How To Host An Award Winning Event
by Sue Bradley
Distributors are probably going to ask one of two questions at your next event: 1. “When is this meeting finally going to be over? I want to go to the pool.” 2. “I can’t believe the meeting is over already! I can’t wait to get home and share this with my downline. They should have been here!!!” So the two questions you as a corporate leader needs to ask is: why is there such a vast difference in attitudes about events, and more importantly, what can you do to make sure your distributors have only the most positive responses?
I have seen events where people are so energized that I was literally lifted off the floor by their excitement. Everyone is happy, motivated, and enthusiastic. I have also seen events where people are complaining about the size of their hotel rooms, the food in the restaurants and the lack of HBO on their television sets.
The successful event could have been held in a school cafeteria, for all the distributors cared about was the vision they received and how quickly they could go out and get it for themselves. The unsuccessful event was held in a beautiful hotel, but the focus was on what was missing. They could not blame the company, because they did not know what they didn’t have. They only knew something was wrong.
Any seasoned pro and will tell you how critical events are to this industry. The “why” is simple: It is vital that your representatives come together often. They need validation that they have made the right choice and they need to be energized by what your company has to offer. They need to see that others are successful so they can get the motivation they need to set higher goals. They need training in your products and services and the tools and instruction on how to use them. And they need to see you there recognizing and appreciating everything they are doing to help improve their lives and grow your company.
The how is a little more difficult. How do we make this event exciting, motivating, validating and energizing? How do we make sure that our representatives leave with the tools, training and ability to grow their business? How can we justify the expense of an event? How do we get people to attend? How much do we charge? For more than a decade, I’ve helped corporate leaders orchestrate events that have made their distributors leave vibrating with enthusiasm and counting the days until their next meeting, I think I can sum up the answers to all of these questions into these five cornerstones of event success.
1. Make Your Theme Stimulating. First decide what the main goals of your event are. Are you launching a new product line? Do you want to increase recruiting? Do you need to increase sales? Do your reps need training? Is it a combination of all of the above? Pick three to five main, specific goals for your event and stick with them. Incorporate them into a theme that will get your members excited about coming. Make it so much fun, educational and motivational, they just have to leave their homes or they feel like they will miss out on something big.
2. Plan For Every Contingency. Who was it that said “proper planning ensures success”? You cannot throw together an event and expect to get results. Take care of what can be anticipated and you will be able to handle the emergencies that always arise.
3. Share Your Plan Effectively. Let your field know what you plan. Train your employees in your goals and your methods of achieving them. Make sure that anyone that speaks with your field understands the importance of the event: when, where, why and how. Promote it everywhere: on your website, on a flyer in your packages, in your newsletter, on every phone call, on the “on hold” message, etc. Every point of contact is an opportunity to share your plan. Don’t waste any of them.
4. Execute With Detailed Precision. Get everyone in a leadership and support role involved. Then manage and orchestrate your event as if it were Oscar night. Have a punch list and timeline for everyone to follow, and check it frequently. If the details aren’t important to you, why should they be for your distributors? But don’t get so consumed with the details that you forget to be excited and radiate enthusiasm – it’s contagious.
5. Communicate Your Vision Clearly. Announce your goals, describe your plan and show your distributors what you want to accomplish and give them the ability to be a part of it. Show them how they can succeed. Celebrate their accomplishments and recognize all their achievements no matter how small. Because as the old saying goes: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.