Emma Bannister (pictured below) is the founder and CEO of Presentation Studio, APAC’s largest presentation communication agency, and author of the book Visual Thinking: How to transform the way you think, communicate and influence with presentations. In her latest post for B&T, Bannister gives tips for hosting and surviving industry conference season…
Event season can either be a win … or a big flop. As a time of year with presentations galore, it’s important that you feel confident in your content. With the pressure of multiple events, tight deadlines and a stretched team – it’s easy to make a mistake. Here are five event stuff ups you want to avoid. Keep your event preparation in check and you can walk away from event season feeling better than ever.
The number one event season stuff up is poorly prepared speakers. It doesn’t matter how good your content is, if your speaker stumbles and bumbles through the presentation. This event season, you need your presenters to represent you well. As they carry your brand to different audiences and industries, they should be confident and capable. One of the best ways you can prepare for event season is by training your speakers.
Give yourself an advantage by investing in high quality speakers who are excellent ambassadors for you. There’s nothing worse than a boring or ill-prepared speaker giving you a bad reputation on the event circuit.
Public speaking and presentation training is an investment worth making. Get all your potential speakers into training now, to ensure a successful event season.
If everyone is not on the same page, your event simply won’t go according to plan. They say, ‘team work makes the dream work’. And, when it comes to events – this is certainly true! A disunited team can be the undoing of your event season.
As event season gets into full swing, it’s time to focus on collaboration to ensure consistency. Often, event presentations are last-minute jobs. Old decks are muddled together and a quick script is drafted. Maybe your business used to have a presentation strategy and training – but it’s probably outdated and idealistic. That’s why it’s time to collaboratively plan your event content, together.
Team work is one of the best ways to prepare for event season. Invest in some team-wide presentation workshop days to help everyone think about the best way to write, design and deliver. This strategy ensures consistent and on-brand presentations from everyone when event season rolls around.
Your event season will be a flop without a clear message. The least successful events are those without a clear message. Be sure to clarify your ‘big idea’ before each event to make maximum impact. This is one common mistake which a bit of pre-planning can do wonders to prevent.
What is your Unique Selling Point? Pre-event season is the time to define this and think about the best way to communicate it. That way, every event presentation will hit the mark. Plus, as event season begins, you need to think of a seasonal ‘big idea’ which sits inside your USP. Do some research about the latest trends and themes within your industry – and think about your big idea.
For example, if ‘future of the workforce’ seem to be a popular theme this event season – think about what your unique angle on this them is. Your big idea for the event season stems from your USP and can serve to unite all your presentations. Think of it as a tag-line for your event season, tying all content together in a subtle yet powerful way.
Learn from your Mistakes
None of us are born event superstars. Events are an art – which takes time to master. This event season, keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Then, apply the lessons you have learnt. It’s worthwhile dedicating a member of your event season team to oversee taking feedback and applying it. Give them a list of goals – be that attendance, engagement or communication aims – and put them in charge of assessing your results. When event season comes to a close, gather as a team and listen to these results together. Celebrate the wins and learn from your mistakes!
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