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June 13, 2017
Planning & Strategy  |  7 min read

4 Surefire Steps to Kickstart Your Event Planning

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Mandy Brasser

You’re all ready to host an event. Your customers and clients are excited to attend. But… planning the event is all-consuming and intimidating. How are you going to get it all done? You just have to plan. All events must start with the planning phase. We’ll cover the first four steps here to ensure that you’re on your way to setting yourself up to nail your next event.

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1. Your event purpose

Before you get too carried away with working on your presentation slides, it’s essential to gain clarity on what you want to gain from your event.

What do you really need right now in your business? One of the fundamentals of doing anything, is starting with the end in mind.

What’s the overall purpose of your next event? We see the following core purposes for running an event on a regular basis:

  • Get more leads
  • Make sales
  • Add value or deliver 

You might have another purpose in mind, and that’s fine. Take stock and get clear on your purpose before you do anything else.

2. Your event goals

All events should have clear and specific goals in place to monitor and evaluate. What is the specific result that you’re looking for from your next event? How will you know if it’s been successful or not?

Some event goal examples include:

  • Get 50 new leads
  • Sell 10 memberships
  • Generate $15,000 in additional sales
  • Engage 50 percent of your existing clients
  • Deliver onboarding for 10 new clients in a group event (instead of individually)

Make sure you’re crystal clear on the goal. This will help you to determine if you’re on track during the event promotion phase (if applicable to measure during that time) and whether the overall event was successful.

3. Your audience

Once you’re clear on the outcome and the goal, the next step is knowing who your audience is. Who do you want in the room/online?

Possible audiences you could target are:

  • Prospects
  • Joint ventures/partners
  • Suppliers
  • Other

Of course, you could potentially target two audiences for the one event. 

The audience list above is quite broad, so once you’ve identified them at a high level, break down the characteristics of your audience as much as possible. 

Who are they? What challenges do they have? What do they want? What keeps them up at night? How old are they? Do they have kids? Where do they live? How much do they earn?  What do they do in their spare time?

The clearer you are about your audience the easier it will be to make decisions related to sales copy, scheduling and the type of event you should hold. 

Make sure you check in with yourself. Are you targeting the right audience to help you achieve the goals you identified?

4. Event topic

Every event needs to have an overall topic or theme to focus on at a high level.

The selection of the right topic can make or break your event. Businesses who get this right have overwhelming registrations. Those who get it wrong, unfortunately, waste a lot of time and struggle to get anyone to sign up.

Many of the top speakers from around world focus on two fundamental elements when planning their event topics:

Align your topic to your event goal

As stated, we must always know where we’re headed. Most events are focused on selling something. Whether it’s a paid product or service or it’s a free offer of some type. Even free offers at an event require selling (you are, after all, asking people to take action).

To maximize your event, the event topic must be related to the offer that you’re presenting.  That sounds obvious, but make sure it does. Otherwise, it could get awkward and be a very hard sell! If on your 90-minute sales webinar you’re selling a six-week course “Beginners Guide to Knitting,” do you think it would be relevant to spend 60 minutes talking about scrapbooking?  Of course not—make it relevant. 

The content in sales related events must move the audience to understand the why and what of your topic. Selecting the right topic will make your transition more natural when presenting your offer because it relates directly to what’s being discussed.

Speak to your audience

You have your goal for the event; however, you cannot forget your audience. What’s in it for them? Get into their world and understand where they’re at. Speak to them. Speak to their questions, problems and challenges like you know them better than they know themselves.

If you’re still unclear about what your event topic should be, consider the common problems your prospects and customers are approaching you with. What are their challenges and what solutions can you offer to help address them? 

Your next steps for event success

We have only scratched the surface of events, there is so much to cover… like what type of event you should run, event metrics, event setup hacks and more! Start planning your event today and follow these proven initial steps above. It’s time to start leveraging the power of events and introducing this one-to-many format to help you grow your business faster.

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Mandy Brasser is an Infusionsoft Certified Partner and founder of Streamline For Success. She specializes in helping overworked coaches, consultants and speakers leverage the power of events and automation. This allows more business owners to save time and convert more sales so they can focus on what they do best and make a bigger impact in the world.

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