With so many details on your plate, sitting down to write an event strategy plan probably sounds like more busy work. But if your entire team isn’t crystal clear on your event strategy, the lack of alignment will waste more time than you realize.
Worse? You can’t afford to waste that time when the events industry is more competitive than ever. Instead, you need a strategy to stand out.
So how can do you create an event strategy plan that actually gets used instead of a 20-page document that’s forgotten shortly after it’s created?
Keep it simple: A single page document that can be referenced by your team and partners is all you need. Use this free template and follow the instructions below to develop a foolproof strategic plan for your event.
Determine your event goals and metrics
Your event is driven by its goal and how you measure success. While goals might be obvious for events like a charity fundraiser, for more complex events you may need to prioritize goals from a variety of company stakeholders.
Goals and metrics can include things like:
- Profit from the event (measured by revenue and costs)
- Funds raised or donors engaged (measured by attendance and fundraising)
- Brand awareness (measured by social media engagements)
- Lead generation (measured through your CRM)
- Education and community engagement (measured through a post-event survey and attendance)
- Press around a product launch (measured by press pickup)
Whatever your goals and objectives, make sure they’re measurable so you can prove the value of your event. Now, build the rest of your event strategy to achieve these goals.
Pinpoint your attendees’ needs and how you’ll address them
Why will attendees come to your event, instead of everything else they could spend their time and money on? You need to answer this question to build an effective event strategy.
Start by identifying the core need or problem your event solves for attendees. Then use that insight to create a strategy for how your event will solve that problem better than any other event or solution could — your unique value proposition.
Follow these steps to build your strategy for meeting attendees’ needs.
1. Identify your attendees’ core need
What do your attendees need that they will find at your event? Why should they spend their hard-earned money and limited time attending your event? The answer will greatly depend on your event, but here are some examples:
- A professional conference: Our attendees need to move forward in their careers.
- A music and arts festival: Our fans need a fun weekend activity to de-stress with friends.
- A charity walk: Our donors need to feel they are contributing to their community in an accessible way.
You can only answer this question effectively if you have a deep understanding of who your audience and your ideal attendee is. Use this workbook to better get to know your event’s audience.
2. Think strategically about how your event can meet this need
Now that you know what your attendees need, your strategy should explain how your event will fulfill it for them. In other words, how is your event the solution to your attendees’ core need?
Here are some examples:
- A professional conference: With some of the best speakers in the industry, our event will inspire attendees and leave them feeling prepared for their next professional steps.
- A music festival: This weekend is the complete package, full of emerging acts, established headliners, and fun activities.
- A charity walk: This all-access 5K is fun for the whole family, and every registration benefits our charity.
3. Define your event’s unique value proposition
What does your event have that the others don’t? Your answer to this question is your unique value proposition. It’s a one-sentence summary that communicates why someone should choose your event over others. It might include details like:
- A unique venue or location
- High-level industry connections
- Exclusive contracts with performers
- Diverse entertainment for all age groups
- A seasonal theme
Once you have your unique value prop, you can use it to strengthen your promotions and your sponsor pitches.
Get serious about your costs — and your revenue
Now that you know your goals and how you’ll engage attendees, it’s time to get detailed about how you’ll hit those goals. That’s where your budget and revenues come in.
Your event strategy plan should include an outline of projected costs and your revenue sources. Detail your headline costs or expected budget, so everyone is on the same page as to what they can and can’t spend, and where they will need to make savings.
Then, document what revenue sources your event relies on, such as ticket sales, VIP packages, merch sales, onsite vendor sales, or sponsor packages. Estimate what percent of your revenue you expect to earn through each of these channels, so you know how to prioritize your team’s work to hit those goals.
You don’t have to be a math whiz to keep your event’s spend on track. In fact, just follow the steps in this post to ensure every penny is spent wisely.
Bring your strategy to life with the right tools
A robust event strategy plan will ensure you and your team can plan your event with confidence. If you want to execute it more efficiently, however, it helps to have the right tools in place.
If you rely on spreadsheets, an in-house event technology, or a third-party solution to run your event, you’re missing out on key insights to help you improve your return on investment (ROI).
When you sell tickets and registrations on Eventbrite, you get 24/7 access to real-time reports and analytics. See for yourself, get started on your next event today.