How to Run Successful Events: Insights from Christi Yarnell
Events are instrumental in achieving business goals, but only if approached with a clear purpose. In a recent podcast episode, Christi Yarnell, an expert in the field, offered insights on how to host events that align with your goals and resonate with your audience.
Define Clear Objectives
One of the most significant issues businesses face is focusing on outdated or unrelated metrics. It’s essential to start by defining the purpose of your event. What do you hope to achieve? Once this is clear, you can design the event around this objective.
Christi emphasizes, “I can do great booths and design a booth and make sure that people come for the swag or whatever we have. But if we don’t measure anything out of that, why are we even really here?”
Metrics: A Deep Dive
Different events will have varied metrics. Monitoring these will show what strategies are working and which aren’t. It’s crucial to understand why certain measurements might change between events. A dip in badge scans, for example, could be due to a malfunctioning scanner or because a promotion failed to generate the anticipated traffic.
Gathering Feedback Effectively
Collecting feedback can be challenging. With growing concerns over privacy and an increasing reluctance to participate in surveys, how can businesses gather meaningful feedback?
Christi advocates for on-site surveys and polls, cautioning that timing is everything.
“People get home after an event, a conference, their mind is gone. They want to get back to their family and get back to their lives. So they may lose some of that feedback that you can use to make the event better next year.”
By gathering insights on-site, you are more likely to get relevant, actionable feedback.
The Evolution of Event Spaces
The world of events is bouncing back post-pandemic, with a heightened emphasis on immersive experiences and community building. The objective now is to offer attendees memorable experiences locally rather than extravagant overseas conferences.
“You have to give your guests something memorable, the attendees something memorable. So they return; they want to come back next year,” Christi advises.
Rethinking Traditional Event Programming
Breaking away from the usual keynote speakers and breakout sessions is challenging, but necessary. Christi recalled a Chamber of Commerce meeting where rapid-fire presentations without Q&A sessions were a hit. Such strategies can keep attendees engaged and offer a fresh perspective on event programming.
Events, when done right, can be powerful tools for businesses. By defining clear objectives, focusing on relevant metrics, gathering timely feedback, and continuously innovating, businesses can maximize the value they derive from their events. The key takeaway from Christi Yarnell’s advice is to always keep the attendee experience at the heart of every decision.