Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson has built his success running and managing 400+ different companies — all without having a college education. In his latest book, "Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You in Business School", he spells out 18 of his best business success tips. 

Today's lets examine a compulation of 6 of those tips — applied to  the event meeting services industry. Here they are: 

#1 You can't run a business without taking risks

Take a hard look at your meetings. Have you changed with the times? Do you have a pulse on what attendees need and want? Most meeting professionals I know are pretty adverse to change. Their adage is: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." However, that doesn't work in today's world. You need to take risks with your meetings and events. Which leads to the next tip:

#2 When it comes to making mistakes, bounce back, don't fall down. 

If you take a risk and it doesn't work, learn from it. Don't assume it was a terrible decision. One of the ways to keep a pulse on your attendee's satisfaction level with the meeting is to conduct polling with wireless Audience Response Systems. If corrections need to be made, you can do so based on attendee feedback. 

#3 The first impression is everything. So is the second. 

There is no doubt that it is important to make a great first impression with the attendee. Greeting them warmly when they arrive at your conference is very important but keeping that attention up during the entire conference and year-after-year, should also be your focus. 

#4 Be visible. 

Drive visibility before, during and after the meeting. Creating a digital strategy of engagement that can be carried throughout the event and after, will be one of the keys to your success. Having all of your staff and volunteers highly visible and identifiable through nametags and/or corporate logoed clothing will help attendees identify who to go to when they have a problem or question. If you rent iPads for your event, you can create online communities to share questions and comments. 

#5 Define your brand. 

Are you trying to be all things to all attendees? If you are, perhaps that is why your attendance is slipping at your meetings and events. Hone in on your targeted attendees and plan your event accordingly. Your speakers and content will be much richer and deeper. 

#6 Seek a second opinion. Seek a third. 

Before making a decision about a destination, venue, or speaker, seek the advice of other meeting planners. There are a variety of ways to reach out to them, but here are just a few suggestions:

  • Ask for recommendations on Twitter or LinkedIn groups you belong to,
  • Read the venue ratings on TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, or AAA. 
  • Contact professional organizations, such as MPI, PCMA, or NSA. 
  • Send out an email blast to other meeting planners asking for their help. 

Are you event planning in California? Get in touch with AV Event Solutions, a Los Angeles based organization that serves the AV and Wi-Fi needs of the entire state. Reach out to them today!