We’ve another guest blog from Siân Peak | Perception this week

Planning a business event, whether large or small, requires meticulous organisation, time management and research. All the makings of a great event planner. Though when it comes to hosting the event, being the perfect host doesn’t always come naturally.

If you’re hosting an event for the first time, Siân Peak outlines a few pointers, to help pave the way, to ensure that you keep cool under pressure and leave your guests impressed.

Set expectations carefully

Your delegates will only expect from you what you intend for them to. So don’t overpromise if you can’t deliver. It’s far better to hold a good event that attendees take a lot of value from, than a great event that lets the side down when it comes to delivering on expectations. Tell guests what they can expect to learn, who they can expect to meet or what they will take away with them… then ensure you deliver it.

Be aware of your body language

If you appear relaxed, in control and to be having a great time when you’re hosting a business event, your guests will be more inclined to follow suit. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you’re not concerned about the temperature of the coffee, your guests won’t be either. However, if there are aspects of the day you feel will disappoint attendees, seek the help of the venue team to fix it. It’s more impressive to appear to be a fixer than a settler.

Read your audience

Check in on your delegates throughout the event to gauge how they are finding it. Do they look bored? Ask them how it’s going for them. Do they appear overwhelmed? Offer to send over a summary of information after the event to prevent them having to record or remember everything they’ve learned. Read the signals, and ensure you acknowledge them with a suitable solution… even if it’s one you plan to fix at a later stage.

Stay relevant

Although you’ve planned to perfection everything you intend to say, show and demonstrate, don’t be afraid to deviate from the plan. If you find that your presentation style or content isn’t actually perfect for your audience… change it.

Your event may not be relevant to every single attendee, though if you work on the basis that your content is relevant to over 80%, this is a good benchmark. They crucial part for attendee is that they leave at the end of the day with something of value… an education, an idea, an understanding, an insight or an experience. Make it about what’s relevant to them… not what interests you.

Practice your presentation

For some, public speaking comes naturally, for others it takes a little work before you can take confidently to the stage!

Practice your presentation before the main event. Pay attention to the speed you are speaking at (we tend to speak more quickly when nervous), and the clarity of your voice.

Consider the questions you may be asked and think up a few key answers to these, so that you’ll appear confident when they arise.

Also prepare for any feedback which challenges your ideas. Being able to handle confrontation in a cool way is a trait of a well-prepared event host.

Dress to impress

Whilst you’ll want to ensure you’re comfortable, you also want to be seen as an expert. So dress as you… on a great day. If you tend to wear business dress, wear a sharp well-pressed suit. If you’re more casual, opt for something stylish yet understated.  You want to be remembered for your hosting skills… not for what you were wearing at the time.

If you’re hosting a business event and need a little help in finding the perfect venue, speak to the Perception team about the exclusive venues we represent.