Events with a Purpose: 3 Steps to Define Your Event Plan

Events with a Purpose: 3 Steps to Define Your Event Plan
February 16, 2016 Trace Kingham

Events with a Purpose

By Cylie Svartoien, with excerpts from Standout by Trace Kingham

If your guests walk away from your event and you don’t hear from them in some way or another (product purchase, donations, mission partnering, website traffic, etc.), then you have lost your ROI. To get the most return, your event needs strategy. To start your Event Discovery Process means defining your event’s purpose.

We recently asked a client what the purpose of their event was, to which they replied, “to raise money.” This is a common response, yet it’s missing the mark. Raising money is an effect for the purpose, not the purpose itself. What do you want your guests to experience and remember from the evening? It’s probably not the 3 minutes they spent writing a check. If your sole desire for the event is to get donations, then focus on how you will get your guests on board with your vision. You’re asking them to buy into your company, so sell them on your mission.

Are you ready to infuse the crowd with excitement for what you stand for? GREAT! Then let’s get started.

  1. Take a look at the business strategy.

Does your event align with the business strategy? How will the experience help your organization reach your 5-year strategic plan? Some common purposes could be:

  • Improve sales for a particular business product (the narrower, the better!)
  • Raise awareness for a solution or cause
  • Get people on board with your mission to help others in the community


  1. Clearly examine your target market

Designing an experience that will connect with your target demographic is crucial! If you are going to inspire them, you need to get inside their psyche and really understand what makes them tick. What do THEY need to experience in order to take action? Make sure the event is about your guests.


  1. Examine your identified business goal that you would like to impact with an event experience, understand the market you want to invite and then see if the two align.

When you have alignment, you can clearly state a defined purpose that will go forward with the planning of your event.

Now that you have your event purpose, you can continue on to identifying event experience tactics to support your cause. Everything you do from here on out should point back to and support your overall purpose. With a little forethought, you can create an event strategy to maximize your return on investment.

One chance for a lasting impression.