What is Your Event Strategy in 2013?
For many companies, the start of a new year is also the start of executing on new plans that you’ve been working on for months. It’s an exciting time as we all rush to put our fabulous plans into action and dive into all of the execution details
If you fit that bill, stop what you are doing. Slowly, step away from the details. Yes, we said step away.
When planning events (whether large or small), the temptation to dive into the exciting, beautiful, creative, wonderful details is very strong. Menus are tempting. Décor is beautiful. Location is a wonderful escape. We know, we’ve been there. But before you do anything, before committing organization dollars or resources to any event, ask yourself these questions
- Why this event?
- Why now?
- What organizational goals will it accomplish?
- How will we know if we accomplished the goals?
I Did That Already … I Know These Answers
You may have already answered these questions as part of your plan. If so, GREAT! Take the time to review the plan and make sure you have these answers committed to memory. If you are managing a team or committee, make sure each and every person is also clear on these answers so they can best perform their assigned tasks. Some of our clients include these answers at the top of every meeting agenda. Some post them in a visible location at their desks. The key is making sure this information stays top of mind throughout the planning cycle so find a way that works for you and your team.
Uh Oh, I Skipped That Step Before … Now What
If you don’t yet know the answers to these questions, it’s not the end of the world. Trust us, you are not alone. The good news is that now is a perfect opportunity to take a time-out and answer these questions. This is not an exercise that has to take weeks or months and set you back in your planning cycle. Take an hour or 2 to think about these questions and write out clear and specific answers. Identifying the strategy and making sure that every tactical and logistical decision supports the strategy will pay off in the end. You will have delivered an event that achieved business goals (making you look great to your manager and company executives) and you have a model to repeat that success in the future! It’s a win-win.
Embrace Strategy Development
Developing a strategy for an event, especially for smaller or more informal events, does not have to be a painful or complicated process but it is an essential process. And, compared to planning logistical details, it can be a boring process. There, we said it. But, just because it’s a boring process doesn’t mean that you can skip it. Setting out your event strategy (whether on an event-by-event basis or a yearly basis for all events) is the most critical part of planning the event, and it will pave the way for you to enjoy planning the details even more.
Image courtesy of ba1969