This year, make a resolution you can actually stick to, and one that advances your career.
1. I will: embrace technology
Our modern world offers more ways to connect with one another than ever before, yet many events are still stuck in the dark ages. If you’re using outdated or analog technology, like paper wristbands, cash-only sales for concessions, or ticket stubs to track attendance, you’re missing out on some of the best time-saving and experience-enhancing advancements.
It’s not just about the cool factor of new tech: events that harness technology earn more money and garner more loyal (see: return) customers. Make a commitment to upgrade at least one of your analog systems this year. Take it one step further and look for ways to use technology to engage guests before, during, and after your event. That could include email marketing campaigns, surveys, special offers, or user-generated content.
2. I will: learn how to get a “yes” from sponsors
Sponsorship deals can be mutually beneficial: they ease the cost burden on your event and they expose local businesses to potential new customers. But it’s an intimidating process for a lot of event producers.
In 2020, muster up your courage to finally ask for support from potential sponsors, and do some preparation in advance to make sure your pitch gets a “yes” from at least one of your targets.
One of the keys to a successful pitch is asking the right sponsors. An adult nightclub might not be the right sponsor for your family-friendly event. Find corporate or local businesses that are a good match for the tone and subject matter of your event, or ones that operate a business your guests might benefit from.
Whenever possible, approach potential sponsors you already have a relationship with — there are more than you think! That lunch spot you visit twice a week or the supplier who prints all your event materials could be good places to start. Even your employer, if you work full- or part-time, could be a potential sponsor.
3. I will: understand my audience
Knowing who comes to your events helps you find more people with similar interests and behaviors. Develop a guest profile using insights from your social media accounts and data from your ticketing provider: where do they come from? How old are they? What are their interests? When do they purchase? How much do they spend? This data will allow you to offer experiences and upgrades that will appeal to your guests.
Understanding your audience will also help you to re-engage attendees or ask for feedback after your event has passed. If you’ve never sent out a survey to your customers before, make 2020 the year it happens. You can learn so much from guest feedback and uncover ways to not only improve their experience but opportunities for you to make more money at your next event.
4. I will: delegate and automate for a better work-life balance
A career as an event producer requires mental toughness, dedication, and a willingness to work all hours and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Unfortunately, that often comes with a grueling schedule that leaves little time for yourself, your family, and friends.
Make a commitment to delegate and leverage technology to automate as many functions of your job as possible, so you can focus on the mission-critical elements and carve out a little time for self care in the New Year. Think about what your biggest headaches or time-sucks are. Pick one of those and make a plan to automate or delegate it. Start with just one thing and build from there.
5. I will: attend an event I would never go to
Any good event producer knows the value of research. Attending events gives you a firsthand perspective on the guest experience, and sparks new ideas you can implement at your own events. You may already have a regular roster of engagements you attend for research and development purposes.
This year, challenge yourself to branch out and visit an event that’s far outside your wheelhouse but which has a solid reputation among its target audience. Maybe it’s a music festival for a genre you don’t typically enjoy or a tasting of spirits that make your face grimace.
Putting aside the theme and subject matter, what’s good about that event? Why do guests enjoy it? When you attend an event that isn’t made for you, you can really evaluate the event’s strengths and weaknesses from a guest’s perspective. You might find a better way to manage logistics, or inspiration for a lucrative VIP experience.
What are your New Year’s resolutions? We’d love to hear your plans, ideas, and suggestions!