There are only 5 Steps to a Great Event!

In the rush to find the best venue or select the most delicious appetizer, we often fall prey to the primary challenge to organizing an event: trying to make too many decisions at once. So take a deep, cleansing breath and remember that there are 5 critical steps to planning a successful event.

1.      Define goals and objectives

2.      Make foundation decisions

3.      Arrange logistics

4.      Launch event

5.      Wrap-up

But did you know the true success of an event can be won or lost in the first or last step?? And these steps are the ones most often overlooked, truncated, or brushed aside. So let’s stop and look at those two more closely.

1.      Define goals and objectives

It might seem that defining goals takes too much time. But it really makes decision making easier and faster! Every choice for the event, from location down to the handouts should tie back to this statement. Let’s say you’re selecting a venue. Should you use a downtown meeting space or a suburban resort? If your goal is to educate your entire office team plus two remote workers on a specific skill, quickly with minimal disruption to their schedules, a downtown location that is more convenient and has built in teleconferencing is the clear choice. With your defined goals this is a no-brainer! But if you hadn't clearly articulated those, it might have been more attractive to select the nicer resort with free parking, without realizing it was costing more in time and productivity.

Second is that defining goals and objectives is the only way to gauge success at the finish line. So take some time with this and narrow it down to the essence of why you’re hosting the event. It might be for profit, networking, visibility, future sales, marketing, fun, teambuilding, education or a combination of two or more. Now you need to quantify these objectives. If it’s for profit, how much? If its for teambuilding, which groups or people are the focus and in what areas are you looking for improvement? Is it communication, trust, or to work out a specific conflict? Be as specific as possible in the outcome desired.

This leads us directly to

5.      Wrap-up

When goals and objectives are clearly defined you won’t be feeling aimless when it comes time to wrap up your event. Make sure to survey your attendees and staff and then use your quantified objectives as the benchmark to audit each part of your event and measure success.

You’re almost at the finish line, but there’s still one part of wrap-up that’s key. Have a plan in place to thank those who participated, including attendees, speakers, stakeholders, and staff. It can be as simple as an email or handwritten note. Hopefully the event met all of your objectives and you’ll want to work with them again!

So next time you have a vision for an awesome event, don’t try to make too many decisions at once. Just remember the event plan and take it step by step.


Do you need someone to lead this effort at your company? Message me today and let’s chat about how to best scale your event program!

Photo by Victoria Petersen

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