A slightly odd question you might think to open a conversation but one that frequently and surprisingly many struggle to provide an easy answer to. Variously, and we hope regularly, we reference in our blog posts the importance of clear, measurable objectives associated with your conference or event.
Another way of asking the question is ‘what do you want to happen during and after your event?’ and ‘how will we recognise if the event has been a success?’ This line of questioning is what we call our ‘event strategy’ service. Our event strategists work with you to design an event that maximises the impact and return on your investment.
I’m reminded of the Lewis Carroll ‘Alice on Wonderland scene in which Alice is at a fork in the road confronted by the Cheshire Cat; ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.’Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.’I don’t know,’ Alice answered.’Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
Conferences and events will always be one of the more expensive marketing activities and for this reason event management agencies should work very hard to make sure that they ask all the tough questions at the start of the project. They should also be able to help you with the answers and together create an event strategy that will drive the ultimate success of your event.I had a meeting recently with the CEO of a new conference company focussing only on sales conferences and events. Their USP was to deliver tangible results, in other words, increased sales performance. But to deliver this they have to carry out a review to examine everything that has an impact of sales results. We enjoyed a great discussion about the importance of really understanding the client’s business, agreeing the objectives of the project and focussing on delivering specific outcomes.
Over the past five years the conference organisers and events companies have got much better at what is usually termed ‘measuring ROI’. There are varying degrees of sophistication which an event management company will offer and deliver. Inevitably there are also event management agencies and clients that, for whatever reason, don’t have a conversation about objectives and measuring success. They tend to end up where they end up.
Our preference is for knowing where you want to go and what it’s all about, that way we can keep you smiling, just like the Cheshire Cat.