It’s the meeting we’ve all attended: you walk in; there appears to be no purpose to the meeting; it takes 10 minutes before anyone pays attention and once they do, they're talking about what should happen during the meeting but don't actually accomplish anything. Sound familiar?
Define your event objectives
Meetings without a clear purpose are painful, difficult to manage and, honestly, a waste of time. Another hour you can never get back.
Now imagine that scenario with thousands of people over 3-5 days...without clearly specified objectives = a disaster in the making.
Meetings that have a defined set of outcomes are tremendously more productive than meetings that do not. And, yes, this is stating the obvious, but we all know how often one can find themselves in an unproductive time suck. In contrast, meetings that leave you thinking "that was time well spent" are not only valuable from a time/cost benefit; they energize participants and perpetuate productivity. Events operate in the same way.
There are essential elements that make events great and Set your own goal posts is the first of twelve in my "Premier event" series designed to define these essential elements.
Every event should have clear objectives that align to the strategy of the company. At the risk of being cliché, let’s use a sports analogy. A soccer team must score goals to win. In order to score a goal, one must place the ball between the goal posts, or “on target”. It’s a clear objective and everything that follows (training, tactics, etc.) is intended to direct the team, literally and figuratively, to that goal. The coaching staff and every team member knows what to do.
Now apply this concept to a company event. Set the goal posts, define the event objectives, and everyone knows where to shoot. This doesn’t need to be a difficult process. No need to over think it. Keep your objectives simple. No more than 3-5 and keep them at a level where everyone can understand and align.
Setting the event goal posts produces a “Butterfly Effect” that cascades throughout the event allowing everything to fall into place. Now your marketing people know how to position the messaging. Content developers understand what they need to build. The design company understands what to express. Your keynote speakers understand what to emphasize. It informs which external speakers, celebrities, and entertainers you might want to have at the event. Defining the purpose is critical to your event being successful.
Dreamforce 2014 is an example of an event that did an excellent job of highlighting specific goals. Each day Marc Benioff delivered a clear message regarding the 1-1-1 integrated philanthropy model. It was a part of every aspect of the conference, woven into the keynotes and consistent throughout all elements of the event from Hillary Clinton discussing reading programs for kids to stations around the event where attendees packaged up donated food stuffs for local food banks to distribute. The Dreamforce event team was on target.
It's not easy creating a premier event, but the framework is straight forward. Set your own goal posts where the coaching staff (read: stakeholders) can create a strategy (read: agree and align to) and your (event) teammates can score (read: be successful).
As CEO Randy sets the vision for the company, building strategic partnerships, and ensuring the Spur culture thrives. Randy has been with the team for over 14 years and has been instrumental in growing the business and developing our people.