All blogposts

Communication, the leitmotif of the event, from beginning to end by Fabian Vanhouche

16 August 2018
communication event

To make an event a success, the communication has to demonstrate its effectiveness and its sense of teasing. From «save the date» to the «satisfaction questionnaire», passing through interaction with the guests during the festivities, make sure you have unique communication!

 

How do you communicate clearly and effectively in order to make your event sexy, and generate adhesion of the target public from beginning to end? For us, the response encompasses 4 aspects:

  • effective logistics;
  • a coherent message;
  • follow-up of the guests - before, during, and after the event;
  • a unique concept, articulated from the first invitation to the after-event.

 

The logistics of communications: a well-oiled mechanism

Communicating with the guests begins with a «save the date». A second invitation then directs them to the actual event registration site. At VO, we are convinced that this channel is the most effective tool for doing the work of communication about the event.

The registration site can be transformed into a highly versatile platform, offering all the practical information. One can also publish on it quizzes that make it possible to personalize the experience of each guest given their indicated preferences (workshops, food, etc.). Collecting a maximum of information before the event is invaluable in terms of the logistics for E-Day. Finally, the registration site can also be transformed after the event into a space for hosting videos, photos, and satisfaction questionnaires.

 

A coherent and teased message

On the content side, everything is possible for communicating about an event: video, audio, live invitations with actors (something VO has already done). In any case, carefully organizing a teasing effect is indispensable. Not revealing everything all at once builds interest to a crescendo and encourages adhesion. The Wecandance festival in Zeebrugge is a past master in this art of releasing its information in bits and pieces via video teasing.

 

Dialoguing with the guests during and after

The communication work continues during the event as well. E.g. through the installation of tactile terminals and screens that disseminate messages. The digital experience goes even further today, thanks to Event apps, mobile applications that one can personalise in accordance with the event, whether in terms of graphics or functionalities. They make it possible to remain in constant contact with the guests. To inform them that a particular workshop is starting in X minutes, to invite them to share their opinions about a given speaker, or to express their desires for the catering, as well as to order a taxi in a single click, or choose the next piece of music to be played in the hall. This kind of tool encourages interactivity with the participants and also makes it possible to intervene in real time during the event and adapt it along the way.

Another moment not to ignore with regard to communication: the after-event! Because after one event there will be others! To stay in contact, it’s always smart to propose to the guests an after-event in images (photos and videos) via the registration site which has been transformed for the occasion, to thank them warmly for their attendance, and to benefit from the occasion to gather their impressions via a satisfaction questionnaire. Invaluable feedback.

 

Don´t forget to try something new when you communicate

Let´s be clear: clients prefer effectiveness to creativity when it comes to communication peripheral to the event. But that doesn´t stop you from trying something new. This is especially true for B2B events, which are less oriented towards the general public or press. For example, corporate communication still too often neglects the Instagram, Facebook live, and Twitter approaches. At VO, these media form an intrinsic part of our thinking because our future events have to connect with today´s 20-30 year-olds. Something that gives us an incentive to progressively revise our codes, in both B2B and B2C. Like when we accompanied the Docks shopping district in its opening which consisted (amongst other things) of getting a large digital community that had been built up in advance to flock to the new shopping district on the evening of the event. Or in Namur, during a company’s team-building event for which we created a car-pooling platform. This «smart» dimension is another development that will no doubt make the communication codes evolve even further.