Whatever job titles your audience holds, you’re committed to giving them a memorable event experience. And there’s no disputing that it can be harder than ever to do so these days, with all of the distractions available. There’s one group that’s often even harder to please than others – the executive suite. No matter how down to earth an executive is, their dedication to using time wisely and high standards can make it tough to attract them to an event and keep them coming back. But tough does not mean impossible. Here are nine things you can do to ensure the success of your executive event.
Top 3 Planning Tips:
- Time is money. Time is valuable to all of us. But the more responsibilities you have, the more seriously you take this aphorism. When planning your event, be sure to respect your executive audience’s time. Speakers need to educate not sell, entertainment has to be out of this world (to be worth getting off the phone and out of the room), and the event should flow effortlessly and efficiently from session to session.
- Ask for executive guidance during planning. Your content can be the deciding factor in an executive attending an event themselves or sending someone from their team in their stead. And who knows what content execs will find compelling better than their peers? As you develop your agenda, vet your focus, topics, and speakers with a group of trusted clients (your Customer Advisory Council, if you have one) in exchange for free admission to the event, a sneak peek at valuable content or other perks.
- Go for unique and top of the line. Your executive events are not the time to skimp on budget. Executives, especially from larger companies, are used to business or first class, fancy dinners, bigger salaries, and the finer things those entail. There’s no need to go to excess but choose quality in the venue, catering, décor, gifts, and experience. The higher level your audience, the harder it is to impress; providing a unique experience in any area can go a long way in making your event memorable.
Top 3 Tips to Drive Attendance:
- First impressions are important (and so are all the rest). Google common traits in successful executives and there are a few that show up on all the lists: they have a vision, they’re decisive, they multitask, they’re strategic. Add to that you know you have to book a meeting a month in advance (if you can even get one), unless it’s at their request, and you can see you have one tough nut to crack. Imagine this as your profile when you’re building your event website, email marketing efforts, social advertising, etc. Along the lines of ‘go unique and top of the line,’ invest in quality design and copywriting, get testimonials from executive peers, be succinct and clear – focus on your target audience to make your mark.
- Peer speakers and industry experts. Execs like to hear from peers who can share their experiences, both good and bad, and the lessons they learned from them. Engage the speaking services of your executives, partner executives, popular industry executives and finally other industry experts like analysts and well-known consultants or writers.
- Big picture, forward-thinking content. Executives are looking for innovative insights and new strategic ideas, along with ways to solve their business challenges. Be sure to coach speakers in this direction and vet content to weed out any sales content. While partner or sponsor speakers can give a very quick introduction to their product or services if they insist, it should be a condition of speaking that it’s no more than a minute or two. Executives are extremely sensitive to being pitched, and your speakers will get much farther by intelligently speaking with networking follow-up than by giving a hard-sell as part of their presentation.
Top 3 On-site Tips
- Provide white glove treatment. Treat your executive audience to an event designed for their comfort. Provide automated check-in with attendants standing by. Show flow through the venue should be easy with clear signage and clearly marked staff or automated kiosks throughout the venue to help attendees. Dedicated staff with the personality for it should be assigned to managing speakers. Your goal is not to make attendees feel as if they’re being waited on hand and foot; rather experience the entire event without a single moment’s frustration.
- Allow adequate time for networking. You’ve got a group of industry execs together in one area who may all only see each other one or two times a year. They see tremendous value in catching up with each other, and those positive vibes transfer to your event because you brought them together.
- Let some personality shine through. Yes, this is about your audience, and 99% of what you do should be focused on them. But don’t forget your brand. After all, there’s a reason you’re doing this event. Your brand and personality should subtly underline everything you do. And a word of advice – use your most charming and eloquent executive speakers; they’re amazing brand ambassadors for your company.
Executive Events Services – Overview
AVT Productions designs Executive Event experiences for companies including Cisco, Nasdaq, and Facebook.
We work with event leaders like you to:
- Find unique venues and conduct evaluation and selection based on event objectives
- Source and manage caterers and other event vendors
- Bring your theme to life through stage, light, and sound design and production
- Design a seamless guest flow
- Manage the speaker stage experience
- Travel with you globally and provide:
- Executive production & show-calling
- Technical direction and oversight
- On-site management of Audio/Video labor and equipment
And whatever else your unique experience requires! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, by chat below, or give us a call at 408-748-8548 to talk about your needs.