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Let’s get this party started! The beginner’s guide to hosting a startup business event

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Let’s be honest here: hosting a startup event is not easy.

Throwing a fantastic startup bash is certainly a great way to announce the presence of your business to the world, but packing a room full of people when your business is still in the early stages of development can be a challenge.

So how can you make sure your startup event is memorable for all the right reasons? Here are a few tips to help…

1. Understand why your startup needs to host an event

Hosting a startup event with the vague notion of ‘getting your name out there’ is not necessarily the route to success. To get the best results, you need to think about why you want to host an event and what you want to get out of it. There are lots of different reasons for hosting an event, including:

  • To generate leads
  • To look for partners
  • To promote a new product or service
  • To attract investment
  • To build an email list

Determining the goal of your event will allow you to gear proceedings towards that objective and give your startup an invaluable early boost.

2. Research what has worked well (and not so well) previously

Often startup budgets are tight, so hiring an event planner isn’t really an option, but that isn’t necessarily as big of a problem as it initially sounds. Spend time researching similar events in your industry to see what has worked well and what needed improvement.

You’ll find articles, comments and photos on social media so you can get an idea of attendee feedback. Use what you find to inform your planning. There are also plenty of online event planning guides, produced by industry professionals, that will take you through every step of the process.

3. Think about how to host a business event to remember

Making an event memorable is all about attention to detail. When you have a room full of guests, the last thing they’ll expect is to be greeted by the business owner personally with their favourite drink. All it takes is to reach out to your guests generally on social media before and after the event to make that a reality.

Similarly, making sure you know every guest by name is a very small thing you can do to endear yourself to your guests and show the values that you and your business hold dear. Here are a few more tips to make your event more memorable.

4. Consider ways to keep audience engagement high

If you have a relatively small budget then rather than stretching that between lots of guests and delivering a forgettable experience, create a more intimate event with a smaller crowd. That will allow you to connect one-on-one with every single guest. When planning a small event, you need to focus more on keeping the content engaging and worry less about the look and feel of the event as a whole.

5. Take a moment to remind guests why they are there

One of the biggest mistakes many business owners make is not to remind their audience why they’re receiving all that lovely food and drink for free. You should not be afraid to take the opportunity to deliver an investment pitch or perform a live demo of your product or service.

You’ve provided all that hospitality so it’s critical to your business that you get something back, whether it’s new leads, a partner or pre-release sales. At the very least, ask your guests to follow you on your social channels so you can stay in touch.

6. Measure the impact of your business event

If this is your first business event then it’s essential you measure the impact it has so you know whether it’s worth hosting another one in the future. Following up after the event and asking for feedback is a simple but effective way to make sure every event you host is better than the last. Key performance indicators you should keep track of include things like:

  • Level of social media engagement
  • Number of qualified leads
  • Attendance rate
  • Cost per gained acquisition

There are also many other KPIs you can use to measure the success of your event.

Do you have some startup event planning tips of your own? Then please share your experience with our readers in the comments below.

Neil Levin from technology rental service Hire Intelligence who has years of expertise in providing and tailoring technology for a range of business meetings, conferences, events and more. With this experience, he knows how overwhelming organising a business event can be, which is why the decision was made to create a guide to event planning, offering first hand advice! The guide includes advice for choosing venues, staffing, catering, entertainment, photography, transport, cleaning, equipment and decorations.

Neil Levin
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