Well, with the Forum only a few months away the questions being asked by many of our clients have turned to the reality of their attendance at Maastricht and how to make the event a success. As the leading Risk Management event in Europe, the budgets are always under scrutiny with brokers, service suppliers and insurers alike looking to get the best return for their money - as well as the bragging rights! For those that are new to the Forum - or the more seasoned campaigner, here are a few thoughts that I'd like to share with you -
- Start early. In such a hotly contested market as the Forum, you cannot start too early to make sure that attendees know that you are going and to make the way to your stand and/or event. Don't rely on the 'we will build it and they will come principle' - that is too much of a risk.
- The communication methods. This market is all about the 'personal' approach - so whilst email seems to rule our lives now, don't forget the direct letter or invitation or even a personal call - as well as broadcasting your attendance via Linkedin. If you are holding an event the range of information you need will no doubt force the use of emails and microsites, but try to make them as engaging as possible - put some personality into it to make the draw of attending even greater as they will have many choices!
- Your stand. Apart from hitting the deadlines for the organisers - that will keep them happy and reduce the stress all around, think creatively about how to use the space. It isn't about simply throwing as much money at it as you can afford, but view your plans as if you were a delegate - does the stand look inviting? do I really want to read heaps of copy? what is that presentation saying? etc etc...and make sure that your people are engaged and looking to speak with the delegates! Time and again I see stands full of people from the company they are representing - talking amongst themselves and ignoring the people they are there to engage with!
- All on the same page. Take time before the event - perhaps on the opening day to get all of your team together and have a short chat about what the business wants to achieve from the event, what you expect of them and the key messages that they should push when talking to delegates. It helps to draw out the earlier key account management training again and to get everyone focused - 'time for your game-face'.
- Record and follow-up. Make sure that details of all of the conversations and contacts are kept, recorded and followed-up after the Forum. It always surprises me that people invest so much money into these types of events and yet they don't measure...afraid of the answers perhaps??
Some of the team went off to Maastricht again last week to prepare for the Forum and make sure that we have all of the bases covered for our clients.
If you have any other thoughts to make the Forum a success, please share them with us!
Martin Wiggins, Director
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