Just like our personal resolutions we make the beginning of each New Year, whether to improve our fitness level or improve our organization skills, whatever your resolutions may be, we need to take some time to make resolutions for our upcoming events in 2018.
One of the best ways to improve outcomes is to conduct a 3-step assessment of our event experience and make resolutions to improve metrics from your findings. How?
- Identify the event purpose. Be realistic and be sure to include stakeholders in your process. I always encourage planners to involve leadership, board members, event attendees and more in this process. You’ll be surprised how many different opinions you may receive. But it’s important to create an event purpose statement that will ultimately positively impact the goals of the organization. Make it clear and concise all stakeholders must be on the same page.
SAMPLE EVENT PURPOSE: Our annual gala invites community leaders and their circle of influence to honor 2- 3 key individuals in our community making a lasting impact on the arts while bringing attention to our organization’s role within the arts community. The gala will elevate the organization with influential art enthusiasts continuing to grow our membership and network.
Many events will have multiple event purposes, however it’s important to focus on one of the three types of event purposes below. This laser focus improves results and will make the experience more potent for your guests.
- Fund Raiser
- Friend Raiser
- Brand Builder
In the sample above, the first stated goal is to build brand awareness and the secondary purpose is a friend raiser. As we design the experience, we’ll focus on strategies that improve brand awareness on showcase our role in the arts community. Of course, you’ll raise funds, but this won’t be your primary focus in this sample.
- Who is your event Avatar? It’s time to assess if you have the right audience attending your event! The best way is to jot down as much information as you can about the “ideal event attendee.” How does your avatar consume information, what’s their day to day look like, what’s important to them? The more information you can gather the better. Be sure to include stakeholders for their opinions and you can conduct simple surveys.
This information will then help you shape your event marketing strategy. Knowing whom you need in the audience to move the organization forward is vital to event success. If you’re looking to grow event attendance, then it’s vital to know whom you should have in the audience to help you reach this goal.
- Event Experience Alignment. Does the experience align with your event purpose and your event avatar? Now that you’ve identified a clear and concise purpose and you have a better understanding of your event avatar’s likes and dislikes, it’s time to asses if the experience aligns with these findings.
This is the time to take a step back and be realistic with yourself. It’s easy to fall into the trap of habit. Aligning an event experience may mean it will take much more skill and time to create something taking the event to the next level. And as planners, it’s very easy to experience event burn-out and not have access to resources to help you pull off a new event vision.
But this doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. Jot down the successes you’re having and the flaws that need to be scrapped with the experience. Take a look at each of the components and make adjustments to align with the event purpose and your guests.
Break the experience into the 4 Pillars of an Event to help you make this process much more effective and palatable to manage. These pillars are a great way to organize your findings and start applying event experience strategies to help you reach your event resolutions.
- Attract – Essentially your event marketing plan.
- Arrive – What is the first impression you want to create for your guests.
- Standout – How are you going to make your experience unique from any other in your community.
- Crave – Create an experience wanting your guests craving for more.
Keep in mind, this process doesn’t need to take too much time, the more time you spend reevaluating the experience, the clearer picture you’ll have on what adjustments you need to make to invigorate your events in 2018.
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