Dear Friends and Colleagues:
When speaking with my fellow special event planners, we frequently comment on how this profession has grown.
One decade ago, events were fairly predictable. At certain points during the calendar year, plans for an organization’s traditional event season would begin. Conversations would focus on upcoming board meetings, annual convention(s) or trade show(s), employee appreciation events and business meetings. In-house event planning teams, and the consultants engaged to provide assistance, would move at a fast pace to keep up with the various projects.
Today the landscape has expanded to include events that are more complex and require greater planning, such as: corporate galas and non-profit fundraising dinners, naming opportunities, client and donor cultivation events, product launches and travel incentive programs. For some professionals, the additional activity can be most exciting. However, for professionals who do not have the resources to lighten the workload, the additional tasks can be most stressful.
Yet, in the midst of this excitement, every event planner must obtain the answers to 3 very important questions.
1. What are your organization’s event objectives?
- In other words, why are you hosting this event?
- Are you looking to raise awareness for your organization and brand?
- Are you looking to raise much-needed funds for your organization’s mission and programs?
- Are you looking to engage new donors and reconnect with former donors?
- Are you comfortable with your immediate and short-term goals?
- Are you clear on what success and failure looks like for your organization at this point in our history?
2. Can your organization afford to host this event?
- Do you have the money required to achieve the results that you want?
- Will your budget allow you to reflect the image you are trying to project?
- Would you consider enlisting sponsors for your event?
- If so, have you formed any strategic alliances that we can approach?
3. What is your vision for this event?
- Have you given thought to the different elements of the event?
- What items are on your “must-have” list?
- Do you have a specific location in mind?
- What mood are you trying to create?
- What feelings are you trying to capture?
We will explore these questions more fully in future posts. As you begin to contemplate your next event, I wanted to start the discussion with these 3 key questions. If taken seriously, the answers will inform your business discussions for weeks to come.
Sending you good wishes.
Event Planning: The Ultimate Guide to Successful Meetings, Corporate Events, Fundraising Galas, Conferences and Conventions, Incentives and Other Special Events by Judy Allen.