The organization of business events is a complex mechanism of brand promotion. It arranges the solid building of trusting relationships between the hosting company and the captivated audience.
Implementing an event management strategy is a must to plan and hold the events best way possible. It's not an easy task, though.
This article will explore the pillars of strategic event management that you need to consider when running next events and developing an event strategy.
Why Do You Need an Event Strategy?
Many occasions can lead a company to organize an event: to announce a product launch, to hold the presentation of a new brand ambassador, make a new collaboration, announce some changes in the company's values, or intentionally generate more leads while creating qualified opportunities to multiply sales.
Event management consists of developing strategies to reach customers through creative and memorable experiences that strengthen emotional bonds between them and the brand.
The new social distancing realities are adjusting event management practices. After 2020, 89% of people consider a remote work as a default mode. It affects the way events take place.
Meetings are moving online, video conferencing requires an entirely different approach to broadcast aligning, platform scope, sponsorship, and more, but the priority of the strategy remains unchanged.
To stay on track, your event needs to be taken under the wing of strategic planning. Otherwise, budget assessment, role allocation, and technical support will become an absolute nightmare for a marketing team.
The basic principle of limited time and resources requires channeling efforts into an applied and easy-to-follow to-do list. At the same time, a wide variety of technical planning tools makes this process more accessible than ever.
The planning of any process makes it possible to assess the risk and analyze the return. The strategy will make it possible to detect whether the selection of tools has been appropriate or whether there is a problem to solve at an early stage of the process.
What Is the Role of Data in Strategic Event Planning?
Data can play an essential role in the deployment of event preparation. After all, before embarking on a new event, it is necessary to analyze the previous occasion, relevant examples from the competitors, overall trends in the field.
As people place more value on personal devices, it becomes easier to collect and control data to influence event experiences. Statistics reveal that 91% of event planners attribute mobile apps for events to their companies' ROI.
Savvy event management teams are now taking advantage of online event management tools. They use it to create meaningful data for highly customized events. These powerful tools offer you an all-in-one solution.
You can manage your website, membership data, email communication, and more from one application. Event tech features are remarkable for event registration, ticketing, attendee management, establishing publicity, and more.
Event marketers benefit from the fact that even specific qualitative information is more readily available and transformed into the data language. That's why event marketers can now offer more personalized advertising to suit their target audience.
For example, if you use HubSpot as a default CRM for event management, you can use data recorded from past events to find out what attendees prefer, track new people interested, and more.
In this way, you get a deeper insight into attendees' preferences. Bringing all the received data to your Google Sheets via HubSpot export, you will have the opportunity to track outcomes of each event, boost reporting, and create a clearer picture in strategic event management for your company.
5 Pillars of Strategic Event Management
Every brand is unique, and no formula would tell you how to approach an imagined event marketing strategy. To begin with, you should check on five obligatory components that will help in its elaboration.
1 Pillar: Everything Starts with a Goal
Defining the objective of your event activities is the starting point of any strategy evolvement and should be as clear and precise as possible.
Think that the event's goal will determine many subsequent decisions such as the format, the degree of formality, targeted audience, etc.
Here comes the synchronization of the leadership's wishes and the team's feedback regarding future actions. This, according to surveys, is one of the most dominant factors in planning events.
The first stage of any cyclical planning must be to understand the current position and context within which you will be working.
The most important area to research is the audiences you are going to communicate with. It would be necessary to know their attitudes and opinions about the topics to be addressed.
2 Pillar: Revise the Resources
The budget is a crucial factor in the organization of events since many subsequent decisions depend on it.
This will vary considering the event's purpose, the number of people attending, or the more or less expensive details you want to offer. 63% of event marketers stated that their event budget increased by 22% in 2020.
We recommend you set a maximum amount and start playing from there. You start with hardware, design, and promotional materials. Now, almost every event requires this set. In addition, you will also have to evaluate the need and possible attributions of having sponsors.
Speaking about offline events, the number of guests and the type of event you want to organize will determine the venue. You should choose one considering logistics and predicted number of guests foremost.
Additionally, if you plan to have a big event - conference - you need extra capacities for food courts, networking and relaxing places.
What matters most in event management is the impression you will give to the attendees and what they perceive the company. Addressing some strong tips on the branding of the future event can become a promotional tool itself and bring public interest.
In your planning, make sure to include all the extra details: decoration, dress code, speeches, gifts, communication or promotional actions, etc.
All in all, you need to clearly understand what resources you'll require at the early stages of preparations. As a rule, you need to identify:
- hardware and venue
- promotional materials
- extra - gifts, merch, etc.
3 Pillar: Recount the Responsible Team
Without a team implementation of even strategy is hardly possible.
The planning work is not done in one fell swoop. About half of successful events take at least a few months to mature. All this time, a separate team will be engaged on the project. And how successful the final show will be depends on team's ability to work harmoniously.
Delegate authority, learn to listen, and remember to adjust the plan along the way since you probably would have to adjust it. Make sure that each team member understands their area of responsibility, be it the ticket sales, communication with media and broadcasters, and negotiations with the event venue owners.
You'll need to encourage team syncs, documentation, decision-making sessions to stay updated on the preparation process. Your ability to quickly respond to possible force majeure and solve them without affecting the event itself depends on these small tasks.
However, do not forget that the main task of implementing the event project plan lies with the head, and ultimately one person is responsible for the result.
4 Pillar: Choose Correct Tools
A correct toolkit aligns with the budget, fullfills your event expectations.
Audiovisual elements (presentations, background, video, and audio materials) are essential to creating atmosphere, demonstrating brand identity, and offering a sensory experience to our attendees. Depending on the activities you want to carry out, you will choose a specific set of software and hardware. At this point, you must stick to the budget and let your imagination run free.
Also, the important thing here is how you will use event promotion and marketing. Being creative, brave to experiment, and eager to automize routine are among the top qualities of a modern salesperson and marketer.
From this, choose a suitable service for:
- automating emailing
- social media promotion
- tracking visitors
- tracking key metrics
- payment options
Besides, you need experimenting with A/B testing of promo campaigns. When choosing a suitable set of tools, remember that there are hundreds of them. You need to choose the right toolset not only based on the abilities and preferences of people involved but the best-performing ones.
5 Pillar: Track and Analyze Everything
In event management, analyzing the results and the impact you have generated is key to determining whether or not you have fulfilled your mission.
Evaluation is a way to create the habit of continuous improvement and learning. You are sure to draw interesting conclusions from retro sessions and event analysis.
Strategic event management has evolved, giving way to 360-degree experiences, in which it is essential to develop strategies that contemplate different marketing channels - from owned media to earned and paid media.
For this reason, achieving the perfect meshing between the different marketing tactics is the key to obtaining a worthwhile ROI.
The basis of any event is the experience developed by the brand. That, above all, must meet the expectations and experience of its attendees. Using backlog prioritization techniques and deep analytics, you can understand what worked, what experiments you should try next, and most importantly, prioritize topics and ideas for other events.
Strategic Event Management Metrics
To evaluate the success of your event strategy and management, you need to have a set of metrics. Tracking them, you'll see if your goal is reached and what should be improved.
Among other metrics, there are four the most important. Let's have a look at them!
Registrations and Event Check-In
The first point helps answer the question: "Who attended the event out of the signed-up leads?"
There will always be a disparity in these figures. Still, if you look at the data, you can understand how valuable the event itself is for the audience, without stylistic adjustments to the attractiveness of the advertising message, promotion, and the promised perks.
If you have special guests, if you are one of the sponsors, it is essential to track conversions by type of tickets.
Changes to these limited availability registration conversions can tell you a lot about how your event unfolds. This can help you decide on specific target groups and ways of promotion you next events among them as well as approaches to increase engagement.
Seeing the ratio between registered and showed-up people is the way to rethink your event planning or prove that you're doing everything great. If your registration/check-in conversion rate is more than 50%, you're doing pretty great.
ROI (return on investment) metric is the most common among event managers - in the end, what justifies is the amount of financial return generated from that event.
To make this calculation, consider all the investments that you do not have an event and how much you receive. Tracking ROI shows you the success and business impact of your events and event management strategy for the company.
Net Promoter Score
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) shows those visitors to your online or offline event, who are interested in your content or your value proposition enough to share information about your events.
This metric indicates precisely how many people you can start a business relationship with. It shows you loyal visitors, new potential customers, which directly affects your retention strategy.
However, you should not look only at the absolute number of leads or target accounts involved but at the percentage of visitors who actually convert to leads.
Social Media Engagement
Pageviews, number of followers, and likes can paint an unrealistic picture of actual engagement. It is not necessary to have a lot of followers to increase participation in the social media channels of your event.
Understanding social media engagement is the way to make tweaks and improvements on event promotion on social media as well as attract new potential visitors.
Now you have the basis for creating an effective event management strategy. Think about each of these aspects calmly and keep them in mind when you prepare to have your striking conference, meeting, or presentation.
A good synergy between all of them will ensure the success of your event organization!
Are you planning to organize an event soon? If you want to promote and execute it successfully through automation, book a demo of Glue Up's Event Management software.
The all-in-one solution for events comes with an event page builder, custom registration forms, and online ticketing, among others.
Dmytro Zaichenko is a Marketing Specialist at Coupler.io, a data integration tool. He has 6+ years of experience in content making. Apart from writing, he's passionate about networking and the NBA.