Why do we plan events? Whom do we want to serve through conferences, seminars, and corporate events? What are the results we want to achieve?
The answers are multiple. From increasing the sales revenue to turning customers into brand advocates, each event has different goals.
However, the fundamental reason is to make an impact on our audiences, communities, cities, and industries; promote further development through building relationships, and provide a context for knowledge and skill transfer.
How do we measure this impact? As Kevin van Der Straeten writes, the impact you have through the event "indicates your success or otherwise in terms of actual value creation. If the purpose of your event was to increase sales, this impact will be equivalent to the real conversion in terms of sales; in other words, an increase in turnover."
You can also measure your event’s impact by analyzing the networking results your attendees achieved in terms of potential collaborations, new projects, or even transactional exchanges.
On the other hand, you can evaluate your event’s impact through its outreach and exposure. The impact is directly correlated to your goals and desired results, as well as the methods or strategies you use to transform your guests’ behaviors. Not sure what this means or how to do it?
Don’t worry: Regardless of your intentions, you can always extend the impact of your event following these steps:
Whatever your event happens to be about, your industry is your niche. However, for a greater impact, you’ll want to go ultra-niche.
What does this mean? Ultra-niche refers to a very specific topic or area of an industry. For example, to have a greater impact on the FinTech sector, you’ll have to narrow down the concept of your event and focus on specific segments, such as FinTech startups, FinTech regulation, FinTech and traditional banking systems, etc.
Running specific events will help you attract niche professionals and experts and transfer the knowledge according to a certain framework, which in turn will increase your event’s impact.
Develop unusual, yet powerful subject approaches
The secret of impactful events involves providing new insights and perspectives regarding the usual topics.
Let’s say you’re running an event on smart cities. Instead of inviting speakers to talk about technology, 5G, or transportation (which are directly related to the main subject), you can find interesting thought leaders who could share their expertise on smart cities and civic engagement, or smart cities and the sharing culture.
This not only provides a great environment for knowledge sharing but will help you develop new thematic lines that will highlight not-so-obvious topics.
People will see your event as an innovative space that has an important impact on the industry.
Invite speakers who’ve made a difference in the world
Apart from building meaningful relationships during networking sessions, people attend events to listen and engage in conversations with world-renowned professionals or experts.
Their insights and valuable knowledge alone is more than enough to keep everyone engaged and increase the impact of your event.
Design and provide experiences that transform audiences
An impactful event will change something in the way attendees think or act. Whether it’s a shift in someone’s opinions or a decision to behave differently, your event will have a greater effect if it can transform your guests in some way.
Think about specially designed activities, such as solving problems by playing with LEGOs or an immersive location experience, that will change the way your guests look at the world.
Think about a call to action your guests can take after the event
What happens next after attending an event? Will your guests simply forget about their experience and go on with their lives? Or will they be interested in doing something different, such as engaging with your online community, launching a collaborative project, or sharing their event experiences through a piece of content?
Depending on your goals, to extend the impact of your event, you’ll want to convince people to take specific actions.
You can do that by incentivizing certain activities or providing a strong reason why they should follow your call to action.
Result-driven events are the ones that have an impact on its attendees or industry. You can achieve your own successful events by going ultra-niche, generating new approaches for your topics, inviting thought leaders to speak, designing transformative experiences, and encouraging your guests to take action after attending. Putting all these pieces together, you’ll strengthen the impact of your event and make a positive contribution to your industry.