Whether you’re aiming to plan a huge event like Engage Prague or a small webinar, you need to think ahead. We really liked what Socialbakers created with Engage Prague 2015 and to inspire we decided to interview the masterminds themselves!
What do you start with when planning an event? And how long before each event do you start planning?
With the smaller conferences, we usually start planning 3 to 6 months before each event. It all depends on the size and location. In some regions, where we have bigger teams and have done events there before, it’s easier to plan. When it comes to our biggest Engage conference, Engage Prague, right now we are already planning the one for May 2016. We usually look for speakers and the right venue at first. Once these are secured, we start with the communication.
When thinking of creative parts of events such as Engage Prague 2015, how do you come up with activities, fun surprises, or twitter related competitions?
It’s mostly teamwork. We usually come up with ideas during meetings, or we talk about ideas we’ve seen somewhere and how we could implement something similar into our events. Sometimes it will also come from our CEO, Jan Rezab, who’s great at thinking of really big and unconventional ideas, which we (try to) turn into reality.
The Engage events are growing more and more popular. What do you find most challenging when organizing such an event as Engage Prague 2015?
With Engage Prague 2015, the biggest challenge was to convince people to come from abroad. With that said, we also used the location to our advantage because it allowed people from around the world to travel and experience a new city. As the Engage brand grew stronger, we were able to secure really good names and brands as speakers, and that helped a lot. The production itself was another huge challenge as we’d never before done a 3-day event for 1000 people.
Finding available (and fun) speakers like John Sculley or Lars Silberbauer Andersen is not always easy. How do you decide who to partner with, invite to speak, and convince to be apart of your event?
It’s usually our CEO, who approaches people he has met or seen speaking at events he goes to. Then we look among our clients, and since we have almost 3000 of them, we always find many with a good story to tell, even if they’re not big brands like Lego or Adidas. We are lucky enough that at this point we no longer need to do much convincing to get people to come. Our position now is much different than it was in 2012 when we held our first Engage conference.
We got a chance to be at the Engage Prague 2015 main event and we noticed that most people already knew each other from the workshops. How do you tackle the problem of those that weren’t able to be there for workshops and have limited time to network and get to know other marketers?
This year we organized an opening party the night before the main conference, because we knew that 99% of our attendees would already be in Prague. They had a chance to go out and mingle with each other. But this is always a slight issue, because there is often just not enough time to network during conferences. For next year, we will also facilitate more networking with the use of our event app.
Engage Prague was a smash hit, do you get a lot of feedback after such events? If so, does it become a part of your strategy for future events?
Yes, we received a tremendous amount of glowing feedback after Engage Prague. After every event, we go through all the feedback to learn what we can do better the next time. It’s very valuable for us to learn what people think. The event is for them after all.
Speaking of the future, are there any plans you can reveal for Engage Prague 2016? Also, thinking of how fast growing Engage is, where do you see it going in 2020?
We already have the dates for Engage Prague 2016: May 11-13. The plan is to make it even bigger and better. We will use the same format, so it will be two days of workshops and a one day conference. Our goal is to have 1500-2000 people in Prague. We hope to announce the first high profile speakers very soon. And there’s this joke within the company that by 2020, we will have the conference in the O2 Arena, which is the biggest venue in Prague (and probably in the Czech Republic as well).
Finally, is there any advice you can give our readers on how to promote an event? Maybe you have a favorite social media platform or tactic that never fails?
It all comes down to having great content that your audience really wants to hear. And when you engage people before the event, they will promote the event for you.
We’d like to thank Klara Honzikova from Socialbakers for taking the time to answer our questions and for inspiring our readers! Check out Socialbakers and look out for Engage Prague 2016. Are you planning any big events in your business? Maybe you’re getting ready for a webinar? Let us know what your planning process is like, we’d love to also hear your thoughts about marketing events that changed your outlook on your work. Share in the comments below.
Image sources: Engage Prague 2015
Planning an Event: Exclusive Interview With Socialbakers is a post from: GetResponse Blog – Email Marketing Tips
The post Planning an Event: Exclusive Interview With Socialbakers appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Email Marketing Tips.
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