Polaroid or Panoramic?

Align event goals to corporate goalsLast week we talked about the importance (and simplicity) of goal setting for meetings and events, so to move our conversation forward, this week we’ll delve into how to link those “small picture” goals to the overall “big picture” objectives of your organization. “Shouldn’t it be enough that I’ve set and achieved and/or exceeded goals?” you ask. Well, it is in fact a great start, but since your department, division, event, committee, or team likely doesn’t exist in a silo, neither should your goal setting.

So let’s begin with a basic premise: every organization is working towards some overarching objective or strategy (and usually a few of them). These are the goals being set in the boardroom, if you will. If you’re in a position to be made privy to this information – wonderful. If you don’t have it at your fingertips, but have the gumption to ask that it be shared with you – rock on. If neither of these situations apply to you – there’s still hope – just start with the information shared with everyone… mission, vision and values statements.  Ahhhh, finally a reason to have committed these to memory (or at least know where to find them)!

Once you have these big picture objectives in mind, you’ll want to refer back to those meeting/event goals we crafted last week and do a bit of comparison. Like the initial goal setting, this can be a simple process as you just take the time to ensure that there is alignment between what you’ve conceived and what the organization as a whole is trying to achieve. Taking last week’s example:

Within 14 days of this event, 5 of our 20 attendees who received complimentary tickets will pledge to be new donors at the $2,000 annual giving level.

At first glance, it seems to be a valiant and worthwhile goal. What if I told you, however, that the Executive Director and Board of Directors recently decided that because the organization is in an excellent financial position, at this time all efforts must be infused into volunteer recruitment? Suddenly, an event designed with a sole purpose of driving revenue doesn’t seem like such a great idea. The only thing worse than a conflicting or misaligned idea is spending the time, effort and resources to execute the idea. Ouch.

The good news is: the only preventative measure necessary to avoid this pain is taking the time to consider your small picture goals alongside the big picture objectives as we just did. If they’re a little off –  adjust and align. If they’re a lot off, you may have to rewrite them completely, but better now than later! And then, when you really get good at it you’ll actually reverse the order and start crafting your event goals based on the organization’s objectives… now that’s moving from polaroid to panoramic!

Image courtesy of topfer