Four questions to guide your event planning

Events are a powerful way to showcase your brand, so your brand values must be at the core of your planning. Jessica MacRoberts, MD of Worx Group, outlines the key questions you should be asking.

Creating a memorable experience—as opposed to just printing your logo on cocktail napkins—is one of the most powerful ways to showcase your brand. Before getting knee-deep in developing an event, remember to keep your brand values at the core of your plans. If you run a young, modern tech company, make sure the environment reflects that, from venue to cuisine.

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1. Who are you talking to?

Clarify your audiences. This is not only about the attending guests, but also extends to your speakers, vendors, service providers and venue. Each of your audiences requires something different from you, so be sure to plan ahead. Ultimately, if the various audiences are properly communicated with, they are more likely to get what they need. And isn’t that what we are all after?

Audience messaging should be planned for before, during and after the event. You need to clarify what the message is that you want to communicate at your event, as this becomes the central theme. You want something simple and succinct that tells the story of your event in a single sentence. Every particle of the event builds to create the message, from the venue you choose to the way you greet people as they arrive.

2. Why are you hosting the event?

What is your intention with the event? The intention sets the tone or mood and focuses every single decision you make.

Plot out the various categories of people who will be coming to your event and ask what your intention is for each group. Once you have created these intentions you can brainstorm ways of fulfilling each one.

3. What do I want to happen?

Defining the outcome of your event is critical and allows you to create structures for this. Unlike the intention (which is focused on the audience) the outcome focuses on what you want to achieve. Outcomes may be things like brand recognition, profit, increased membership, new customers or even great memories. Remember to also consider how you’ll measure success.

4. Am I focused on details AND the big picture?

One of the most important skills for running successful events is achieving the right balance between thinking and doing. You are the person who makes sure that the vision for the event is being fulfilled and that the details are taken care of.
If you don’t sweat the details, your guests will. Every single detail counts and the earlier you can get the small stuff out of the way, the better. Even if you have an amazingly curated line-up, failure to address those little details will skew the people’s perception of the event.

Finally, ensure you do a virtual walk through. Check, check and check again. Follow these tips and they will act as a compass, letting you know if the rest of your planning is on track.

For more event planning insights, check out our infographic: A Beginner’s Guide To Planning a Kick-Ass Event

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