Entry #1: The EventSmarter Approach

October Entry 1 TCG Events Pic

No marketer should be complacent about branding. Even the most stable, long-lived brands can become irrelevant—and quickly. To remain vital, a brand must have a consistent flow of audience insight, gained through multiple touchpoints. One of the most effective: the live event. Face-to-face meetings and events should be an anchor in any brand’s marketing mix. When done right, live events are a successful technique for marketing, employee engagement, and networking.

The problem is perception: So many organizations settle for outdated, unimaginative, and, quite frankly, boring events… that the reputation of live events has suffered.

What’s needed is a guest-centric mindset when approaching event design. At TCG Events, we call this the EventSmarterTM approach. Every moment of a live event should be carefully examined from the guest experience point of view. Start at the moment of arrival and envision yourself as a guest. Your brand is “on stage” every step of the way.

  • There are no “small” details. Even the most basic processes should be reviewed during the planning of an event. Checking people in sounds simple enough, but few get it right. A guest arrives and stands in a long line only to find her name missing from the list. She is asked to handwrite her name on a tag, setting her apart from 98% of the other guests with typed nametags. Not exactly the best first impression. Next she goes to the bar, where she also stands in a long line, and then it’s the valet—most of her night has been spent waiting in line.
  • Your invitation is the first impression, make it count. Companies spend enormous amounts of money and resources on print ads, marketing, and websites. Many marketers forget the invitation is not only a marketing piece for the event, but also an important representation of the brand. Receiving an invitation is personal. The person who opens that envelope can be excited, annoyed, or apathetic. The invitation must be vetted for misspelled names, and the personal touch is demonstrated by invitations that are hand-stamped and are interesting enough to get through a gatekeeper. Part of that is the conveyance of the brand’s present and future, not its past. Keep it fresh!
  • Invest in the guest experience. At the event itself, invest your budget where it counts: the guest experience. Depending on the size of the event, the traditional stage at the front of the room arrangement can leave some tables feeling like they’re in Siberia. Consider placing the stage/podium in the center of the room, with surrounding screens overhead so everyone has a great view.

This approach will help you design a unique, resonant experience and your brand will leave the impression you want, long after the event is over.

Good luck!
Cassie Brown
TCG Events
1700 Camden RD STE 101
Charlotte, NC 28203
Tel: 704.376.1943
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About Dan Gallo

I'm a small business lifer, starting/running businesses since I sold seeds door-to-door as a kid in The Bronx. I've played guitar and enjoyed baseball since I was 5 (born a NY Yankees fan). Just prior to marrying Kim in 1983 I became a Christian. We have two sons; Daniel's a musician & social media expert with a smart, insightful sense of humor, and Adam who recently graduated from Brooklyn College double majoring in Creative Writing/Literature and Anthropology. Adam now works in the non-profit sector. Since 2002 one thing we love to do together is go on service/missions trips to Belize. We've collectively spent 60+ weeks in Belize with this missions organization http://twaw.org. I started my 1st company in January 1985, and been self-employed ever since. I sold my last company, Mentor Communications Group, in '04. After 2 years w/ the acquiring company I started The Allasso Group, LLC doing Small Business Consulting, Fund Raising/Capital Raise-up Campaigns, Sales Strategy, Outsourced Sales Agency work, & Digital Marketing Programs (Social Media, SEM, etc.) since April 2006. Notable projects: Hired as Small Business Advocate and Social Media Director for IBM's "Supplier-Connection" - Feb '11-Dec '13. Hired as COO to help turn-around late stage start-up software company myVRM. Jul12-Dec '13 Hired as CEO of CoupleWise.com, a Digital Health2.0 app, to write business plan, raise seed capital, & completely redesign and relaunch the app. Aug '16 I won a Finalist spot for MassChallenge UK's 2016 fall cohort in London from Sept thru Nov. Started Oct15 - Current. I enjoy helping turn-around struggling small businesses, and launching new business ventures. Feel free to contact me with opportunities.
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