Successful Events Start with Goals
A lot of things but one, in particular, is critical: that of Goals. It sounds very obvious, and everyone would agree, but the problem we find is that the client’s goals are often very difficult to both identify and more so to understand.
The problem starts with the Event Consultant being too presumptive and allowing one’s experience to point us to what we believe is obvious…or what we think is obvious.
The above is the first big mistake as everything done from this point on could be and most probably is a waste of your and your client’s time.
The second problem is that the person you are being briefed by often does not know and is merely the “gate-keeper” or a form of broken telephone.
It is critical that you get to chat with the person who is accountable for the outcome of the event. Even if you cannot physically meet with that person(s), you have to ensure that your final interpretation of the goals of the event is communicated to that person.
How do we ensure we get the right goals?
- Check the website revision and strategic intent before your meeting with the client.
- Ask the client what the goals of the event are.
- Ask them what they believe this successful event would be?
- Ask them what changes they would want to see in their people after the event?
- Ask what impact these outcomes from the event will have on the organisation?
- Tie the outcomes of the event back to the organisational vision and or goals.
- Listen very carefully to the responses as this will clarify whether you are talking to the right person(s) or whether you need to re-word the questions.
- Repeat back to the client to ensure mutual understanding.
- Ask if any others and what they are.
- Prompt the client with examples such as “to motivate staff” or “to introduce new concepts or ”
- Interpret and clarify.
- This step is where you and your team ALL make sure you understand the goals of the event.
- Email the outcomes and interpretation back to the client to ensure your interpretation is correct.
At this stage, nothing much has happened regarding planning and gratefully so, as everything that follows needs to relate back to these well-defined goals.