Now, annual events like sales meetings and marketing get-togethers aren't exactly of the same ilk as an incentive trip, but in light of the economy, many companies are facing pressure to cut costs. This means, often, that the budget for events is slashed dramatically.
Days may be cut out of a trip, the attendee list may be shortened, and event planners are faced with having to make do with less.
Fortunately, making do with less doesn't mean doing less for your attendees. Because what your event comes down to isn't the pricey items like the staging design and teambuilding golf outings. You can engage your audience without the big set, and you can have an engaging networking activity without the 18 holes.
Meetings, in times of budgetary crunches, can be more critical than ever. It's an opportunity to rally the troops, focus on the coming directives, get everyone on board and boost morale.
Remember, there is one universal truth in meetings; expensive or low-budget: the audience wants to be engaged. With unlimited budgets, there's the temptation to engage them with high-tech.
So how *do* you still hold those crucial events with LESS budget and have them be MORE effective than ever?
Your audience wants to play...
To get people to interact, you don’t need a golf outing or an expensive cocktail hour—you just need to set up an environment where they can *play* in a meaningful way.
- Organize team activities, game shows and competitions that go throughout the event.
- Have frequent “brain breaks” in the meeting; allowing the audience to absorb information.
- Get the audience to interact with the speakers with a variety of activities; stories, roleplays, etc.
Your audience wants to be persuaded…
Let your audience know what the game plan is moving forward, why it’s going to work, and what’s expected of them to implement the company plan. Address their objections up front so you can move forward in the event.
- Play to all four styles of persuasion (for more on this, stay tuned).
- Have the audience set their own goals and objectives for the event.
- Outline a clear game plan and have every presentation fit in as a puzzle piece to the larger picture.
Remember, message is key. The more effective you are at getting your message across in clear, concise, relevant manner, the more effective your event is going to be for your audience.
Your audience is not going to remember some of the more expensive things; lighting grids, custom opening videos, etc. They SHOULD remember your message.
- Make sure your message is clear and concise.
- Stick to a minimal number of key message points
- Add in stories, examples, interaction—and lay off the PowerPoint in presentations.
Sure, all these things seem basic, but they’re still the most important elements in producing an extremely effective event—and one that need not break the bank.