Defining your event goal – it’s not often what it seems!
When we work with clients on their event strategy, we spend a lot of time outlining the event goals and objectives. It seems like a really straight forward task, but many event planners take what the clients say at face value and then begin moving through the planning process. So why do we spend so much time on this part of planning? Because there’s usually more to it than what is on the surface.
Let me give an example. We had a client come to us who wanted to plan a holiday party. Great! We love planning a holiday party! When asked about the goals and objectives, the response was “I want to celebrate our annual successes and make sure our team has some time to relax and have fun. We also want our clients to come and feel taken care of”. The easy thing to do at this point would be to say the event goal is:
- celebrate by creating a fun and relaxing environment for both employees and clients.
But like I said, there’s usually more to this. After some digging and prodding, we found out that this client had some turnover that year. They also lost a big client. To top it all off, the owner had been on maternity leave for a few months and she was feeling a bit disconnected from the team. Based on this information, we were able to pinpoint exactly what our event objectives were:
- recognize and reward employees to increase engagement and employee retention
- provide a personalized experience for clients so that they know they are a priority to the company
- re-establish the owner as a leader and remind associates that she is a supporter of their needs and a promoter of their talents.
So those three goals are a bit different than the original goal. And with these three specific goals in mind, we’re able to create an event strategy that will meet these objectives. What would have originally been a traditional event with fun entertainment and lots of food and drinks, we made sure that every part of the evening tied back to one of these three goals. We made sure that the owner took the time to talk to every single employee and their significant other. We situated her near the event entrance to greet guests and clients. There were small gifts with a personal note to each employee and client at their place setting. Clients were celebrated by creating a display to show samples of the best work done for their companies over the past year. The owner gave a brief speech thanking employees and recognizing their clients. The entire event was centered around being humble, gracious, and celebrating those that have contributed to making the company successful.
Yes we still had beautiful decor, a fun band, a delicious dinner and drinks, but there was an underlying strategy that tied back to the event and company goals that would help them grow and be better at what they do every day!