This is the first in a series of blogs detailing how a virtual assistant can help you in certain areas of your business. The first one covers handling the administration of events and future ones will include helping to set up webinars, e-courses, podcasts and videos.
There are many ways that you can market your business; putting on workshops is a great way to raise your profile and credibility, and videos and podcasts are becoming increasingly popular too. However, you may not have the expertise or time to learn how to set these up yourself. So this series of blogs will show you how a virtual assistant can help you.
If you are someone who organises training events such as workshops or seminars, it can be easy to get bogged down in the details of organising the event rather than focusing on preparing the necessary materials. If this is the case, then here’s how a virtual assistant can help you organise events that your delegates will benefit from attending.
Bookings and payments. You can easily set up an online booking and payment system using applications such as Eventbrite. A virtual assistant can set up a booking page on Eventbrite and keep track of the number of attendees. If payments are being made by invoice, then the VA can raise and send out the invoices and chase up payment.
Event promotion. Eventbrite integrates with MailChimp so the virtual assistant can upload on to MailChimp the details of people who have booked in and then send out further emails about the event. They can also post a link to the booking page on your Twitter profile, and use the events feature on Facebook and LinkedIn to promote the event to your online connections.
Manage attendees/speakers. It can be time-consuming handling all the enquiries from attendees and speakers so let a virtual assistant do it for you. They can deal with any issues or enquiries via phone or email, as well as add a FAQs section on the booking page. A virtual assistant can also prepare and collate any materials such as agendas, name badges, goody bags etc, and manage equipment requirements for the speakers.
Liaise with venue. Ensuring that everything is set up properly at the venue is essential for the smooth running of any event. A virtual assistant can liaise with the venue to ensure that the room is set up correctly, all the necessary equipment is in place and working properly, there is sufficient catering, and there is a front desk to book in attendees if necessary.
Follow up after event. Once the event is finished, it’s essential to get feedback from the attendees as this is invaluable when planning future events. A virtual assistant can set up and send out a questionnaire, and collate feedback received. They can also email details from you about any future events that may be of interest to them.
So if you’re someone who organises workshops and seminars, then hire a virtual assistant to help you handle the administration so you can focus on ensuring that the delegates will gain valuable insights and learnings from the event.
If you want more tips and advice on how to manage an event, then download a copy of our free guide How to Plan a Successful Event. This guide is packed full of helpful advice including how to find out what a venue is really like, why it’s essential to get feedback and how to stop emergencies derailing your plans. Click on the link to download the guide >> How to Plan a Successful Event
If you’re organising an event, you know that it’s essential to have a plan in place from the very start. You can’t take any chances as a minor oversight could quickly turn into a major problem. So you’ll know that creating a successful event takes meticulous planning and many hours of hard work.
Depending on the size and nature of the event, there are many issues and activities that need to be dealt with.
As a start, here’s a list I’ve put together of the top 10 tips on how to create a successful event.
- Draw up a project schedule so that everybody involved knows what needs to be done, who’s doing it and by when. It is useful to plan in reverse, by starting at the event date and working backwards.
- Build a team. You can’t organise an event by yourself so create a great team of people who will help you. The less people have to multi-task and more they can focus on one job at a time, the less chance there is of something going wrong.
- Handle delegate enquiries promptly. Set up a dedicated phone or email address for delegates to send their details and any enquiries about the event, and ensure that this is monitored regularly.
- Make sure that everyone is aware of the budget for the event. Stay within budget by tracking all expenses on a spreadsheet, and keep a copy of all receipts and invoices.
- Get the timing right. Set a date so that you have plenty of time to plan and organise the event properly. Check that the day doesn’t clash with any other major events which might prevent delegates from attending.
- Have a contingency plan in place. Even if you have planned right down to the last detail, you cannot anticipate everything. Create a contingency plan during the early stages which will address any potential problems.
- Set up a database with all the delegates’ information, including arrival/departure times, transport pick-ups, accommodation and dietary requirements and any other special needs. Keep them informed of all timings so they can organise trains/flights accordingly.
- Visit the venue several times to get to know the layout and facilities. Check whether any signage is required to help direct attendees. Check and test any AV equipment.
- For large events, set up a reception desk to meet and greet delegates. It may also be useful to set up an area with a laptop and printer so support staff can provide admin assistance during the event.
- Follow up with attendees. It’s tempting to think that once the event is over, the job is done! But following up with attendees is key. Feedback forms are a great way to take away learnings from the event and what improvements can be made for the next one.
So now you know how to create a successful event. However, if you find that you are spending more time handling the administration rather than focusing on hosting the event, then we can help you. Our event administration services include liaising with attendees, speakers and venue, handling enquiries, preparing and distributing materials, managing the budget, and collating feedback as required. Call us on 0845 0181016 to find out more or enquire online.
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