The "B" Word and More!
Susie DiDonato brings great perspective to her position at VDA Productions as Sales Account Executive. Susie combines her theatrical background and event planning expertise to produce corporate meetings, themed environments, trade shows and special events for clientele around the world. Her experience has enabled her to come up with the following short list, providing some useful tips on Budgeting, Branding, and Marketing to help successfully plan your next event.
The "B" Word...Budget:
Contrary to popular belief, there really is no such thing as a bad budget; however, there is the trap of being unrealistic in your planning.
• Take the time to map out the important elements of your meeting and be sure to know inside and out what your attendees need and what you hope they take away from the event. From there, outline strategic game plans for achieving your goal and keep ALL of your vendors apprised of where you want to be.
• Don’t be afraid to outsource – you may think you’re spending less money if you do everything yourself, but don’t forget how your time matters ($) too. Work with your partners to develop a plan of who’s covering what bases and make sure they’re held accountable.
For most of our corporate clientele, branding plays a key role. Corporate logos, color schemes, graphics, etc., all contribute to the creative process in designing a 3D identity. When designing stage sets, it’s important to make sure your brand is defined. That said, I came up with a few tips to ensure your brand is present even if your budget is not!
• Start with the basics - use your corporate colors! It can oftentimes be more cost-effective to simply paint a podium, stage set wall, or screen surround to match your company’s color scheme than create dimensional logos or graphic backdrops.
• Make your larger, more expensive graphics, more generic to the company. That way, you’re able to reuse them at a later time.
• Go viral! Save the dollars from your plethora of printed publications and market your event on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other forms of social media.
• Get your fellow advocates / followers / current clients who plan to attend your event do the marketing leg work for you! Encourage your current attendees to spread the word about your educational topics, registration offers, etc.
• Once they’re there, get your attendees involved! Audience response systems, mobile / cell phone interactivity, and social media is way more effective in engaging your attendee-base than that branded mouse pad or stress ball.
I hope these tips help! If you have any questions or would like to start a conversation about your next event, please reach out to me at 617-628-1200 or via email at email@example.com
You can follow me on Twitter @susiedidonato for more tips and updates, and check out our VDA Facebook page for fun photos and project news.
I look forward to connecting with you!