (TIAA)
Creative tip! from MRWA: Make a "How to Register" pdf for those attendees who may not be used to registering for events online. Include it on your website and in your newsletters to help guide attendees through the registration process.
Best Practice for Adding Sponsor Value
Ask your sponsors what they need and tailor their sponsor package to their responses.
If it's manageable, give your sponsors a call. Taking the time to reach out personally and ask their needs can also help with putting together sponsor packages before your event. (SPA)
Creative tip! from GCCA: Hire an emcee to help with sponsor relations during an event, especially a virtual one. An MC can can do interviews with sponsors, present slideshows, and help engage with attendees. It will feel more interactive and special than only a booth.
Thanks to our moderators Betty Knecht, Vice President of Events and Education for AAMD, and Amanda Perkumas, Tucson Area Executive Assistant for AMA, for sharing their best practices and helping to keep the conversation moving!