In my previous post “How to plan a company event without freaking out!” (if you didn’t read it click here ;)) I wrote about the most important things that you should consider if you want or if you have to plan an event for your company. In this new post I would like to focus on how to work on the AGENDA.
For sure, once you’ve decided how long the event is going to be, you should divide it into sessions. For instance, it’s not worth it to have just one session for the entire event looking like ten people having their speech one after another. You have to think about a different scheme, bear in mind that the audience must not get bored!
- Welcome greetings
It’s pretty obvious when you plan the agenda to put greetings first. It’s the way your company will open the event, welcoming the audience and giving a brief explanation about the topics which will be discussed.
You can entrust this role to the top management of your company (i.e. President, General Manager, Vice President etc…) or you can choose a moderator, a person who is not employed in the company but has some relations with it (i.e. Consultant, University Professor etc…).
- The main session
The main session depends on what the purpose of the event is. If you want to launch a product, if you want to celebrate a particular achievement, etc..
Whatever the goal is, you have to put this slot as the first bullet in the agenda, it’s the most important part of the event and you have to highlight it: prepare videos, effective contents, power point presentation with strong look and feel effect and make sure the speaker will be able to entertain the audience.
But most important be sure about what you want to communicate, the message you want to share with the audience. Try to find a communication strategy that will allow the speaker to create a state of real empathy with the public.
- Round tables
Do not get misled by the meaning, round table is a session based on a semi circle chair disposition on the stage. Usually those sessions are composed by speakers with different professional background, the purpose of their presence is to add food for thought.
For example, if you are an ICT company and you plan a round table about GDPR (not a very common topic during the last couple of days ;)) you’ll invite:
- A legal expert who can explain the GDPR legislation (an European legal expert will be the best);
- A supplier that can help companies to face GDPR issues (in this case one of your product manager colleague);
- Testimonials who want to talk about how you’ve helped them with the GDPR obligation presenting case studies;
- University professors who usually show results from researches about a certain topic, insights from the market and statistics.
- Corners or desks
Corners or desks are specific areas where guests can ask specific information about a service or a product. They are usually conceived with a desk, a monitor with a power point presentation that runs continuously and one or more company employees available to answer guests’ questions.
Try to give some advice to your colleagues in order to attract people at the desk, they don’t have to wait for questions instead they must start the conversation first. How? For example giving documentation like a product datasheet, a case study or showing a demo about how does the product work.
- Networking coffee break
Human beings cannot maintain concentration for more than two hours, that’s why you cannot pretend that your guests will remain sit, listening to people talking for 5 hours straight, so plan moments where the participants can talk to each other or can ask for information at the desks or corners.
- Social media
Be ready to write posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc… The main point is to tell what’s going on and to keep the attention high, you have to be smart and catch the most important and effective contents for every session and post them. If what you write is interesting you will for sure create engagement whatever is the social media you’ve used.
- Technical tests
Last but not least, ask speakers to give you in advance their power point presentation, videos, pictures that they would like to use during their speeches. The day before the event try every media device in order to avoid any possible bug, ask a colleague from IT department or the event location technical staff to help you. I can assure you that having technical problems in the middle of a presentation is a very unpleasant feeling.