Could you answer this question: What is your event’s strategy? The majority of event professionals will likely answer “yes”, but the complexity varies.
Your event strategy is a vital part of your meeting and events program. You can’t avoid having an event strategy, regardless of the size or scope of your meeting or event. Your event strategy is the key to a successful meetings and events program. It encompasses in-person, hybrid, and virtual events. Your event strategy affects every part of your business.
Your strategy will guide you through your meeting and event program, from setting goals to measuring success.
What is Event Strategy?
Event strategy is often pushed to the side. Why? It can be difficult for planners to stay focused on the strategic plan when they are so engrossed in the daily grind. Sounds familiar? Event Strategy is the ability of an organization to create a meaningful, measurable and data-informed meeting and event program for all in-person and virtual events . This strategy must align with the organization’s goals. The success of an event strategy is determined by the relevance and clarity of its key performance metrics (KPIs), as well as how an organization selects and approves events, budget management and how they decide which events to attend and host.
Event Strategy Plan
Even though event strategy might seem abstract, a concrete event strategy plan can be developed. It is a roadmap that identifies opportunities and goals for the next year or quarter. Your event strategy plan is a result of a combination between business and organization goals. Your event strategy should be unique to your department but aligned with the company’s goals. While event planning may appear haphazard at times, it should be structured and have a purpose. Your event strategy plan, based on the types and categories of events that your organization considers important, will align company goals with the types and sizes of events you throw, whether they are in person or virtual, to ensure the greatest success, and ROI. It is possible to plan an event strategy at any time, but it’s most effective when combined with company goals. It is best to work on your event strategy at the beginning of the quarter or year.
Event Strategy Template
Create an event template you can use in the future. You can get started with a framework. Your template should adhere to a format that is recognized by all stakeholders. Layout your template the same way if all plans are word documents, with subheadings. If you use PowerPoints in your business, create the basic structure of your plan as a series slides. This template was designed to simplify planning, not to add more steps. You’ll be less stressed if you get off to a good start.
When you start building your template, consider the following:
- What are your organization’s main business goals this year?
- What can you do to influence or link events with your goals?
- What type of event (in person, virtual or hybrid) best meets event goals?
- How many events are planned for the year?
- What type of events are you planning?
- What are the expected outcomes of your event?
- Is your team equipped with the necessary resources to handle the number of events you anticipate?
- Would tools for event management help you take your event to the next step?
Define the Event Purpose
Every event you plan should have a goal. You wouldn’t get stakeholder support if it didn’t. Some examples of event objectives are to increase team morale or educate, collect leads. It is important that the purpose of your event is tied to your strategic objectives.
Event objectives can be divided into two categories. There are two levels of event objectives. One is for each individual event and the other is for your entire program. Your event goal is linked to the main purpose of the event. Your event objective must be focused on a measurable goal and related to your overall strategy.
Event Purpose Statement
Your special events’ purpose should be made clear. A purpose statement for an event can help you do this. You can determine the importance of an event, how much money is needed, and what your organization’s focus will be by creating a purpose statement. The marketing strategy for your event will reflect the purpose of the event. Create a statement of purpose for every event. This should include the attendees’ target audience, the reason for the event and the anticipated outcome. If possible, align the event’s purpose statement with the company’s goals.
Clarify your event goals
Defining your goals will help you achieve them. Why am I organizing this event?
Meeting goals and objectives
Meetings can have very specific goals depending on the type. For example, at a kickoff meeting, the objective is to allow the sales team to talk shop, exchange competitive information, build a team, and get motivated for the next sales period. Even events such as an annual general assembly can have different objectives, depending on the long-term goals. When defining goals, it’s crucial to consider the context. The goals will vary depending on whether an event is being held virtually, in person, or hybrid, as each has different benefits and limits. This doesn’t mean you can ignore this step if your meeting has obvious goals. You must define your goals within the context of every event. This is called ‘event strategies’.
Aligning company goals with event strategy
Strategical event planning begins with identifying the goals of your organization and using events to achieve those goals. You already know what your organization’s objectives are. This is a good place to begin. Your event should revolve around your product if you’re looking to increase revenue. Even though a networking happy-hour might be entertaining, it’s more likely to generate leads and create face-to-face relationships than close deals. What type of event your company hosts should be in line with its top priorities.