One of the most important steps in your strategic event planning process is goal setting. It's impossible for your teams to work cohesively if everyone isn't working together toward clear objectives. It's helpful to start by answering some basic questions.
Have you clearly defined the overall goal?
First and foremost, what are you trying to accomplish? Is your experiential program a brand building effort or a sales conversion effort? A brand like Coca-Cola might just be interested in the top-of-the-funnel brand building while a big-ticket item company like Mercedes-Benz is more interested in addressing the complete sales funnel, including bottom-of-the-funnel sales conversion. Determining your experiential program's place within the funnel is a key starting point in your strategic planning.
What key metrics need to be tracked?
Marketing today is dominated by metrics and data analysis; therefore you should clearly outline what specific data points you're going to use to measure your program's success. Are you looking for the highest number of leads collected or just the leads that meet certain criteria? Potential metrics could include number of sample giveaways, dwell time, number of leads captured or potential dollar value of sales. Whatever the engagement metrics are, be sure that all teams involved in the planning, execution and measurement of your event are aware and working towards the same goal.
What teams need to be involved in setting and tracking these goals?
Often one team is setting the goals for the entire organization's events, but many internal and external teams/partners are involved in meeting those goals. Maybe it's the executive team making decisions in a vacuum, or the event team setting goals for sales volume or ROI. It's critical for all internal and external partners (sales, marketing, agency partners, executive teams etc.) to be involved in the goal setting discussion. Beyond that, each of these stakeholders must agree on the goals before you proceed.
Are your goals being communicated clearly to each stakeholder?
It's vital that all stakeholders are aware of the goals and objectives of your experiential program. This extends from the very top at the executive level, all the way down to the agency's activation team members. You need to make your internal teams (digital, sales, media etc.) aware but you also need to make sure your external agency/technology partners aware as well. It also makes sense to try and have one unbiased scorekeeper to make sure that all activation partners are aware of the goals and holding them accountable to reach them.
How are you going to measure the results?
Goals are great, but they don't mean much if you can't accurately measure and analyze the results, in real-time. If you're using technology to collect consumer data, do you have access to a simple and easy-to-use interface to measure your results? Real-time tracking of event data is vital to making on-the-fly adjustments to your program. This tech-enabled agility gives you the best chance to meet your organizational goals.
Who is responsible for reading those reports and managing teams against your desired metrics?
You also need to determine ahead of time specifically who will be digging deep into this data to measure the program's effectiveness and how they plan to relay these results to the larger team. With your real-time data capture, and your real-time data analysis you have the ability to identify issues as they happen. You can now make adjustments to your program as it unfolds, helping you avoid unexpected issues while meeting your pre-determined goals. You need to make sure that a plan is in place, naming those responsible, whom they should be reporting this information to and on what schedule.
If you are looking for help with your event strategy and goal setting, we have a team of experts ready to help. Visit www.eshots.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.