The First 3 Steps for Virtual Event Success
Getting Started with Virtual Events: Pre-Event Success Series #1
Putting on a great event that achieves your business goals can be a challenge, but with the right strategy your event will be a success. (Tweet This!) Events can be leveraged to increase your company’s visibility, reach, engagement and brand favorability. You can grow your business with a well-planned and correctly executed event or series of events. (Tweet This!) In this article, we will talk about the first 3 steps for virtual event success – the process of setting an event goal and objectives.
If you have held events in the past without a detailed strategy for success, keep reading!
Before you decide to host an event, you need to determine WHY. (Tweet This!) What event goal will you reach by doing this event?
Some companies host events just for the sake of having one without knowing how to determine and ensure its success. This is a missed opportunity and is usually a waste of time and money. Guarantee that your event is meeting company goals and hitting objectives by creating a plan for success.
In order to measure success, you’ll need to know what you are trying to achieve in the first place.
Begin your event planning by determining your Goal, Objective and Strategy.
1. Determine Your Event Goal
The Goal should be the overarching, main reason for hosting the event in the first place. What do you need to accomplish overall in order for the event to be a success and beneficial to your business?
Some Common Business Goals:
- Brand Awareness
- Lead generation
- Immediate Revenue
- Product adoption and lifetime value
- Customer appreciation and retention
- Membership growth
Determining your goal is imperative because it is what we will use to build the proper event. An event without a goal and strategy to hit that goal may not be effective. Spend some time on this step to hone in on the big goal you want to achieve.
2. Determine Your Event Objectives
Next, set your Objective so you can actually measure the success of your Goal. The Objective is the measurable actions needed to achieve your Goal. We use the S.M.A.R.T. criteria to set this Objective.
S.M.A.R.T. criteria are:
What do you need to schedule, track or monitor in order for your main goal to be accomplished? The metrics you put in place here will assist in your success.
3. Determine Your Strategy
Going even further, you’ll need to determine how you will achieve that Objective by outlining the Strategy you will use to get there. Choose the specific actions or steps you will take.
The Strategy is tied to your Objectives also. You are building a map of what you need to specifically do in order to get you to your destination, which is your stated Goal.
Here is an example to inspire you in setting your own Goal, Objective and Strategy. Start with your main Goal and decide on the Objective needed to reach that Goal. Each Objective should have a Strategy that outlines the steps you will take to make it happen.
Create Your Objective using the S.M.A.R.T. criteria:
Company Goal: Generate leads from an event.
Specific: I want to generate qualified leads.
Measurable: I want to generate 20 qualified leads.
Attainable: I have a team in place that knows how to successfully execute a lead-generating event.
Relevant: Generating leads from events supports our company’s growth goals.
Time-bound: I have one month after the event to complete my event follow-up plan.
Here’s the Objective we’ve created from applying the S.M.A.R.T. criteria above: Generate 20 qualified leads within one-month of the successfully executed, lead-generating event which supports my company’s growth goals.
Now that you have set your Objective using the S.M.A.R.T. criteria, it’s time to decide how you will achieve this Objective. The how becomes the core of your Strategy.
- Design the event to meet the needs of your target audience.
- Specifically explain the benefits they will receive from attending the event.
- Include clear calls-to-action in any pre-event promotion to the attendees that entices them to set a meeting to discuss how your product or service could benefit them.
- During the event, engage the audience in learning about your product or service and encourage them to talk with your team to further explore their needs and your solutions.
- After the event, execute a follow-up plan giving attendees an incentive to set a meeting or other specific action.
Your Goal, Objective and Strategy are your keys to a successful event. Do not host an event without these elements in place. By seeing your Goal and creating a detailed Strategy to hit your Objectives you and you team will be clear about what is required. You can then plan out the months and weeks leading up to your event with confidence. Having a well-planned Strategy is the vital element of success.