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Why Your Corporate Events Suck

Corporate events can be the ultimate in content marketing for your firm or company. They enable you to connect with prospects directly and personally. When they work there’s nothing better. When they’re bad, they can hurt your firm, your brand and your reputation.

Herewith, based on over a decade of experience, are the reasons why your company’s events suck:

  1. They’re all about you. I get it. You’re spending time and money to produce an event and you want direct results. You want people to know about what you’re doing. But nobody wants to take time out of his or her day (especially if it’s an early morning or after work) to find out about your company. They can do that online. Your events have to be about something. They have to impart information people find useful.
  2. You pack the panel. Sure it’s easy to fill a panel with four people from your firm. And this relates to Reason #1. People didn’t come to hear your colleagues talk about the firm. Your colleagues are also very likely to share the same viewpoints.
  3. They’re boring. Successful events need to generate heat as well as light. There’s nothing more boring than a panel of people who agree with one another. Sure that might be informative, but it’s more interesting, not to mention entertaining, when people disagree. Strive to include diverse viewpoints.
  4. Powerpoints really suck. Once the powerpoint train leaves the station it never stops. That means that once a person begins a powerpoint present he or she can’t be stopped. If they feel the pressure to move more quickly, and people always over estimate how much time they have, they never toss out slides. They just go faster.
  5. You lose track of time. You know you’ve lost your audience when the phones come out. Well, the phones are always out, but you can tell when you’ve lost your audience. Always leave your audience wanting more. That’s why I keep the content portion of my event to an hour (for a single panel).  The feeling that you need to include everything leaves nothing for next time.

Events are really about show business. They’re about informing and entertaining people. By doing that you’ll bring attention to your company and generate leads. Everybody wants credit for putting on an event. “Hey look at us. We’re producing an event. We even have an open bar!” Well, if your audience is at all sophisticated. OK, if they’re breathing, they’ll know that your firm is sponsoring the event. Give them what they want and you’ll reap the credit and the rewards. Put them to sleep and you’ll never get them back.

What have you found to work (or not work) for you? I'd like to hear more about it. You can comment below or always reach me at gplatt@gothammediastrategies.com

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