How to Build a Successful Corporate Event Strategy

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By Sarah Hill

Building a corporate events strategy, if it’s for your own company or even on behalf of a client, can sound like a daunting prospect; where do you even begin? 

One way of getting your head around this is to start with a few definitions to really understand what it all means:

Event Strategy:

Designing a plan of action to create a successful event or series of events and achieve the desired goals.

Corporate Event Strategy:

  • Corporate events are those held by businesses, and so a corporate event strategy is the plan of action to achieve company goals through events.

So far, so good.  With these two meanings in mind, we can now focus on the steps to building a corporate event strategy successfully.  The tricky thing is, most people don’t recognise that there are quite a few things that should happen before starting to think of a corporate event strategy choice. I’ve simplified the process into four main steps and will expand on these below.

  • Analysing the context in which you're operating
  • Deciding where you want to get to
  • Identifying strategic options
  • Evaluating and selecting the best options


Analysing The Context In Which You're Operating

The first step is to understand the internal and external environmental factors that may affect your business either positively or negatively. Only once you have analysed this will you really play to your strengths and be prepared for the unpredictable external factors that could affect your corporate events. With that understanding, you can identify your clear advantages and use these to be successful. From there, you can make informed choices and implement your strategy effectively.

One common way of doing this is to use a SWOT analysis to ensure that you cover internal Strengths and Weaknesses, and external Opportunities and Threats.

Deciding Where You Want To Get To

Understanding the goals and success criteria for any event is key – whether it’s meeting revenue budget, audience targets or attendee satisfaction ratings.  What do you want to achieve by putting on this event? Who is the event for and what do you want them to get out of it?  Decide this from the beginning so that every decision made from then on can be tailored towards your goals.

Remembering that goals must be SMART:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Realistic
  5. Timed

Identifying Strategic Options

Working backwards from the event date is one way to work out the various strategic options that you could use to create this event and meet those goals and targets.  There will often be many different corporate event strategy options to work with.
Evaluating and selection the best options

During this process the different options can be weighed up, to work out what best fits the company and how each strategic option links with the overall corporate goals.  Bringing it back to what the events are trying to achieve will help decide the best corporate event management style and as a result help to build a successful corporate event strategy.
Execution

Once the best options have been selected, the execution should be planned in detail, defining tasks between the event planners and other members of the team, regardless of the numbers that are involved.  There are lots of moving parts to any event and event strategy, so a definite plan with tasks and clear roles and responsibilities is crucial to success.  Over-communication in this instance is more effective than under-communication.  A good corporate event management agency should be used to this.

Aligning tactics to support the corporate event strategy and ensure it is a success can now be focused on. For example, if the corporate event strategy is defining the broader goals such as increasing brand awareness, the tactics will be the specific branding of the presentation, lectern, etc.

In summary, building a corporate events strategy can take time and a lot of thought, but, in the long term, it will give each event clear direction with specific aims and goals to ensure that each one achieves its objective. 


About the Author

Sarah Hill is an avid blogger and creative content writer at Group Se7en Events, a leading meeting corporate events planner in London, delivering global free venue finding service. She is a writer by day and a reader by night. While not writing, she loves to share her time with her family and friends.