THE ART OF PITCHING FOR AN EVENT
We’ve already spoken about how to survive an event, but event management doesn’t start there. It starts when an event management company acquires an event, and that is a tough task to ace. Pitching for an event is the first step to managing an event, and you only get one shot to get your client onboard. Given its importance, let’s figure out how to pitch for an event.
Step away from the PPT
Walking in to pitch an event with a PowerPoint presentation is the modern-day equivalent of bringing a knife to a gunfight. With more interactive presentations on the rise, PowerPoint presentations have become somewhat obsolete. Putting forth a series of slides with text on it is no longer an option. (Yes, even if you throw in a picture or two)
Tell a story
Storytelling is a great way to capture the attention of your client. It forms a human connection and doesn’t rely on their imagination to paint an accurate picture of your vision for the event. Just keep your story focused and to the point.
Use video content
Of all the ways to present information, video content has the highest retention rate. You undoubtedly know by now that too much-written material will lose the attention of the room. The logical choice is to make sure the most essential parts of event presentation, if not all, be presented in a video format to put it in a spotlight.
Make it about your client
Make sure your vision for the event caters to the needs and goals of the client. Please take a minute to research your client and their expectations before making your move.
Keep it crisp
Respect the attention span of the listener. Remember that the 20-minute rule exists for a reason and build your presentation from there. A half-hour-long monologue is more likely to put the listener to sleep than get you an event.
Set the pace
A common mistake to make is not set a proper pace for the presentation. Break the presentation into parts and time each component to make sure your presentation isn’t dragging or going too fast.
Put on a show
Depending on the client, you can also consider making the presentation entertaining. A laugh here and there when it’s appropriate might just set you apart from the rest.
Beware of the information overload
While your presentation should be informative, don’t bore your client with 20 minutes of details, they don’t need to know. A pitch cannot feel like a never-ending lecture on calculus.
Reaching for the stars is a great idea unless you happen to be in an event management company. Unless you have a genie in your pocket, do not make behemoth promises to bring the event home. Make sure everything you put on a pitch is feasible.
Devil is in the details
Start focusing on aspects such as the legibility of your font, colour themes, contrast, clarity, quality of images and videos, and how it will all translate on the screen or projector.
Now that you have the content sorted focus on the technical aspects of the presentation. Go beyond just the content and make sure the lighting, visibility and seating arrangements agree with your plan. Nothing screams unprepared like having to deal with technical glitches during the presentation. Do an end-to-end run-through of the presentation and make sure your pitch goes off without a hitch.
Remember the obvious
Maintain eye contact and engage with your listener. Speak clearly and ensure you are audible but not too screaming. Intonate while you talk. Build a presentation that’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is informative. With all this in mind, take a step back and breathe. You’ve got this!