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7 Mistakes To Avoid During Your First Business Event

7 Mistakes To Avoid During Your First Business Event

Running your first business event can be inspiring and intimidating all at once.

Yet of course, while the chance of things “going wrong” is certainly present, there’s also a great chance of everything paying off.

If you take that attitude, you can avoid the doubt that often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Knowing what the possible mistakes you could make are, and how to counter them ahead of time, allows you to remain sure of your planning and focus on delivering the event you know you can.

After all, a business event is not just a show, but an interactive measure, be you contributing to your own major event or joining as a participant in a larger business expo.

With that in mind, here are seven mistakes to avoid during your first business event to help you prepare.

1. Underestimating Venue Preparations

It’s true that events don’t just appear out of the vacuum, they need to be curated and prepared in advance.

But logistics is an essential element of that.

When selecting the venue, your staff must have access to prepare the space, loading bays must be functional, and you need to have the chance to define your booth.

If you have presentations or stage shows, rehearsals or presentations in private can be a good place to start.

Make sure to pre-review the venue layout, any audio-visual connections you need, wifi capabilities, seating arrangements, and even catering possibilities depending on the event you’re running (a staff award show might be catered, for example), – all these small details require careful planning.

If you know how the event will run like clockwork, who will be where, and how the main fixtures of the event (like catered meals) will be delivered, you can relax so much more easily.

2. Vague Objectives & Outcomes

Every event should have well-defined objectives and success metrics spelt out from the start.

Are you just generating leads? What about building overall brand awareness?

Are you hoping to partake in quality networking?

All of that is great, but these are still quite vague goals.

A tangible goal might be allowing one thousand people or so to move through your demonstration booth, with at least fifty meaningful engagements, not to mention a signup goal.

Then, you get to enjoy the benefits of your other goals which may be passively recorded, like just being a presence at a local expo can make you more relevant.

Little plans like this often have the most positive impact, but only if you know what you hope to achieve.

Without clear goals locked in, your whole event direction and messaging can end up feeling scattered and unfocused.

Establishing precise objectives upfront ensures all the planning points back to them.

'7 Mistakes To Avoid During Your First Business Event

3. Avoiding Marketing The Event

It’s easy to think the mere presence of an event itself is enough to inspire people to come, especially if you tell people you’re going, and perhaps place an announcement on your website or in your email newsletter.

But it’s also true that marketing is more than just pointing attention to certain things.

It’s about generating excitement, convincing people to spend a day of their time here, even to pay for entry.

That might involve publishing media surrounding the event, giving people a long lead time to get their entrance and plans sorted, and being clear about what will be available.

Even if the venue is having a larger business convention you’re part of, it’s still important to market your presence there. Don’t just assume people will come.

The last thing you need is to realize only a dozen people have attended in a show you were supposed to host hundreds.

4. Limiting Staff Count

Having an inadequate number of undertrained event staff is a genuine recipe for chaos.

It’s easy to think that everyone at your event will behave, and they likely will, but having no chaperones, staff to assist you, or people to help direct will mean you have to do everything yourself.

That might work for a small booth, but if you’re hoping to sell, present, to network, you need more than one person.

Having staff handling check-in, giving directions, troubleshooting tech issues and providing any other assistance needed is an important priority, and it’s essential not to subvert it.

Basic issues like not having enough staff can completely undermine the experience for attendees.

5. Neglecting Security Protocols

Depending on the venue and event size, you may need professional security staff, clearly designated event officials with ID cards, bag check procedures and more.

Sometimes that might be provided by the venue itself hosting the event, but if this is entirely self-directed, it’s important to enlist a security company able to provide these measures for you.

Internally, plastic card printing can help you ensure every staff member is identified, and that anyone in the backstage areas without such a pass can be gently moved out of the building as appropriate.

The last thing you want is a safety incident derailing everything because security was an afterthought.

6. Failing To Engage Your Audience

Simply sitting behind a booth and hoping visitors come to see what you have on is a good place to start, but it’s hardly going to cause sparks, or even attract people to see what you have to show.

Hiring presenters for interactive sessions, digital presentations, product samples, or even a larger product reveal presentation, all of this can inspire audiences too.

You might even connect people at the same event with a hashtag or TikTok community movement.

That way you can inspire people from all angles and provide a sense of real occasion to the event.

It’s not easy to achieve this of course, and you can’t expect virality to make your event a massive success in moments, the process is certainly worth your time. 

7. Neglecting Follow-Ups & Genuine Thanks

Don’t just ghost everyone after the event ends. Having no follow-up plan is a missed opportunity, especially because if you put on a good show or event, attendees will feel inspired and connected to your brand.

As such, follow-up lets you nurture those new connections long-term.

You only need a simple approach – email check-ins, feedback surveys, connecting on social media, and maybe some hand-written thank-you notes can all make a huge difference and shows that you really appreciate those who came along.

Little gestures showing gratitude go a long way. After all, we’re never entitled to having people come and visit us, so any effort they make in doing so is a beautiful thing.

To conclude, a successful event is usually about what you choose not to do, not only how you choose to proceed.

In that space, you get to prevent many of the first-time rookie mistakes that event-holders fall into, and that in itself can give you a sense of pride and comfort.

However, don’t assume that unless you hit the event out of the park on every front you’ve failed.

A good event often requires you to roll with the punches, be you dealing with an event employee who has called in sick or can’t make it in, or more attendance than you had anticipated.

One of the best things you can do is take what you learn to heart and try to replicate that at your next show.

However, if mistakes do happen, don’t think they determine your brand’s success forever.

Worst issues have happened to larger businesses than yours, and they’ve managed to shake off those issues. We wish you the best of luck in your business approach.

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