Organizing a corporate event is not a simple task. It requires a lot of planning to set yourself up for success and having a strategy is essential. A corporate event strategy helps you make decisions by providing direction and guidance for your master event plan. This is crucial to helping you stay focused on activities that align with your audience and your event goals.
There are many elements to putting together an effective event strategy, and we’ve highlighted some of the most important ones below.
Know Your Audience
The first step with your event strategy is to understand your audience. If you can’t easily describe your audience and how the event serves them, you will need to do more research. You can accomplish this by sending a survey to your potential attendee list or doing select interviews to get a sample of their interests and attitudes. The questions you ask will vary depending on the audience and type of event. Be sure to focus your attention on getting to know what motivates them to attend and what they are hoping to take away from your event.
Regardless of whether it is an internal team meeting or an industry conference, start your corporate event strategy by gaining a deep understanding of your audience.
Understand Your Goals
Corporate events can have a wide range of goals. It is important to define your end goal and how you are going to measure success, beyond just getting people to attend. It helps to start with a general goal such as:
- Improve Team Communication
- Increase Employee Morale
- Generate Sales Leads
- Retain Current Customers
Once you know your general goal, you can refine it by making it SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-based) and adding additional key performance indicators to know you are on the right track toward your goal.
Find the Right Speakers
You’ve done your audience research and set your goals, and now you need to deliver the content. Creating a strong agenda will make the event valuable to your attendees. Your speakers do not have to be big names. However, they do need to be engaging, inspiring, and most importantly aligned with your event goals. Focus Group Events suggests mixing it up and featuring a variety of speakers with their own unique characteristics.
- Celebrity – A person that has buzz and influence
- Innovative – Someone doing something new in the space
- Expertise – Someone well respected that has been in the industry a long time
- Characters – A person with charisma and an interesting story
Even if you plan to only use an internal team, think about these characteristics to add the right tone and content to your event.
Pick Partners That Align
Just like you want your speakers to align with your goals, you want to select partners and sponsors that also support your event. Attendees will expect to network and connect with companies and individuals that can help contribute to their personal and professional development. Because of this, the partners you choose must be strategic. You will want to partner with organizations that enhance the experience of attending your event. Look for sponsors that add value to your audience but avoid direct competitors whenever possible.
Plan Your Event Marketing
Another area to address in your event strategy is marketing. A strong marketing plan will help guide the decision making and implementation of promoting the event, even if you are communicating to an internal audience. There are numerous elements to successful event marketing, but here are a few key ones to consider:
- Branding: Create a brand or theme for the event. Think about what feeling or kind of experience you want your attendees to have and then build from there.
- Website: Every event needs a website with practical information like where to stay, how to get there, and the agenda. The event website can also include videos, speaker details and supporting reference content to get participants excited about attending.
- Channels: Use the right communications and marketing channels to promote your event in the places where you audience is likely to see them. From newsletters, email blasts, internal messaging platforms to social media and even printed flyers, be sure to post announcements, updates, and teasers to get people interested.
While it might seem obvious, if you don’t “fill the seats” for your event, it won’t matter how good your event strategy was on paper, so have a solid marketing plan to get the word out.
Use Tools to Help Organize and Manage Your Event Strategy
The good news is that you don’t need to begin from a blank sheet of paper when it comes to planning your corporate event strategy. There are many templates and tools to guide you along the way. You can use a template to organize your ideas and thoughts, and there are a variety of tools available to help you track and manage the event.
For more ideas on developing your corporate event strategy, feel free to reach out to our corporate planning team at The Mountain Terrace.