A successful event is only achieved through strategic event planning and management. With an event strategy, event planners can plot out and execute a flawless event that builds your brand and conveys the event message flawlessly.
In this article, learn about strategic event management, and incorporate these top tips into your event strategy. Make event success part of the planning process, and leave guesswork in the past with data-driven insights.
All About Strategic Event Management
Event management, or event planning, is the process of detailing and preparing everything that needs to be done to host an event. This includes pre-, inter-, and post-event planning tasks. To ensure a successful event, the event management needs to be in-depth and account for all possible outcomes.
What is Strategic Event Management?
Strategic event management is normal event management with the added benefit of strategic thinking.
It makes use of data-driven insights to fuel event promotion and planning, allowing event planners to streamline event and venue management and make the most of the event budget.
A well-thought-out event strategy all but guarantees event success. How, you ask? Because an effective event strategy leaves nothing to guesswork. Instead, the event planning is done with meticulous precision. Tasks lists are longer and more in-depth. The event experience for attendees is also much more satisfying.
Why Do You Need Strategic Event Management?
Strategic event management uses past events and event data to examine, compare, and improve event planning. It identifies weaknesses in the planning process and provides ample time for event organizers to fix problems.
Using data, especially historical event data, is also the best way to learn what your clients want. It’s data tailored to your event capabilities and your customers’ unique experiences.
Comphrehesinev planning is not only guaranteed to increase ticket sales, but it’s also going to increase attendee engagement – improving the attendee experience and improving brand retention.
When events use strategic planning, it eliminates much of the human error that bogs down a successful event strategy.
Top Tips to Employ for Strategic Event Management
To create an effective event strategy, use these strategic event planning tips for guidance.
1. Determine the Event Goals & Objectives
Whether you are hosting a corporate event or a charity mixer, your event has a goal. Common goals include raising money, brand awareness, or establishing connections.
An event without a goal is aimless, and event attendees are likely to leave it clueless as to what the purpose of the event was – a failure for anyone hosting an event. Event goals and objectives are also a great way to gauge how much time and resources to spend on the event.
So, before you get to the practical event strategy, determine the following key goals of your event.
Before you plan the event, consider what the event message is. The message, whether it be to spend more on your brand or to have a great Christmas, should be the key takeaway at the end of the event. It’ll also be the guide when determining the event promotions and theme.
Next, establish how many attendees you want at the event. Once you know how many tickets you want to sell or how many people you are inviting, you can start considering event costs more realistically.
If you’re not sure what a realistic number would be, use past event data for headcount averages. Either use a similar range or increase it to a challenging but achievable goal.
Don’t overestimate to an unrealistic degree. This will only waste resources and look bad when seats are empty on the event day.
The target audience is the people who will have a vested interest in the event you’re hosting. Once you determine your target audience, it becomes much easier to flesh out the practical aspects of the event.
If you don’t cater the event to the right target audience, marketing won’t be effective, and people won’t engage with the event. So, take your time to create a target audience profile with your team.
2. In-Person, Virtual, Or Hybrid Events?
The COVID-19 epidemic has introduced two new types of events, virtual and hybrid events. But if surveys are anything to go by virtual and hybrid events are here to stay even in a post-Covid lockdown world.
Today, virtual and hybrid events have become a great way to host global events and offer attendees more comfortable event options. Hybrid and virtual events have also become cost-effective alternatives.
Part of your event strategy should be considering the right type of event for you. Should you host an in-person or virtual event or a hybrid event that incorporates both?
In-person events are great for bigger gatherings that want to focus on the social aspect of events. Virtual events are great for global gatherings, or for brands that need to deliver a message but don’t have the budget for a full-scale event. Hybrid is great if the goal is to interact with an audience, while also showcasing the event to people who want to tune in online.
Consider your event goals, resources, and how you’ll convey your event message. Create small simulations of the events as each of the above types, and let that guide you to the best option.
3. Create an Event Budget
Once you know what type of event you’ll be hosting, it becomes much easier to establish the event budget.
Some common event costs:
- Venue rental costs (for in-person and hybrid events)
- Event Entertainment
- Food and beverages
- Brand signage
- Event permits and licenses
- Promotional expenses
- Software or event tech expenses
Keep your budget updated and prepare for the worst. Always round up estimate numbers and have an emergency fund available for any surprise expenses.
4. Establish the Event Promotions
Event promotions are another very strategic part of the event planning process. Without a successful promotional strategy, the event won’t attract enough attention, and revenue will suffer.
To ensure an effective event promotion, sit down with your marketing team and consider the following points.
Choose the right social media platform for your event. Many event organizers make the mistake of spreading themselves thin across all social media platforms or choosing the wrong platforms. Find the social media platforms that your target demographic spends their time on. It wouldn’t make sense to market a corporate event on TikTik, would it?
Don’t be scared about dismissing massive platforms like Instagram, TikTok, etc. Even if you choose a lesser-known social media platform, if your target audience is congregating there, you’ll have much better luck promoting there than on a large platform that your target audience doesn’t use.
Create a social media account for your event and start posting snippets and hints about the event 2 to 4 months in advance. The bigger the event, the longer the promotional period should be.
Email marketing remains a fantastic way to market events and your event communication timeline should hint at your event long before the event tickets drop. Take advantage of CRM software to collect customer data and grow your mailing list.
Whether it be posters, promotional videos, or hints of a collaboration with a famous presenter, regularly post teasers about the event. As the day of the event approaches, don’t let up. Build buzz around the event and ensure your attendees are excited and engaged until the last second.
5. Allocate Responsibilities
To ensure smooth sailing, allocate jobs to qualified team members. When teams are doing dedicated work instead of spreading resources over a wide range of to-do items, they can finish work quicker and better.
So, create event management teams, like a sales team or social media team. Ensure they have the resources they need and let them focus on their tasks to maximize output.
6. Utilize Event Technology to Optimize the Event Strategy
Event management software has made it possible to automate many time-consuming event tasks.
Event software options to consider:
- Tip distribution software for fast tip pooling and accurate distributions.
- Staffing software to manage event shifts and track labor costs.
- Event management software for overall event strategy management.
- POS software for payment processing and real-time cash counting, especially for auctions or charities.
- Training software to train floor staff in event protocol.
- BOH (back-of-house) stock management software for sit-down dinner events.
These are just a few examples of great software to add to your event strategy. Of course, you don’t need to use all the above options. Choose the event tech that suits your budget and your needs, and implement it into the event strategy for event optimization.
7. Quantify the Event’s Success
The last step in your event strategy should be to get feedback on the event. Fortunately, it’s possible to measure success.
Using the event platform and the data collected during the event registration, send surveys to the people who attended your event. Ask them about their experience, what they liked, and where they believe improvement is necessary.
Event success is often a process of trial and error. Use surveys to examine and improve future events as you go.
An event strategy is necessary for event success. Without it, you risk overlooking key points in the planning process and ignoring data-driven insights.
Use the above steps to build your next event strategy. Define the event goals, measure and distribute resources, increase event attendance with smart promotions, and streamline and quantify event management with software.
For powerful event strategy planning, incorporate event management software into your event tech stack. Get organized and increase sales by 40% with Perfect Venue. Try it free today!