10 Tips for Hosting a Successful Business Event


Have you been toying with the idea of hosting an event for your business but aren’t sure where exactly to start? It sounds like a fun idea and a nice way to get some buzz built up around your business and you’re excited to jump in, but you’re not sure where to start, how to plan, or what type of event to go with.

Today, we’re going to work through the process of planning for a successful event. We’ll look at those very questions you were unsure about. Event planning is no small task, but it can be a great way to bring in some new faces and to get people excited about what you have to offer.

#1 Target your audience


The first step — before you do anything else — should be to clearly define who your target audience is. From this all the other decisions will fall into place in terms of format, content, prices, location etc. This structured approach will also help you to stay focused on achieving specific goals and not allowing the scope to become too broad or watered down. A good way to find your target audience is Facebook Audience Insight.

#2 Location


Location is key to throwing a successful business event. Think about the theme of your event, the vibe you want to create, and what type of location will best support it. Do you want the event to feel more like a cocktail hour (bar), or a serious meeting (coworking space or conference room)?

#3 Set a Goal


What is it you want to accomplish with your event? It is just to get some new customers acquainted with your business? Are you trying to get some press coverage? Encourage business during slow times? Setting your goal allows you to have a clear objective when planning for your event. Special events are not always about casting a wide net—they can also help with problem-solving.

#4 Day and time


One strategy is to have the event on a typically slow day to bring in additional revenue during a slow sales period. Avoid planning it during your busy times because you will not be able to provide great service to both the attendees and your regular customers.

Also consider the schedule of your target audience and select a day/time that will be convenient for them. For example, lunchtime and after work is a popular time for targeting professionals while weekday mornings may work for targeting parents with young children.

#5 Speaker


The first step to attracting speakers is to find a topic based on what your audience is interested in. It will be much easier to attract speakers once you have a concrete topic or theme in mind because it helps them envision their role in your event. Collect speaker submissions and then search your network to see if you know anyone in common. Getting a personal introduction from a mutual contact can go a long way.

#6 Logistic


Do you need to bring in more chairs for eating or watching a performance? If it is outdoors, do you need to provide portable toilets or are restrooms conveniently located? If appropriate, be sure to decorate your business with tasteful and festive decorations that fit the theme of the event.

#7 Marketing


Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are very effective in raising awareness and generating excitement about events. Post about the events once a week, and more frequently during the week of the events. Engage followers by, for example, asking them what they are most excited about in attending the events.

Communities. Tap into established and devoted communities like Boy Scouts, hiking groups, Meetup groups, whiteblaze, and backpackinglight. Ideally, find a person who is respected within the community who can be the event champion—their efforts will be more efficient and effective than those of a newcomer.

#8 Excellent Service


During the event, make sure that you provide excellent customer service and effectively showcase your products or services. By serving your world-famous cheesecake or offering your best-selling chair massages, attendees get a taste of what you offer without feeling like it’s a thinly veiled sales pitch. Make sure that you have enough staff working to give each customer stellar service. Be available to assist the guests who seem interested in your product, but the no-pressure atmosphere is key to motivating them to come back next time.

#9 Gather contact information and follow up


One of the keys to turning a large event turnout into increased business is to gather contact information and keep in touch with the attendees afterwards. You can add them to your newsletter, send a Friend Request on Facebook or call them to personally invite them to an upcoming sale. Just be sure to stay on the conservative side of the fine line between spamming people and communicating.

#10 Measure


It is important to track the number of attendees who turned into customers to gauge the success of the event. To get feedback, you can talk to customers during the event or send out a survey afterwards. Another strategy is to give special coupons to attendees and then track how many are redeemed to determine the percentage of people who returned to your business after the event.

Overall, hosting an event at your business can be a great learning experience. Not only will you gain knowledge about your business, but you’ll learn more about your customers, too. There are always ups and downs to any event—you’re not alone in that. But with proper planning, a clear objective, and a little bit of help, an event can be a great way to expand your business’s reach. Keep in mind: Every event has its pros and cons.

What kinds of events would you like to see hosted at KOI? Let us know!

7 Tips How to Turn Boring Meetings into Productive Meetings

Is it the same old, starting with complaints and ending with more work?


Are you tired of the weekly Monday morning meeting? Meetings become ineffective when they combine different types of discussions, because we aren’t good at changing the pace or tenor of a conversation once it starts. Make things easier by splitting discussions into categories.

If this sounds like your staff meeting, it’s probably time to shake things up. Meetings won’t be boring and unproductive if you incorporate a little imagination and some planning.

Here are 7 tips to turn boring meetings into productive meetings.



Sharing the purpose of the meeting and agenda ahead of time so everyone is on the same page. People want to know what to expect in advance. Don't call meetings unless they are necessary; when they are, let people know what your meeting is about by circulating the agenda at least three days in advance.

Then show up on time, keep to the agenda time limits, follow up on responsibilities, and watch your popularity index climb! The important thing to remember is keep it simple. You don’t need to create a full-blown dissertation for your agenda. Simplicity wins.

#Start with something different


Start off with an inspirational quote or story, or a passage from a best selling business book. Dedicate a different person each week to start the meeting with their own spin, or lay out a topic for discussion that will bend their minds in directions other than work.

Inform – Let the participants know the purpose of the meeting and the product to be produced.
Excite – Explain the benefits of the meeting and why this meeting should be important to them.
Empower – Describe the role they will play or the authority that has been given to them.
Involve – Get them involved immediately through an engagement question that furthers the meeting purpose.

#Set a friendly tone


Your main goal at the meeting venue is to get the team’s attention and encourage their contribution to the agenda. To achieve this, create a comfortable environment right away. Casual conversations before the meeting starts are great for creating comfort. Pre-meeting chats offer a window into other aspects of the lives of your staff. The conversations are also perfect icebreakers that let the team slip comfortably into idea-contribution mode. Handled well, they will turn a stressed, tongue-tied team into a free flowing forum of smart ideas.

#Keep it simple


Don’t let the meeting digress into a complaint session. Set the standard of positivity at your first meeting and make it a rule for all meetings. If there is a problem, look at solving it with a team approach, concentrating on the next step of solving it rather than complaining about the problem itself.

#Make each person responsible for input


Make each person responsible for some contribution to the meeting, whether it’s their department report, an anecdote or a unique or innovative idea. That will make them feel more integrated into the team. Rather than being talked “at,” they can add their own important information to the discussion.

#Stay on Schedule


Set timers. Even a countdown clock visible to everyone is good. When people know their time is limited to accomplish something, they’ll chime in more quickly. Ideally, meetings are shorter than ninety minutes, because that is the ideal amount of time that the mind can effectively focus on a subject before needing a break. If your meeting needs to be longer than ninety minutes, then you have to schedule a break.

#End with action!


Toward the end of your meeting, briefly list the action steps that need to take place to move the company or your team forward. Remind everyone where the company is headed--the big picture. End it with a genuine smile and enthusiasm for the future.

A good meeting is a bit of an art form, so give yourself some time to figure out the flow. Things may not go perfectly the first time, but there’s always room for improvement if you put effort into making it work.