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Planning a B2B Event

Apr 07 2017


If you’re thinking about hosting a B2B event but don’t quite know where to start, look no further. Follow this advice and you’ll be throwing the most tip-top soiree of the century, and all with minimal nail-biting.

Successful business events  benefit both the attendees and the hosts. They offer guests the chance to get stuck into some serious networking while also enjoying themselves. The company that hosts gets the opportunity to reinvent their brand to appear classy, fun, and capable.

However, to reap these benefits, it’s important to put the effort into the planning process. A dull or unorganised event may actually harm your business instead (no pressure then).

Luckily for you, choosing a venue is the least of your worries as The Boutique Workplace Company has numerous event spaces in London available for hire to create the perfect setting. Even the stuffiest of businessmen will be impressed.


All that’s left is for you to figure out the rest – and that’s what we’re here to help with. Here are our top tips for hosting a B2B event

1. Decide the purpose

While they may incidentally be a fun time, any B2B event worth its salt should have a purpose. Before you do anything else, pinpoint exactly what you’re hoping to achieve by hosting your event before you begin planning. 

Do you want to improve the reputation of your business? Create networking opportunities for your own business or facilitate networking for your guests? Encourage a partnership? Launch a new product? 

The purpose of your event will have ramifications on practically every other decision you make. You’ll want to consider a more open-plan venue, such as our Grays Inn Road venue, if you’re looking to maximise the mingling opportunities, for example. If you’re launching a new product or service, you’ll probably need somewhere with presentation space and technology.

2. Plan…a lot

With an objective settled on, you can move on to doing the initial stage of planning. Don’t skimp here, because it’s impossible to host a successful business event without some pretty thorough pre-thought. All details must be carefully considered such as the food and drink, the entertainment, the date, and of course, the venue.

At first, you can keep your planning relatively light. Aim to sketch out the outline of your event –you’ll have plenty of chance to fill in the detail at a later date. The main thing is to not let your lengthy to-do list send you into procrastination mode; the quicker you begin the planning process, the more you’ll thank yourself later.


3. Consider the guests

The scope of planning a big event can be overwhelming, but remember not to lose sight of the thing you should be thinking about the most your guests. Every facet of your day or night should be tailored to your attendees, so deciding who gets an invite to your event is a step that’s tied closely to your objectives.

Consider creating an ‘attendee persona’ that outlines some details about the people you want to turn up. Are they young professionals? Freelancers? Senior leaders in corporate businesses? Strong voices in a local minority community?

Also think about how you can contact them to send the invite, and what they would want from an event. These steps will make getting your event off the ground, firstly, and making it a success, secondly, much more achievable.  


4. Check the calendar

Until it actually takes place, an event is just a date on the calendar. That’s why it’s absolutely vital you pay the utmost attention to what date you pick. Ignoring the obvious, such as not picking the 25th December to host a product launch, there are a couple of other important considerations to make when picking your event’s date.

The most important is to have a peek at the industry calendar and make sure you’re not choosing to host your event on a day where it’ll clash or (dare we say it) be overshadowed by another occasion. You want to be sure to have as many attendees as possible so don’t tempt fate by trying to outcompete another event.

Also consider factors like how available your ideal attendee persona will be on the date you choose. If you’re looking to attract senior leaders who are typically 40+ and more likely to be parents, for instance, picking a date near the return to school in September might not be a great idea.

It’s absolutely vital you have a peek at the industry calendar and make sure your B2B event will not clash or (dare we say it) be overshadowed by another occasion. You want to be sure to have as many attendees as possible so don’t tempt fate by scheduling your event on the same date.

5. Details, details, details.

The right guests, the right date, and the right venue are the fundamental components of a good business event. But there’s much more involved if you want your event to be great. 

As Sophie Symons, Head of Events at TBWC explains, “Planning events for The Boutique Workplace Company couldn’t be more of a pleasure, but they all take careful planning from set-up to clean up. Details are key when planning events, so start with a checklist and try to list every aspect you want to be perfect before you start: I make lots of checklists and rely on my calendar for reminders, then consider the crucial elements of the event – For example, if they want to party, I’ll purchase more than enough alcohol, as it’s better to have some leftover for next time than explain to a dancefloor there’s no drinks left.”

The most important details to get right are the catering (is it necessary and, if so, what should you serve?), the drinks, the technology set-up required, the entertainment, and the logistics. When you have the basics out of the way, think about how you can fill in the framework of your event with show-stopping details. 

This might be something as simple as a photobooth or disposable cameras to hand out, or something much more involved like a product demonstration stand or live band.

6. Be creative!

Don’t feel like you need to put yourself in a box to be similar to other B2B events. Plenty of these events take place, so your attendees will be used to the basic formula. It’s great to put your own spin on things (while staying on brand) to make the event more exciting and memorable.

Remember, the more fun you have while planning, the more fun your guests are likely to have. Getting creative can involve picking a fun venue, such as our Curtain Road event space, coming up with a digital engagement strategy that will amplify your attendees’ experience., or taking an alternative approach to catering with a sushi-making workshop or hog roast.

7. At the Event

If you’ve chosen the right date and venue, then there’s little reason your ideal guests won’t be able to come to your B2B event. But they won’t know about it unless you tell them! That makes getting the invites right an important part of the business event planning process.

In the digital age, you don’t need to feel limited to simple postcard invites anymore. While they’re a great component of an invitation, most people keep themselves organised with the help of digital tools now anyway. Alternatives include a well-composed email or an event listing with RSVP on a social media platform. 

If you do decide to go the old-fashioned way, consider using a QR code to lead to a landing page on your website that has all the important details you couldn’t fit on the invite itself. Important things to include are the date, time, place, and dress code (if you have one!). Also, let your guests know if they’ll be fed, and whether there’s entertainment on the night. This is your chance to sell the experience and get people excited!

8. At the Event

We’re sorry to break it to you but the work isn’t over once the party begins. Make the effort to mingle, and welcome guests into the venue. Don’t get carried away on the drinks (even if you are trying to get your money’s worth) and stay focused on your objectives.

It’s also fantastic to capture your event with videos and photos to post over social media, or your website. People who couldn’t be there will see how successful the event was, and will definitely want to come to your next one. We are constantly updating our social pages to show-off how much fun we had at our most recent event and our event recap posts get people interested in attending something else in future.


9. The After-Party Follow-Up

The party doesn’t stop when the final guest has left the building. Sure, it’s a relief, but you mustn’t let all your effort go to waste. Get in touch with the people you met, chase up anyone who mentioned cool business opportunities, and thank all of your guests for coming.

The best time to get started on planning your next business event is now, Remember so what are you waiting for? Take a look at our event spaces across London today and get inspired by some of the settings you can make yours for the night. We can’t wait to have you 

What was the best business event in London you’ve ever attended and what made it great? Let us know @BoutiqueWorkCo

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