Lynn Zingraf

The EdTech Marketer’s Guide to Event Planning Excellence (and maybe even the Galaxy)

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on event planning fundamentals. As a first step, you need to make sure you have defined and understand the personas you aim to reach. From there you can more easily define objectives, craft your message, and develop a strategic approach. This involves determining what you aim to achieve at the event, refining your brand message, and outlining the tactics you'll employ to meet your goals. But also, what’s your budget? Is it too high, or not enough, and how will you measure success? 

✨ Pearl of wisdomDefine Clear Objectives: Before diving into event planning, ensure you have clearly defined objectives to guide your strategy and tactics.

The questions pile on. This would all be too overwhelming, if it wasn’t for your awesome team. What would you do without them? While you work on a messaging brief that outlines your objectives and defines your value proposition, they’re reaching out and scheduling meetings with prospective clients. As the event comes closer, you need to generate buzz and excitement around your participation and encourage engagement leading up to the big day. Targeted email campaigns and social media posts are perfect for encouraging engagement. As the day approaches, having a pre-show briefing is paramount to inspire the troops and to make sure everyone understands the objectives. Whatever you write, remember to keep it short. One, two pages tops. Nobody wants to wade through a 10-page document.

Industry events are a great way to generate leads. In the right forum, you can meet and greet your target audience, promote your brand and products, and generate interest. This all begins by identifying and picking the right events; which might not be as easy as expected. However, here are a few tips to get you started. Let’s begin with the event’s website page. While evaluating the program and general information posted, ask yourself the following questions: What audience is being targeted? Who has already signed up? Who is speaking and presenting, particularly the keynotes? What other vendors are attending? Are any of your competitors participating? Have they secured a prime stand location? The answers to these (and many other) questions will help you pick the right events and leverage every opportunity to maximize your presence at the event. 

✨ Pearl of wisdomCraft Your Message Strategically: Develop a strategic approach to crafting your message, refining your brand message, and outlining tactics to meet your goals.

By actively participating in conferences, engaging with the press, capturing leads, and maintaining a strong social media presence, you can amplify your reach and influence. But let’s not forget your stand and floor presence. The obvious suggestion is to secure optimal placement within your budget, but there’s much more to consider besides size. For example, never underestimate the potential for corner or aisle spaces, and proximity to competitors for increased visibility. Regarding your setup, avoid obstacles like pillars, which may hinder visibility. If you’re thinking about showcasing demos or videos, ensure you have the necessary equipment (this includes wiring and software), and always allow space for potential meetings. Finally, your presence must –above all– be visually appealing. Eye-catching graphics, clear messaging, and an inviting layout are essential, but also think about handing out ‘swag’ and your team’s dress code. Branded products and attire are like walking billboards at your service. 

✨ Pearl of wisdomBudget Considerations: Assess your budget carefully to ensure it aligns with your objectives and allows for measuring success effectively.

Seamless stand operations are critical factors in attracting attendees and making a lasting impression, but what happens once the event is over? Don't let the momentum of the event fade away. Immediately following the event, prioritize rapid follow-up with leads to capitalize on the connections made and the interest generated. Promptly reaching out to leads ensures that you continue the conversation and nurture relationships.

✨ Pearl of wisdomTeam Collaboration is Essential: Work closely with your team to delegate tasks, reach out to prospective clients, and inspire engagement leading up to the event.
✨ Pearl of wisdomGenerate Buzz Pre-Event: Utilize targeted email campaigns and social media posts to generate excitement and encourage engagement before the event.
✨ Pearl of wisdomChoose the Right Events: Select events strategically by evaluating the target audience, speakers, attending vendors, and competitor presence to maximize opportunities.
✨ Pearl of wisdomLeverage Every Opportunity: Actively participate in conferences, engage with the press, capture leads, and maintain a strong social media presence to amplify your reach and influence.
✨ Pearl of wisdomOptimize Stand Presence: Secure optimal placement for your stand, prioritize visual appeal, and ensure seamless operations to attract attendees and make a lasting impression.
✨ Pearl of wisdomFollow-Up is Key: Immediately follow up with leads after the event to capitalize on connections made and maintain momentum, ensuring continued conversation and relationship nurturing.
✨ Pearl of wisdomVisual Appeal and Branding: Prioritize eye-catching graphics, clear messaging, and branded attire to enhance your stand's visual appeal and reinforce your institution's identity.
🔥 Rapid fire questions