Why your thought leadership campaign should include an event

Thought leadership campaigns can be synonymous with content marketing and often involve a lot of social-media visibility and large volumes of whitepapers, blog posts and other content. Adding a thought leadership event into your campaign can be a powerful addition as they allow you to show off your experts, test new ideas with live results, connect with your audience directly and produce ‘live’ and ‘trending’ content. So let’s look at the biggest opportunities your business can benefit from hosting a thought leadership event. 

 

Boost your brand 

 

Hosting an event is subtle, engaging and innovative marketing at its best. Rather than constantly trying to connect with your audience through social media campaigns and content, you’re aligning your brand with a positive and interactive experience that will remain front of mind. 

By making your thought leaders directly accessible to your audience, it’s a great chance for individuals and companies to come together to share and sharpen their expertise, which in turn will create a sizable boost to your brand. 

Introduce social media hashtags and competitions at your event to get trending and expand your audience further. The more you can get your attendees to share, endorse and show off your brand and event on social media the better, this will further your reach and brand awareness within their virtual community.

Although your event may pass by in a day or two, the impact of your event will stay around for longer. Through video recordings, pictures and reviews, you have re-usable content for your website and social media to further boost your thought leadership campaign. The follow-up engagement from your event can be just as important as on the day so it is vital to continue to share results and newly discovered content from the event. 

 

Show you are the expert in your field 

 

Thought leadership events are an innovative way for companies to participate and lead the important discussion topics of their industry. If organised correctly, your business could be well on its way to being an industry leader and advisor. 

By selecting hot, buzz-worthy topics in your field, with top, influential speakers you will instantly attract your current audience to attend your event but also potentially reach and entice a fresh group of people who may not have heard of your company before. Don’t be afraid to bring in speakers from outside your business, aligning your brand with reputable and established experts helps your audience associate you with one another. Speakers that are industry influencers can attract large audience numbers to your event that you can convert into your community and customers. 

Panel-style thought leadership events are especially helpful for creating engaging and insightful discussions not only between speakers but also the audience interaction. You want your event to encourage and provide learning, discussion and networking opportunities that showcase that you are the experts in your field. Attendees will expect to come away with genuine insight that they can pass on or apply once they have left the event. 

Remember the main goal will be to establish your brand as a go-to industry resource for knowledge and expertise and you can’t do that without the right topics and speakers. 

 

Engage your community 

 

As great as events are at bringing in new members to your business’ community, they’re also a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with your current community and audience. Maintaining that communication and interaction between customers, leaders and staff is vital to ensuring your brand remains seen as relevant and important to the industry. 

Ensure your event is filled with Q&A, networking and meet and greet opportunities, the more your community feels involved the more they will look back at you for advice and insight. 

 

Thought leadership has become a big part of business communication lingo but take a look at your campaign and see if you could be getting even more out of your campaign by running a thought leadership event. The more you make your brand accessible to its community and directly showcase your experts, the more success you will have in establishing your brand as a leader in your industry. 

When organising your event it’s important to keep the following questions front of mind: 

  • How will it advance our thought leadership campaign? 
  • What do we want to present to participants?
  •  What do you want them to take home?
  • How do we want them to engage with us in the future?

 

 

Looking for more advice on how to run a thought leadership event? Speak to our Sleek experts here. We are ready to help whether you are looking to take your event virtual this year or are planning ahead for next year. 

Did you catch our last blog? Read about our guide to overcoming the challenges of virtual events here. 

Overcoming the Challenges of Virtual Events

The change from a physical to a virtual event can present a range of new and unexpected challenges, and whilst you may not be able to directly create some of the values that face-to-face interaction brings, virtual events are creating the opportunity we need to communicate with our community. 

So how do you turn an event, filled with networking opportunities, interactive sessions, and the attendee insights they generate into a virtual event?  And once you do, how do you engage and ensure your attendees get the value that they would normally obtain throughout attending a physical event? 

Understanding the right platform for you 

Hosting a virtual event still requires the same amount of attention to detail and planning as an in-person event. Before searching your way through the different platform options, plan out your event as you normally would and understand what you need the platform to do for you, not the other way around. Understanding how you want to communicate and interact with your audience will ensure you do not get overwhelmed with the design and look of the event and instead remain on track with your messaging and collaboration goals.   

Consider what technology and communication software your company already uses and if there is a way to involve and intertwine it with the new virtual software.  

Generating interaction and engagement

One of the harder challenges to overcome is an audience that isn’t engaging and is distracted by their surroundings. In a physical setting, an audience instantly feels connected and you have their attention. It is also an environment where attendees feel comfortable to freely think and speak their mind, but take away the face-to-face element and add in distractions such as a phone, emails and other tabs open on a computer, gaining their attention for a day or for a few hours becomes a serious challenge. 

This is where your content and speakers are key! By providing high-value content, delivered by highly valued speakers, your attendance and engagement rate will increase dramatically. Keep sessions short and sharp to keep your audience’s attention and to boost attendance to the live session, consider making some exclusive content available only if attendees stream the session live and not watch back the recording. 

Remember that not all speakers will feel comfortable talking to a screen as many speakers feed off an audience’s energy, so selecting a speaker that knows how to engage in this new setting is crucial. A good way around this is organising panel discussions, it allows for a more open and insightful conversation and removes the pressure some presenters may feel just talking to camera. 

An important part of getting the audience to interact is creating opportunities that allow the audience to be involved. Use a platform that can have live Q&A discussions between your presenters and audience, or create polling and quizzes within the presentations with live feedback from the presenter. The more that your audience understands that their participation has a purpose the more you will see your event succeed.  

Building relationships 

A significant part of why people attend events is the relationship building and networking opportunities that are offered. Being able to have access to interact with people that you normally wouldn’t. Recreating that in a virtual environment can be challenging, however, virtual events have now progressed into great networking opportunities that can have that personal touch. 

Build your event to have breakout and knowledge sharing groups or small workshops. Use a platform that allows attendees to be able to talk to each other. Virtual events no longer have to be one presenter just talking to a screen, the more you allow for participation and interaction the more relationships will be able to be built. 

The technology blunders 

Do a practice session! The best way to find out if there are going to be issues is to organise a full event run through. Find out if there is a scratchy microphone or camera now rather than trying to fix it when you’re live. On the day, get your presenters to log in 30minutes early, giving yourself plenty of time to fix any technical issues. 

Ensure you have someone standing by who is familiar with the technology for troubleshooting through the live event if problems do arise. 

During your practice session, map out your customer journey and click through the event as if you were going through their experience. Can the attendee access all the links and sessions and participate in polling or Q&A activities? Make sure the customer journey is an easy one, you want to make it as simple as possible for everyone to be able to participate and be involved. 

What is most important is creating a space that allows your audience to interact and feel as though they are a part of a community even though they aren’t physically there. 

#SpeakToSleek about planning your virtual event, our #DreamTeam are the experts when it comes to overcoming any event challenges. Contact us here.

notice

Maintaining a healthy body and mind during times of challenge

We all know that life can present some challenges from time to time, however big or small they can have a negative impact on our health both physically and emotionally. With the current unprecedented times that we find ourselves, maintaining a healthy body and mind during times of challenge, is more important than ever.

Being closed off from our normal routine of work, school and social interactions brings with it a valuable sense of slowing down, a time in which we find space for introspection and become completely present with the simple tasks in life. However, the flip side of this situation is a rise in mental health issues through restriction on social interactions and exercise opportunities as well as the inevitable anxiety triggered by the global pandemic.

So, what can we do to combat these feelings? What tools can we use to lift the mood and maintain health when life presents such challenges?

Eat yourself happy 

It is very easy to slip into bad habits when we move through tough periods in our lives, the urge to comfort ourselves through quick fixes such as sugar, caffeine and alcohol is never greater. These dietary ‘crutches’ or anti-nutrients serve as momentary pleasures and when their intake increases, we can find ourselves feeling irritable, tired, encouraging feelings of anxiety and low mood. When we experience these emotions after eating it is a clear sign that the brain and the body are not receiving everything they need and they are crying out for nutrient-dense, mood-boosting foods. The following foods have been proven to lift mood and promote an overall sense of wellbeing:

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Oats
  • Fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut
  • Lentils and other pulses
  • Walnuts and almonds
  • Chia sunflower and flax seeds
  • Leafy greens
  • Avocados
  • Green tea
  • Dark chocolate – the darker the better.

eat light

Rest

These are tough times we find ourselves in, and the impact on our sleep can be huge. Whether you are finding it difficult to drop off or you fall asleep but are wide awake again two hours later, start by creating an environment that’s conducive to promoting a restful night’s sleep.

  • De-clutter your bedroom, create a clear space.
  • Have a relaxing, candle-lit bath before heading to bed
  • Create a calming sleep oil. Mix 100ml of sweet almond oil with 4-5 drops of lavender oil known to aid relaxation along with ylang-ylang oil known to help with anxiety and apply this to your skin after a warm bath 
  • Let your room breathe, open a window
  • Keep lighting low
  • Restrain from late-night scrolling on your device
  • Try a short, evening meditation – need guidance? Find a podcast or use the headspace app.

Find connection 

In these unusual times it can be easy to feel disconnected from loved ones, friends, family…the world! The social circles that we have created and nurtured over time are essential to our overall feeling of wellbeing and in times of crisis we need these people like never before. The current climate can bring about a very real feeling of isolation and it is now that we need to become creative with how we honour those relationships with the people we love. Find connections through digital channels, picking up the phone – plan quizzes and Zoom parties, share recipes and new hobbies, be open and honest about how you are feeling. We need to share and offload like never before, that sense of community and connection has never been stronger.

Learn something new

If you do find yourself with a little more time on our hands rather than falling into the same old routine, try to mix things up a bit and turn your hand to something new. Studies have shown that having a hobby can increase feelings of wellbeing by relieving stress and anxiety and encourage acts of mindfulness. We are lucky enough to have the world at our fingertips with a huge array of online courses rich for the picking. So, whether it be cooking, art therapy or learning another language, there is no time like the present.

Grow something 

You don’t need a garden; it can be as simple as planting a few herb seeds in a plant pot on your window sill. Planting a seed, nurturing it and watching it grow can be a wonderful way of appreciating life and feeling gratitude. Not only do you have something delicious to add to your salad, it can taste so much better when you’ve grown it yourself.

Out with the old

If you find yourself with time on your hands in between the home-schooling and remote work, then there’s nothing like a good, old sort out to lift the spirits and clear the mind. When your house is cluttered your mind can feel like that too so take some time to clear, organise, clean and where possible ditch/recycle those things you no longer need.

Digital detox

Easier said than done when it is the only way we can stay connected with work, with school, with friends and family. And yes, social media has never been such a positive vehicle for maintaining those valuable connections and reuniting with friends you haven’t spoken to in years, but once you have done what you need to do make a conscious effort to leave the phone and laptop in the next room and give yourself a good few hours of downtime especially before heading off to bed. If you’re a late-night or first thing scroller, make sure you keep the phone out of your bedroom.

Journal

Journaling is the practice of keeping a diary or journal that explores thoughts or feelings around your life. It is a proven effective tool for stress management through a means of self-exploration. The theory is that you express and place structure around your anxious feelings which reduces stress and the physical impact that stress has on your body. Expressive writing is also a route to healing, emotionally, physically and psychologically, by translating our experiences into language we remove emotional blockages, which on a physical level has been proven to lift mood and improve immune function.   

Keep moving (and be still)

Sounds simple but it is so important in maintaining that overall feeling of wellbeing. It doesn’t have to be high-intensity exercise unless that is what you feel you need. But increasingly I’m finding the need to go slowly in this area, especially in times of adversity. That need to go easy on myself is really strong right now. A gentle yoga practice works wonders at shifting stagnant energy and lifting mood. It can be as simple as rolling out your mat and listening to your breath, finding a comfortable seated position and taking a 5-10 meditation, engaging in a short physical (asana) practice or doing all three. Need guidance on an online practice that could work for you speak to Nicole @wanderingwarrioryoga

 

Twist and flow yoga

Be kind to yourself

So, you might not be doing that online fitness class and the kids may be watching too much TV, whatever pressure you are putting yourself under in this current situation try to dissolve those negative thoughts and focus on how well you are doing in the face of adversity. Think about how quickly you’re adapting. You’re more resilient than you think. So, give yourself time. If you’re not getting all the hours of sleep you need at night, or if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, then take some time for yourself. Slow down throughout the day, allow yourself a moment or two to pause as well as a moment of appreciation of how well you have coped so far. Stop and do something for you, that you know will make you feel good, that will enable you to restore balance and promote that feeling of self-worth.

When you are experiencing low mood and a lack of energy it can be difficult to find joy.

Feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed can be all-consuming in times such as these, but there is a comfort in knowing that you are not alone, we are in this situation together. Run that candlelit bath, pick up the phone to a friend or roll out that yoga mat, it only takes a series of small steps to tap into that feeling of happiness.

 

Nicole is an experienced yoga teacher, mother and eternal student, passionate about living life to its fullest in the most holistic way. This is her second blog for Sleek Events, to read her first blog click here.

 

Check her out at @wanderingwarrioryoga or www.wanderingwarrior.co.uk

How to choose an event agency who specialises in your sector

If you Google “Event Agency London” it comes up with over 10 pages of recommendations and 7 paid ads, just on the first page! If this has you feeling overwhelmed and asking yourself ‘how do I pick the right one?’ – we suggest a good place to start is with an event agency that specialises in your sector. 

Do your research 

Most agencies will have 3-5 sectors that they specialise in, this could include corporate events, exhibitions or luxury incentive trips – just to name a few.

You will generally be able to find this information on most event agency websites, where they will provide a detailed description of services they provide. Before you start diving deep into more about the company, make sure they offer the service you are looking for. 

Then, have a look to see if they offer pictures of previous events on their website or social media. Do they have awards that they have won or client testimonials? Picking an events agency with proven success and results will always benefit you. 

Create a pitch opportunity 

This may be one of the most important parts of selecting the right agency. You need to pick an agency that understands what you are wanting to achieve and the best way to ensure this is by inviting agencies to pitch! 

Provide a brief of what you want to achieve out of the event and invite them to create a pitch. It is also helpful to ask for case studies to see detailed examples of previous work the agency has completed. 

A pitch can be as simple as inviting them into your office with a presentation or even having them submit a presentation. 

The agency should be prepared, having conducted their own research and be able to demonstrate a wider understanding of your event, the business brand and the industry in which you operate. 

It is also important that you get a sense of company culture and assess if this aligns with your own.

Compare 

Through conducting your research and inviting event agencies to pitch, you should now have an idea if the agencies understand your requirements and if you think that they can achieve it successfully. 

So, what comes next?  

Compare cost between agencies and remember, simply because one is this cheaper, this does not mean they are the best option! 

Have a look at what each agency is offering in-depth and take into consideration who has the most understanding of your objectives and business brand.

Using an event agency that doesn’t specialise in your event type can often mean a lack of experience and understanding into the requirements that go into planning the event, a limited understanding about what budget it can take to put on the event, and missing the true objective or target audience of your event.

Be sure to take your time to do your research, create a pitch opportunity and compare to see who you think can provide the best service for your business!

Have you looked at what services Sleek Events specialise in? Take a look under our Cloud & Technology Events or Corporate Events pages and be sure to follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date on what our #EventProfs are working on! 

If you have any questions on how to choose an event agency that specialises in your sector, contact us here.

move into spring with vitality

Moving into spring with vitality and balance

Nicole Mackintosh van Dyk is an experienced yoga teacher, mother and eternal student, passionate about living life to its fullest in the most holistic way. Today is the first of a series of blogs from Nicole – particularly well-timed to help you find some joy in the return of spring, even at this difficult time. 

We all felt it, the first glimpses of springtime, teased with a smattering of sunshine, the daffodils are on sale and the magnolia trees are beginning to bloom, hello Spring… we have missed you.

Never a lover of the post-Christmas winter months, the dark days seem to drag on, the grey skies are never-ending and the rain, oh the rain! Whilst each season has its gifts, the winter months can be tough. With the continual dark and cold weather, we can often be left feeling sluggish, lethargic and generally depleted.

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth, planting seeds for the future and shaking off that winter feeling as the temperature starts to rise. It marks the time of transformation and with the start of 2020 being pretty tumultuous so far, never before has it been more important to see springtime in with vitality, a renewed energy and balance.

Rethink intentions

Intentions, resolutions whatever they mean to you and whether or not you set them at the beginning of the year, now is a good time to take stock of what is important to you in 2020. What do you want to do more of and what might be holding you back? Perhaps you are reinforcing old intentions or establishing new patterns – either way, take time to give this some thought. Keep it simple, don’t overwhelm yourself with a long list of unrealistic expectations, just cherry-pick the one that resonates the most and make it your mantra.

Shake it off

Most of us tend to hibernate a little in the latter part of the winter months, subconsciously waiting for the longer days to arrive. Now the Coronavirus is forcing us to distance ourselves from our usual social interactions, many of us will feel isolated. During this time, it’s quite typical to accumulate negative energy which weighs us down and, as a consequence, makes us feel heavy and lethargic. Take some time to physically shake off stale, negative energy, using hands to brush away from the body, starting from the crown of the head moving down to the tips of toes in an outward action. Better still, put on some music, jump around. You might feel silly, but I guarantee you will feel lighter and invigorated.

Take off the winter coat

On a more physical level, adopt an ancient Ayurvedic ritual called ‘dry brushing’ or ‘garshana’ (translated it means friction by rubbing). A technique, as its name suggests, that uses a natural brush to massage the entire body from the feet upwards with long strokes moving in the direction of the heart. Ideally performed daily in the morning before showering. This self-care practice helps stimulate the lymphatic system, eliminate toxins, improve immunity, exfoliate dead skin cells and promote healthy skin – all of which are particularly important when heading out of the winter months.

Sit still

As soon as the longer days arrive, we tend to find ourselves doing more and more – rapidly moving into a state of overdrive. If this sounds familiar, take the time to find a moment of stillness every day, however short, you will be amazed at how effective this can be at recharging the batteries. Just stopping for five minutes, sitting silently or meditating, lighting a candle and moving inwards, resetting your intentions or just simply shutting your eyes. Be still, this time is yours and it’s golden.

sit still

Eat light

When the warmer weather starts to arrive, our cravings for the heavier foods of winter tends to dissipate. Fill your diet with a variety of fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables. Decrease your intake of heavy, oily, cold, fatty foods and increase vitamin, nutrient and chlorophyll-dense foods such as dark, green vegetables and sprouts, strawberries, and blueberries. In short, eat light, eat seasonal, eat local.

eat light

Notice

Be mindful. It’s easy to have adopted a hazy view of the world whilst wandering through winter. The weight of the cold weather dampening our perspective. Start to open your eyes again to what’s around you and really notice the beauty of spring. It is a period of rebirth and transformation for the earth – try to find a connection with this amazing process. Connect with nature’s beauty whenever you can, take a moment of silence, breathe in its beauty, pull the weeds apart and see what’s going on down there, hug a tree! Anything that allows you to witness this beautiful transformation, to be inspired and to find new energy and light.

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Twist and flow

In Ayurvedic tradition, the late winter and first part of spring is known as ‘Kapha’ season, which is governed by the elements of earth and water. This part of year is characterised by heavy, cold and wet qualities which can manifest into feelings of sluggishness, a lower-rate metabolism and weakened immunity, as well as a general lack of motivation and low mood.

To combat these feelings and to counter the downward pull of kapha energy, practice a cleansing and energising yoga sequence with a focus on detoxing the liver and gall bladder – both of which tend to get overworked doing the winter months.

Twist and flow yoga

A sequence that incorporates a variety of nourishing twists, energising heart openers and juicy side bends are particularly effective at this time of year. Asanaa (postures) that focus on the inner and outer line of the legs are particularly good at targeting the liver and the gall bladders which is where the meridian lines reside for these organs. Take your practice slowly, work into your alignment, hold each pose for a minimum of five breaths and close with a seated meditation and savasana.

For more guidance on spring yoga sequences contact me by email: hello@wanderingwarrior.co.uk

Cultivate a new ritual

Encourage yourself to create space for those simple rituals that honour who you are and revitalise you on a physical, energetic and emotional level. Whatever it is, be present with it, whether it’s a daily walk in nature, a moment’s meditation, dry brushing or journalling, create a space for something new in your life that cultivates a feeling of wellbeing.

Embrace this beautiful new season with energy and vitality, be present, connect, notice the beauty unfolding around you, take time, nurture yourself, reset and welcome spring with a smile.

be kind to yourself

Love and sunshine

Nicole x

Check out Nicole’s services on Instagram or visit her website.

Sleek Events office warming party

Sleek Events celebrate moving in to stylish new office

Our team at Sleek Events celebrated the move into our new home in Richmond, throwing an office warming party to welcome suppliers, freelancers and affiliates into the stylish new space.

The move into our new Richmond office comes as our MD & Founder, Jennifer Davidson, expands the agency to 13 full-time employees. But with plans for two more to join our #DreamTeam within the next 6 weeks, these premises are a temporary stop-gap while another office is being custom-built for us in Wimbledon.

The Cocktail Service at Sleek Events

Our party guests included our friends from ExCeL, Visit Monaco, Tobacco Dock, Iconic Luxury Hotels and many more. With a delicious cocktail in hand, expertly mixed by The Cocktail Service, guests toured the new space, were introduced to the new members of the team and did not resist the temptation of the freshly-cooked pizzas from Fine Street Co.

Fine Street Co at Sleek Events

“It was great to take some time to celebrate the growth of the company and welcome so many of our suppliers to the new office,” said Lizzie Burdge, Client Relationship Director for Sleek Events.

The chic office has a modern, industrial fitout with warm, soft furniture finishes to add a personable touch. This stylish office is managed by the same firm building the new Wimbledon premises, Harepath Estates LLP, due to be finished later this year – so watch this space.

Follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to get the latest news from Sleek Events.

networking event for startup to meet investors

How to use an event to meet investors

When you’re starting a business, a key fence you need to hurdle is the financial one. You’ve got to find sufficient capital to cover not only your initial costs but also the expenses you’ll incur in the first year or two while the business gets on its feet.

But where do you go to get the money? You could approach your bank, but that’s very much a box-ticking exercise and, often, we simply don’t fit into boxes. (Plus, sometimes we prefer not to 😉).

So, why not think in a more ‘Dragons’ Den’ way and look in the direction of other entrepreneurs and business owners? They’ve almost certainly been in your position themselves and will know how important the non-box things are: drive, creativity, passion, belief, perseverance and, at the heart of it all, a darned good idea. They’ll be able to understand your situation in a way that an employed bank worker can’t and, if you find the right person/people, they’ll probably be able to give you some great advice and could even end up becoming a mentor or coach to you and your fledgling business.

So, get out there!

Events are great vehicles for meeting potential investors. Most industry organisations and associations have annual shows and conferences, which attract both high-profile speakers and people looking for new mutually-beneficial opportunities. Successful people love finding news ways to make money, so there will always be a number of ‘angel investors’ scouting at big events.

Then there are the smaller, more local networking events, which are great opportunities to get your name and business out there among other entrepreneurs and motivated businesspeople in your area. A simple Google search will bring up what’s on and information about where you might be able to meet investors, such as options in London listed on Eventbrite. Not every event you go to will be fantastic, but the more often you get out there, the more quickly you’ll find the best ones. Linkedin is a great source for identifying what’s worth going to and your local business associations should also be happy to make recommendations.

Who should I approach?

This is the first big question for many people: how do you know who to speak to?  Well, often you don’t. While you might recognise the more successful names and faces, when you walk into an event you really have no idea who might be in a position to invest, so simply introduce yourself to as many people as possible.

Tip: Do some online research before an event and try to identify any attendees that you think might be able to help you, in any capacity. Contact them beforehand and arrange to meet at the event – it’s much less scary when you’ve made plans and can be prepared.

What should I say?

Here’s the second big question: what do you say when you’re looking for investment? How do you start and how up-front should you be about what you want? You might be worried about saying either too much or too little – creating the wrong impression or, even worse, no impression at all!

Take a deep breath, relax and think about how you like to be approached by other people. A big smile, eye contact and a warm handshake are your starting points, followed by who you are and what your business is.

Tip: Ask other people questions about what they do. Not only will that make them warm to you, but it’ll help you judge whether they’re the right people to keep chatting with.

It’s certainly worthwhile listening to other people talk about how to present yourself and make the right first impression, particularly if you don’t feel naturally self-confident. This short TEDx talk by Caroline Goyder about breathing your way to confidence is a good starter.

And a great deal of self-confidence comes from knowing your subject inside out so, before you go to an event, make sure you’re clear on:

  • Your business: exactly what it is / the concept
  • Why & how the business is going to be profitable
  • How much capital you need & why
  • When and how investors will see returns.

DIY!

Remember, you can always organise your own event. You might think your business is too small and new to be event-worthy and that there’s no way you could afford it, but it really needn’t be difficult or expensive. And if you have your own premises, you could always offer the space for other people to host their events. In life, you tend to get back what you put out there, so make a name for yourself as someone who’s not only looking for help and investment, but is also prepared to give to others.

If you’re a startup business and would like advice and support on creating events that will really help accelerate your success, why not apply for one of our Sleek consultancy packages? Get in touch with us today to find out more.

5 top tips for your startup event

5 top tips for your first event as a startup

It wasn’t that long ago that Sleek Events was a startup company working out of our founder’s spare bedroom. Five years on, having seen significant growth, we decided the time was right to give back to the brave entrepreneurs taking the leap with their own startup businesses. Along with our pledge to work with one UK-based startup each year to advise on events to support their business growth, this blog is the first in a series of advice for startups looking to harness the power of events.

And the best place to start is at the beginning – our top 5 tips for running your first ever event as a startup

1. Define the aim of the event 

First thing is first, what is the purpose of the event? Are you wanting to launch a new product? Generate new sales? Or is it to say thank you to your suppliers or business network?

No matter the reason, you need to set a goal or purpose for the event. Clearly communicate this to anyone helping you run the event or who may be attending the event on behalf of your business. This then allows everyone to be prepared to help you reach your goal.

By defining the aim of the event, this will also determine your target audience and guest list.

2. Break everything into manageable tasks and create a plan

Running your first event can seem like an overwhelming task when you’re first starting out, but you can easily overcome this by making a detailed plan.

Figure out each element that is required to make your event run smoothly and start breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Such as:

Venue Sourcing:

  • Set your venue brief – how many people does the venue need to fit, what style of venue are you looking for, etc.
  • Research venues that match your brief
  • Request quotes
  • Visit the site in person
  • Book the venue.

In your event plan, it always helps to set deadlines for tasks assigned to both you and your team. This keeps everyone on track and ensures no tasks are left to the last minute.

3. Set a budget and stick to it

It’s important to be realistic with your budget from the start and to make sure you stick to it. Create a budget document and assign a spending figure that you can afford to each element of the event i.e. venue, catering, etc.

Remember to start gathering quotes early to see how they compare to your budget. If you need to make adjustments, make them before the invitation or promotion stage. This will allow you to see if you have extra money, perhaps to spend on something you couldn’t initially afford or if you need to make some savings.

4. Promote the event 

Promotion of your event will differ depending on the type of event you are running – is it open to the public or closed to your private guests? If it is closed to privately-invited guests, it can be as easy as an emailed Save the Date, followed by an Invitation and reminder to RSVP. For events that are open to the public, where you want a larger number of guests attending, you may need to put a marketing campaign into action. Consider using social media, online advertising, event listing websites and flyers or posters as promotional tools.

5. Have a follow-up plan

Look back at the aim of your event, was it to generate new sales and leads or to create new networking industry contacts? Consider how you are going to collect these contact details during the event to ensure you have a way to follow up after the event. In your event plan, ensure you come up with a communication strategy for after the event to reach out to those who attended.

An event will always cost you something – whether that is money for a venue and refreshments or your time in planning and coordination. It must deliver you a return on your investment.

 

And don’t forget, if all of this seems overwhelming right now, ask for advice from an expert. The best entrepreneurs know when to ask for help – we can’t all be experts at everything! For more tips from our eventprofs, follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter

luxury incentive trip to Prague's evening tour

Top Luxury Incentive Trips for 2020

Have you been looking for luxury incentive location ideas for 2020? Do you want to get your teams motivated after the Christmas break and create some excitement in the office? Well look no further. We have compiled our top 3 locations that will be sure to have a little something to get everyone focused for the new year – and all within a short flight form the UK!

Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands and only a 4-hour flight from London or a 2-hour flight from Madrid. This gorgeous island is known for its sandy beaches, clear waters, an active volcano and colourful coastal towns – the perfect location to be as active or relaxed as you want to be.

With luxury hotels on the beach and old villages with renowned architecture to explore throughout the island, there are endless sightseeing opportunities for all kinds of travellers.

luxury incentive kayaking with dolphins in Tenerife

Top Activities 
  • Private whale-watching tour – spend the day watching pods of whales and dolphins in the wild with a Marine Biologist guide whilst also listening to these beautiful creatures through a hydrophone
  • Volcanic sunset and stargazing picnic – spend an incredible evening watching the sunset on top of Mount Teide Volcano, followed by a private stargazing picnic with Spanish cheese, fruits, meats and wine
  • Snorkelling with dolphins and turtles – take a kayak tour along the Guaza Cliffs with spectacular views of the island and volcano. Along the tour get the opportunity to snorkel in the crystal clear waters.

Lake Como, Italy 

Surrounded by mountains and incredible local culture, Lake Como is known as one of Italy’s most picturesque natural destinations. The scenic towns surrounding the lake are known for their Instagram-quality views, exquisite villas, historic churches, museums and fun lake activities.

Whether you’re looking for a quieter adventure or to have an active holiday, Lake Como has so much to offer for everyone. Lake Como will definitely leave you with that “wow” factor if you’re looking to spoil your top performers.

luxury incentive trip sailing on Lake Como

Top Activities
  • Day tour of Bellagio and Varenna towns – explore the photogenic streets, historic cathedrals, unique shops, magnificent restaurants and different views of the lake
  • Take an Italian cooking class – learn from the masters of pasta with a local cooking class, teaching you to prepare traditional Italian dishes while sipping on wine
  • Boat tour of Lake Como – spend your day in true style with a private sightseeing tour of the lake, discovering unique parts only accessible by boat.

Prague, Czech Republic 

Known best for its bridges and castles, Prague is one of the most intact cities from WWII. With cobbled streets and medieval architecture, Prague will have you feeling as though you have stepped back in time. The historical Old Town Square is filled with colourful architecture, the famous Astronomical clock and places to sample the delicious local cuisine.

luxury incentive trip to Prague

Top Activities  
  • Private day tour of the city – explore everything Prague has to offer from Prague Castle to the Charles Bridge on a private city tour with a local guide
  • Villa Ritcher – dine in style with panoramic views over the city in this restored vineyard and villa
  • Prague Beer and Czech Tapas tour – known for having great nightlife but also famous for their beer, explore local beer halls, microbreweries and the best local restaurants in town.

So, those are our top 3 picks to kick-start your 2020 luxury incentive programme. Whether you want team incentive programmes or individual trips for your best performers, Tenerife, Lake Como and Prague can do it all without a long-distance flight!

We offer simple venue sourcing through to full trip management and even onsite support too. All you have to do is kick-back and enjoy yourself. For more on our bespoke luxury incentive packages, follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter or send us an email hello@sleekevents.co.uk

retreat sign in countryside

Wellness incentives: a must for corporates in today’s stressful work environments

As the new year gets underway, the annual flood of resolutions are doubtless being listed, vision-boarded and embarked upon. Top of the chart for most people will be things related to self-improvement: taking more exercise, eating more healthily and losing weight. But just behind those very common pledges will be ‘reduce stress’, according to the results of a YouGov poll published in December, with women being more likely than men to have it on their list (46% of female respondents versus 31% of males).

And that’s really not surprising. A survey of over 2,000 people commissioned by the mental health charity, Mind, found that work is the most stressful factor in people’s lives, with a third of respondents saying their work life was either ‘very’ or ‘quite’ stressful, making it a bigger worry than financial problems and health.

Those working in large organisations (250+ employees) are almost twice as likely as those in small businesses (under 50 employees) to suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety, according to the Health & Safety Executive’s most recent statistics. And, while the percentage of staff self-reporting stress-related conditions may be relatively low – 1% in small businesses, rising to 2% in large organisations – there will be many others who are suffering but don’t report it. So, it’s vital that you, as an employer, recognise this growing issue and make sure your staff know they are valued and appreciated and that there are opportunities for them to periodically decompress.

yoga by a lake

Wellness incentives: a growing trend

We’ve seen a big rise in the number of companies offering wellness incentives – in fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing areas of our business. While some companies already provide free or discounted gym memberships, have healthy snack and refreshment stations in offices and provide ‘chill out’ and creative thinking areas, more and more are also introducing trips and retreats to reward their staff.

These incentives are a mix of relaxation, activity, luxury and strategic sessions, giving employees the chance to socialise with both their peers and management. It gives them space to think creatively and perhaps gain a greater appreciation of those they work with, which tends to translate into better relationships back home in the office.

While wellness incentives can be overseas trips of a lifetime (and we love planning and managing those for our clients!) they don’t have to be that extravagant. Travelling abroad doesn’t have to cost a fortune and there are fantastic locations all across the UK that can host tailor-made experiences, like our team away day at the end of last year.

Sleek retreat

Retreating Sleek-style

In a 2019 survey by Career Cast, being an Events Coordinator was voted the sixth most stressful job, behind firefighter, military personnel, police officer, airline pilot and broadcaster. We know that giving your very best every day can take a lot out of you, mentally and physically, so we decided to recharge Sleek’s batteries by whisking the #dreamteam off to a manor house in Somerset for a long weekend of rural downtime mixed with creative planning and goal setting. Taking the time to relax and enjoy each other’s company away from the office – with plenty of fresh air and good food – gave us the chance to look at our business from a different angle and reward everyone with a few extra luxury treats. The result: we made some really exciting plans for 2020 and came home 100% refreshed. You can read more about what we got up to here.

So, as you make your business resolutions and finalise corporate goals for the year, make sure there’s some consideration of what incentives you can put in place to keep your staff motivated and healthy, with a focused and balanced approach to their work.

It’s not indulgence; it’s investment in your most valuable assets.

team wellness incentives retreat

Top tips for choosing an incentive trip

  1. Set a budget
  2. Decide what you want to achieve
  3. Think about the kind of environment that would help you achieve your desired outcome…

…then give us a call and pick our highly imaginative brains 😉  We’ll put together a few different tailor-made experiences, then all you have to do is choose your favourite!

sleek events luxury incentives

You can read more about our approach to bespoke incentive packages online, follow what we’re up to via Instagram and Twitter and, if you’d like to discuss anything, give us a call on 0208 939 1397 or email hello@sleekevents.co.uk and we’ll get right back to you.