5 Tips for Planning Successful Smaller Events

When it comes to planning a remarkable event, size shouldn't be a factor

A successful event doesn't have to be a dramatic, large-scale affair. Small events can offer your guests myriad benefits, too, including increased engagement, easier communication and a relaxed environment that facilitates genuine networking.

Tip #1: Define Your Perfect Guest

Brainstorm with your team to define the target audience for your smaller, niche event. What do your ideal guests do? What are their interests, hobbies and passions? How can your event benefit them? A detailed list of these traits can help keep your event meaningful and focused.

By answering these questions, you can select an audience that will be more receptive to the intimate nature of your smaller event and more likely to participate in it. They'll be more open to developing a growing relationship with your team or business, and you'll be likelier to make more accurate decisions about important aspects of the meeting, such as format, price (if any), location and features.

Tip #2: Curate Your Community

Small events allow for more intimate networking and relationship-building. Not only will your guests be in close quarters, but they'll also be poised for conversations that build communities and lasting partnerships.

If you're showcasing or featuring a guest, use a smaller stage to foster a connection between that person and the audience. Focus on helping attendees form deeper relationships with their peers or influencers by encouraging them to discover something new about others. 

This is where your location can shine. A comfortable setting and seating structure encourage guests to socialize. Opt for family-style seating and keep the guest list short for a cozier feel. Focus on fostering an authentic sense of intimacy that feels natural and positive.

Tip #3: Reserve a Unique Venue

Creating an authentic event can be as simple as booking a cool new venue. Consider options with a special feel or look. Take advantage of funky or elegant hotel spaces by hunting for the best availability and deals at a local hotel. For example, Marriott Hotels' Double Up promotion lets participants in Asia Pacific earn double Marriott Rewards points once they book and arrive for an event at a participating Marriott Rewards hotel by March 31, 2018!

Tip #4: Excite with the "Extras"

A shorter guest list leaves more opportunity to use your budget. Depending on the format or content of your event, consider springing for additional delights to keep your audience entertained throughout the night. Hire a photographer, performer or guest speaker, or invest in extravagant scenery or luxury goody bags. Use information about your target audience to determine which extra features are worth the bigger bucks.

Tip #5: Take Advantage of Social Media

Keep a skilled social media team on staff to cover your event. Though this may not be necessary for every event in your industry, it's important to build a social media presence for your guests to engage in via hashtags, photos and videos. As your audience tweets their delight or questions, your team can encourage interaction by responding or documenting your event's best features.