Like any other endeavor that involves a target group, planning events follows the same rules as businesses. Skeptical?
Just think about it: First, in most cases, events are financially driven, whether it’s about investing money into planning an event or seeking a ROI translated into money (ticket sales, for example).
Second, the impact of planning an event depends on the stakeholders involved, from service providers to sponsors. Finally, if you don’t have a (business) strategy and correctly allocate your resources, you’re less likely to run a truly successful event.
If you want to plan valuable events, you need a business mindset. What does this mean? A business, or entrepreneurial mindset, focuses on increasing growth, innovation, and a strategic action plan. Apart from that, this attitude helps you foresee challenges and overcome them systematically, searching for insights and scalability.
An event professional with a business mindset will always start by defining his or her strategy, searching for new ways obtain the desired ROI or KPI indicators. Moreover, the business-minded organizer will be more willing to invest (rationally) the necessary resources, time, and effort into running something extraordinary and generating even more profit, whether we talk about money or other goals she or he wants to accomplish. The organizer becomes a leader for his or her team, at the same time providing a working vision necessary for cooperation and positive results.
By now, you’re probably intrigued, and wondering how to adopt this business mindset when setting up your own events. Here’s how:
Step #1. Identify your event’s business model
If your main goal is to plan an event for revenue growth, then a lucrative business model is essential. In other words, you must ask yourself how you want to increase your profit.
For example, if you want to gain profit through ticket sales, how many tickets do you need to sell to cover all of your expenses and gain revenue? Does that amount in line your venue’s capacity, or should you think about another event space? Or if you want to make a profit from selling merchandise at your event, another idea is to increase your company’s revenue by transforming your attendees into paying customers.
No matter why you’re planning your event, you must build a business model and document how you are planning to grow your profits through the event.
Step #2. Who are your attendee personas, and how are you going to grab their attention?
Every business revolves around its audiences. To make your event truly successful, you must always consider your target group’s needs and expectations. That’s why it’s crucial to decide who your attendee personas are (fictional characters that combine the most common and obvious characteristics of your ideal audience).
Then, identify where to find these people and set up a powerful marketing campaign to grab their attention and nudge them into attending your event.
Step #3. Decide what problems you'll be solving by running the event
Successful entrepreneurs are always focusing on and helping other people overcome certain challenges. To adopt this mindset, it’s crucial to map your attendees’ needs and note all the issues your event may solve.
Subsequently, it’s your responsibility to pack those solutions into event dynamics (knowledge transfer, co-working spaces, networking sessions, fireside chats with industry leaders, etc.) and give your attendees the answers they’re looking for. This specific business mindset will transform your event into a reference guide and motivate more people to attend the next editions.
Step #4. Set up your KPIs
A competing business mindset relies on measuring and scaling. So when deciding your business model, make sure to add the event KPI indicators. These will greatly depend on your goals.
If you want to sell more tickets, your KPI will refer to the total number of sales. If you want to strengthen brand awareness, you’ll be looking at your attendees’ social media activity, the total number of impressions and reaches, etc.
Setting up the KPIs before the event will help you actually strategize your plan and apply those actions that will guarantee higher indicators.
Step #5. What's your strategy on ensuring the attendee retention?
Developing and applying a business mindset when planning events equals developing a broad vision and foreseeing the future. You should never focus on just wrapping up your event successfully.
You also have to think about its continuity, or at least on nurturing your relationship with the attendees after the event. So before you start to plan your next event, find ways that will help you retain attendees and win their loyalty.
To guarantee a positive ROI or argument the expenditure to your sponsors, you’ll have to initially create a business plan for your event. However, this is not enough, and it will not ensure your success. Everything depends on your attitude and the proactive mindset you’re willing to adopt. Step out from your logistics-only role and start thinking like a real entrepreneur or business owner.