Once the lights are taken down and the stage is disassembled, it’s time to face the music. Every meeting & event producer will tell you that no matter how successful you may think the production went or how engaged the audience seemed to be, it always comes down to what the client has to say. It’s in these post-show meetings that you might hear a question you never thought you would hear: “Everything was perfect, but how do we top it next year?” The dust from the show you just wrapped has barely settled, and you are already given the paramount challenge to one-up yourself.
While many might assume that this question is a slap in the face because the client isn’t appreciating the hard work you just put in, it’s actually the best possible question you could receive!
This question proves two things:
- They are affirming that you did a great job.
- They want to work with you again.
So, with that, the real challenge begins. How do you improve on what was already perfect? What can you do better? How can you make it more efficient, more relatable, and more engaging? Although the answers to these questions may be unique to your company’s goals, there are still some universal truths that will help you as you go down this path. Here are four tips to ensure next year’s event is even better than the one before.
Communicate Clearly with Your Producers
Communicating your business goals with your production team is key to continuing a successful partnership. If you see a clear path to where you want your business to go a year from now or maybe two years from now, the agency you are working with needs to see where you’re going – don’t make them guess. Some businesses try to keep their cards too close to their chest, and as a result, that message is lost on your audience when it comes time for the big show. What you want your audience to walk away thinking and feeling should not be a grand secret hidden from your production team. Communicating these goals upfront will create a stronger, more effective partnership, and ultimately, a better and more thought-out meeting. It’s not about having more time to plan a show – it’s about exhibiting trust in your partners, so they know what to communicate.
Getting Feedback Is Key
Planning next year will be pointless without examining the data. It’s important to look at last year’s metrics and feedback from attendees to figure out what worked or didn’t work. Technology has never been more accessible and user-friendly, so it’s important to utilize event software to gather feedback, comments, and ratings from your audience. Asking important questions can sometimes be hard. Some business leaders or CEOs don’t want to hear what is being said (trust us, the audience isn’t just complaining about the color of the tie you wore on stage). In many ways, it seems easier to make business decisions without hearing these comments. However, you can’t be afraid of feedback if you want to improve and grow from last year’s show.
Objectively Look at Your Company
With everything that has shaped our world recently, your company should be in a transformation stage. That’s not an opinion or recommendation – to survive as a business going into 2022, you have to be evolving and implementing positive changes. The key to this is being open to the fact that this evolution will reveal flaws in your system. Admitting fault or acknowledging missteps is not a sign of weakness in the eyes of those who work in your company. In most cases, they are probably already aware of these cracks. It’s important to lead by example. Owning up to your mistakes and embracing your flaws is an important part of leadership. Acknowledging the need for change during your next meeting will show your audience that you are genuine and relatable, and it will help build trust and empower others. Presenting your company’s transformation in a positive light leads to the final tip…
Are You Willing to Raise the Bar?
Everyone loves the idea of disruption, but here’s the thing – the idea sounds more exciting than the work. You might hear this motto from self-help coaches or fitness trainers, but this same idea is applicable to business as well: nothing will change unless you are willing to change. We understand that your meeting or event last time was great. It may have been perfect, garnering applause from attendees and the CEO, alike. But you can’t top what you did last time if you do the same amount of work, present the same ideas, and deliver the same level of production. Your best shouldn’t be expected. Your best should feel impossible.
You top last year when you surprise yourself. As Nelson Mandela stated, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Are you wanting to elevate your next meeting or event for your audience?
Contact Chris Jobst
314.206.7804 or ChrisJ@switch.us