Hosting special events is a great way to boost your business – both internally and externally. Special events can produce a wide range of positive effects, including motivating and rewarding employees, gaining new customers, increasing brand exposure, and showcasing what your business has to offer.
For companies of all shapes and sizes, hosting such events provides a tangible business benefit. Here, Ofer Yatziv of special events experts Better Venues shares some insights on how to run special events effectively.
What are special events?
Well, I guess the clue is in the name. Special events are not run-of-the-mill functions. They’ve got bite. They’re grand openings, big exhibits, multi-media displays, gala dinners, music events, and more. If it’s big, sassy, glamorous, and just that little bit different, then it’s probably a special event. According to the International Special Events Society, worldwide spending on special events now tops $500 billion a year.
Why run special events?
Special events are used for three main reasons:
- Public relations
- Community and charitable causes
- Corporate team building
And, generally speaking, they’re designed to:
- Launch or promote a product, showcase it to the world, and gain publicity.
- Raise awareness about a charitable cause or community event.
- Make money – special events can be used to raise funds in the short and long term.
- Improve morale and wellbeing – special events can easily be team-building days and corporate away days, designed to invigorate your team’s attitude.
Here are the three top tips for hosting a special event:
1. Don’t do a special event if it isn’t a special event
Ever been to a special event that, when you got there, actually wasn’t all that special? I have. Special events should not be done just for the sake of doing them. And they shouldn’t be something small and ordinary dressed up as something big and important. People will see straight through it. The value of a special event lies in its rarity. Only run a special event when you’ve really got something to shout about or have an issue you desperately want to press.
2. A special event calls for a special venue
In my experience, the venue is what makes up 90% of a special event’s success. If the venue is poor or, perhaps more pertinently, not right for the occasion, then don’t be surprised if it fails. Special events call for remarkable venues, so don’t plump for the community hall down the road (unless, of course, you have a good feeling about it – there’s nothing wrong with community halls in the right setting).
Depending on your event, remember that there are historic buildings, listed buildings, contemporary corporate venues, and lots more at your disposal.
3. Special events don’t have to be expensive
I’ve been talking about glitz and glamour but, believe me, special events don’t have to be expensive. While the biggest outlay will almost certainly be venue hire, this itself needn’t be too costly. There are plenty of exciting venues for hire within reasonable rates.
You may also want to provide food and drink for your guests, and catering costs can add up – but there are ways to keep them low. For instance, a few impressive canapés can feel more “special” than a bog-standard buffet. Really, the investment you need to put in is not from a financial perspective. It’s from a thinking perspective. Plan it right, market it well (you can do a lot of this for free), invite the right people, call on friends and family for help, and your special event won’t break the bank. But it’ll still do a great job.
Ofer Yatziv is sales and marketing manager at Better Venues. An events expert, he has over 15 years’ experience in the events industry and his articles have been featured in Talk Business, We Are The City and Hospitality & Events North amongst others.