28 Jun Organising Events – How A VA Can Help You
We don’t know about you, but we’ve really missed events over the last year and a half! Whether that’s a networking event or a big conference, many business owners didn’t realise just how much events played a key role in promoting their business. It was one of the most widely overlooked ways to get your business name out – and we know a lot of business owners who are very keen to host some events as soon as they are allowed to. That could be a networking event, a workshop, a seminar or even a conference. Events are a fantastic way to showcase your products or services, increase brand awareness and meet new prospective customers.
But a lot of business owners don’t bother putting on events for one simple reason. They’re hard. There are a lot of moving parts involved, and they take a lot of time and energy to put together. Especially now, with Covid restrictions to adhere to and make sure all of your suppliers and attendees are following the rules too!
But we’ll let you in on a secret. Behind every successful event is a VA who helped create it. A VA can work with you to come up with ideas, organise and manage the event from start to finish. To show you how, we’ve broken it down.
Before you get even think about the details of event planning, you’ve got some serious research to do. For one thing, you need to decide on the right venue for your event, research speakers (if you need them), any vendors you might need (like catering, flowers or stall-holders) and entertainment. You even need to make sure you pick the right day for your event, so that you’re not competing with anything else. A VA is the perfect time saver here, doing all of this research for you with just one brief. Once they’ve done the groundwork, they can present you with all of the relevant information for each option, helping you make the right decision for your event and follow through on it.
Bookings & Payments
VA’s are in their element when they can help you deal with bookings, payments and all of those niggling little logistical bits that come with putting on an event. They can negotiate prices, book the venue and organise all the ancillaries you might need on the day. They can also set up events booking pages for your attendees, drive prospects to the page for bookings and manage payments from them, sending and chasing invoices on your behalf. They can even balance your expenses against your budget, making sure you don’t overspend on your event.
Your event could simultaneously the dog’s bollocks and better than sliced bread, but if you don’t tell anyone about it, no one will show up. That’s the thing with events, you need to promote them, and that’s a pretty time-consuming endeavour. But with a VA in your corner, you don’t need to worry about any of it. They can handle setting up your events pages, integrating things like Eventbrite with MailChimp so they can send out emails about the event to people who’ve booked. We can also post a link to the booking page in your Twitter profile, use the events features on Facebook and LinkedIn, and post regular updates to promote your event online.
Venue & Supplier Co-Ordination
With any event, no matter how big or small, there are a lot of moving pieces. Whether you’re running workshops and you need to make sure you have the right technology in place, or you’re putting on a conference and need to organise venues, catering, printing companies, and security. All of this organisation takes up a lot of time and effort, and can take away from your time running a business. But if you tell a VA what you want, they can go out on your behalf, source it and book it for you. Not only that, but they can keep in contact throughout planning to make sure it’s all going smoothly, and they can check in the day before to handle any last-minute problems.
On-The-Day Event Management
Then of course, after all that planning, you have the day itself. You can’t be running around trying to make sure the name badges are printed, the projectors are set up, that the caterers know what time to serve and your attendees know when to move into the main room. You need to be mixing with your attendees, learning, acting as host or presenting, depending on the event. But a VA can be ‘another you’ on the day, taking care of the details and logistical things you don’t have time to handle.
When your event is over, you might feel like going home and collapsing on the sofa, enjoying a drink and congratulating yourself on a job well done. And with a VA on hand, you can. Because the world doesn’t finish when the event is over. There’s still follow up to do, with the delegates who came, your speakers or your partners to see how the event went, continue any conversations you started with prospects and maybe even offer a promotion or discount. And if you’re run a conference, you might want to gather some feedback to help you improve in the future. A VA can do all of that for you, from creating and sending out surveys to making phone calls and sending emails. So you can put your feet up and wait for the results.
At Starfish Admin Services we specialise in providing outsourced VA services to businesses across the South, and event planning is one of our favourite things to do. From researching different venue and speaker options through to on-the-day event management, our team can make sure your event goes smoothly from start to finish. If you would like to know more about how we can help you with your next event, get in touch with us today.