Moving from one off events to a larger programme? Read this first.
You’ve run some standalone events and they’ve gone really well – so why not do some more?
But wait – before you turn your one off conference, meeting, symposium or show presence into a larger programme of events, there’s a few things you might want to think about.
The beauty of a carefully planned global event programme is that with some thought, you can enjoy economies of scale not just on your costs, but also on your environmental impact. Here’s how.
1. Design for the whole programme
When you brief your design partner, always provide the context of the whole programme. Locations, timings, audiences: every detail helps your chosen partner take a holistic view of the entire schedule, and provide a consistent brand experience across every single event.
Our designers are experts in creating exciting brand experiences using modular stands, with collateral that can be reused or adapted for each location, saving you huge amounts in print and transport costs. For example, printing visuals double-sided means you can use them in two languages or to display two different products. Similarly, the modular stand kits we recommend can be assembled in multiple different ways depending on each event’s needs. We spend months researching and testing different modular systems, both physically and on our computer design systems, before choosing the best one for us and our customers.
2. Think logistically
How many miles does your event kit travel every year, and how many of those were actually necessary?
Each extra mile creates costs for you and the environment for no real benefit. With a carefully co-ordinated plan for the whole year, you can take advantage of storage around the world to help reduce these costs. We own warehouses in the USA and UK, and partner with others in the Far East, to be able to cut the number of miles to a minimum.
And if you have enough time between events, consider road, rail or even sea freight to avoid clocking up air miles unnecessarily.
3. Global events, global staff
On a busy international events programme, it doesn’t make sense to use the same stand staff in each location.
Quite apart from the travel implications, local markets will need staff who can speak the language or who are familiar with the culture. Having said that, it’s important to ensure a consistent brand experience every time, and that’s where a staff training programme can help. This could be just a handbook for stand staff for simple events, all the way to a training session for each market for the more complex or involved schedules.
4. Different markets, different cultures
Whether you’re opening up new markets or just attending international events, it’s worth remembering that every location is different, so you’ll need to make sure you can adapt your presence to suit.
This might simply involve an awareness of the local culture, for example when training staff in etiquette, choosing colours for the stand, or planning catering. But for our clients in highly regulated industries, it can be very complex. As an example, 87 countries currently have varying, mandatory compliance regulations on transparency and reporting for medical meetings such as the USA’s ‘Sunshine Act’.
Similarly, different countries or even states may have different labour laws, which could affect the build and take down phases of your event, or how many staff you require.
5. Reporting and Measurement
Finally, before you embark on your programme, spend some time considering how you will assess its success.
As well as objectives for each individual event, it’s often useful to think about what you want the entire programme to achieve, so you can work out what you need to measure. Do you want to report on each event as it happens so as to inform the next, or accumulate data over the course of the programme to do an annual evaluation?
Whatever timescales you choose, we would always recommend measuring the same aspects of each event so you have a basis for comparison. Many forms of measurement can be built into the stand design, such as cameras for footfall or emotion recognition, or registration stations for visitors to log their details.
Our clients tend to find that trading up from single events to a larger programme is a challenge, but with careful planning, can also create significant benefits. Working with a trusted partner who can consider your whole programme from start to finish is a must – we’re always happy to have a chat if you need any further help.