How to Get Key Stakeholders to Agree on your Event’s Goals

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Events are so much fun (of course we think so!), but we’re proponents of making sure that your event is so much more. The effects of your event should last longer than the effects of the open bar. That’s where goal setting comes in, but where to start? Read on, friends. 

We’ve talked a lot about goal setting on our blog before, including how to achieve your goals strategically before, during, and after an event, but today we’re taking a slightly different approach. How do you get your key stakeholders to agree? First, before you dive into goals, are you sure you’re ready to have an event?

The first step before measuring and managing your goals is getting key people to actually agree on them. That’s a tall order. We’re sharing our best tips for herding cats, errr, gathering your key stakeholders into agreement.

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Tip #1: The Straw Man Method 

Also known as, “it’s easier to disagree than start from scratch.” If you’re the one tasked with organizing the goal process, just get something down on paper. Make it clear to your team that you’re just getting the process started, not presenting a perfected final goals list, and you may be surprised at how quickly people come up with a shared vision. Get the process started and watch the magic happen as people who were too busy suddenly have a lot to say on the topic.

 

Tip #2: Discuss your priorities:

Why are you having this event at all? This is likely a major investment, so what will make it worth it to you? A few ideas:

  • Do you want to raise a certain amount of funds?

  • How many people do you want to attend?

  • What do you want people to say about your event afterwards?

  • Do you want to be featured in certain media outlets? Which ones? How will you craft your event to be newsworthy for those outlets?

Tip #3: Consider your Tangible vs. Intangible Goals for an Event

Of course, with any investment, it’s wise to find ways to measure your goals, but some of these goals are going to be tangible (profits made), and others will be far less tangible (like impression on guests). Both types of goals are meaningful to have and Kennedy Events will help you define and measure both.

Examples of tangible goals:

  • Number of potential clients in attendance

  • Sponsorship funds raised

  • Media mentions of event

Examples of Intangible goals:

  • Impact of event on public perception of company

  • Quality of attendee experience

Likewise, your event will have tangible and intangible benefits for your attendees, and your goals can help shape what those benefits might be.

Tangible benefits for the audience:

  • Networking: it’s essential to create space for this

  • Swag bag full of exclusive items (such as a book published just for the event)

Emotional benefits for the audience:

  • Get to say they were in the same room as someone they respect and admire

  • Be able to impress their boss with stories about who they met and what they learned

 

Once you have your goals defined:

Make sure every member of your team knows them

The people working on the project are essential to its success, so making sure that they are just as aware of the goals as you are is key. Communicate the goals in person, via email, and at every relevant meeting. It’s especially important that the people in charge of inviting guests know these goals so that they can effectively communicate why people should attend. Your sales and marketing teams will be your allies in getting your dream guest list in attendance.

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Make budget decisions with these goals in mind

Your budget will follow your priorities, and with so many possible ways to spend your budget, keeping your goals front and center will help you stay focused. Share these goals with your event planner so that they can share this focus with you.

Create an Attendee Profile

Once your goals are defined you’ll be in a good place to do one of the most important pieces of the goal setting process: creating an attendee profile.

Consider who might attend your event.

  • What industries do they work in?

  • Where do they live?

  • How much do they make?

  • What do they like to drink?

  • What is a fun weekend activity for them?

  • What publications and blogs do they read?

With these (and too many more to list here!) answered, you’ll be able to craft an event that meets your goals and attracts this ideal person and create a marketing strategy that speaks directly to them.

Now it’s time to plan!

Next step, determine your venue. Whether you’re in the nascent dreaming stages or already have your goals defined, we’d be happy to lend our expertise to your event. Let us know what kind of event you’re planning, and we’ll take it from there!

Paige Buck