Creativity is important, but corporate events need to be managed with a more business-centric approach, argues Martin Richardson, Managing Director at Ten Thousand Hours. And maybe it’s time to quit doing the same thing…
The creation of impactful and meaningful events is becoming increasingly important to PAs, but how often do you get the full and detailed brief that’s needed to really make an impact?
Most event briefs are focused on delivery tactics (location, dates, meeting space) and not strategy. But there is much more involved in putting an event together – no matter what size, scale or shape it takes. Key messaging, identity, engagement, feedback, measurement, etc. And all of these areas should be questioned and explored to create an event that stakeholders value.
So how can you steer the conversation, and command the time and effort from your stakeholders, to really understand how the event will align with the business strategy?
How can you can add value at every stage, and in turn gain recognition?
It is no longer acceptable to produce events because ‘we hold one every year’, and the mantra that ’no one ever got fired for doing the same thing’ is an approach that will only get one thing; the same as before.
The most successful events we have ever produced on behalf of clients have been when in the initial set-up stages, the event adopts a business model approach.
It’s about looking at the event as if it were a business:
• What is the event’s unique proposition?
• Where are your attendees/customers?
• How do you market to them?
• What are your objectives for the event?
• Set-up costs vs return? Partnerships?
• Can every objective be achieved in one event or is a longer term series required?
• Resources required?
When event organisers are asked to deliver based on a tactical brief they are open to critique based on matters out of their control (venue service, room quality etc.) and this can fill an event organiser with dread.
However, when an event adopts the business model approach, creative thinking is encouraged, aligned to objectives. Evaluation is based on outcomes.
And when this happens, gone is the dread associated with cold coffee; replaced by the joy of delivering an event that will gain personal recognition from stakeholders.