[Article links updated. Originally published on April 17,2020.]
Every event needs a plan before it can get off the ground. Organization and attention to detail will ensure that every facet of the event — from marketing to logistics to vendor management — is aligned and ready to go. Keeping track of those variables is quite an undertaking, but creating an event management strategy can keep everything in focus.
But where do you even begin? Start by identifying a primary objective that connects to your brand goals. After that, your job is to ensure that every step of your event planning ladders up to help you achieve those goals. Otherwise, you’ll never know what you need marketing to say, what role logistics will play, or what you need to tell vendors.
Once you define your primary objectives, you can then review what customers want and set up your event’s key performance indicators, or KPIs. With these elements in place, key event components such as look and messaging will begin to take shape.
While you'll have a great foundation, there's a lot more that needs to go into your event management strategy to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.
Add to Your List
When planning an event, there are several vital elements that you should never ignore. Here are four considerations to get you started:
- Staffing: Your on-site staff is the face of your event, so you'll need to have the right number of team members on the floor to assist vendors, stakeholders, and attendees. Too few staff members can ruin your attendees’ experience by leaving their questions unanswered. Too many, however, could overwhelm attendees and cost your brand more money than necessary. You need a balance, so you'll want to consider staffing carefully as you plan your event.
- Metrics: Once you’ve determined your KPIs, you can approach the topic of measurement. How do you gather the correct data without negatively affecting the consumer experience? Will social engagement play a role, or will you only focus on metrics at the event? You can also use this time to gain new insights into your target demographic that you didn’t have before.
- Content: Branded events present an excellent opportunity to create content. Effective content can amplify the event experience — and it can also be repackaged for later use.
For example, you can use your event programming to identify new elements to market to attendees. Monitor the topics that frequently come up within your programming, and think of ways to repurpose that content. Live demonstrations can transform into product reviews, and you can reimagine consumer interviews as testimonials. Lastly, you can use footage of consumers interacting with products or company representatives for online videos or TV ads. Figure out where content fits into your event's strategy, and then find ways to use that content to its full potential.
- An Outside Perspective: Your event plan is going to be massive, which means it's easy to get wrapped up in every detail and miss the bigger picture. As a result, you'll need a fresh set of eyes to take a look. Don’t send it to someone on your team already — send it to someone outside your department to ensure the event plan makes sense to just about anyone.
When you keep these elements in mind during your event planning strategy, attendees will be excited to engage with you and your organization. Need help creating your own event management strategy? Connect with the ASV team to learn more.