When planning an event, there’s a whole lot more to be concerned with than choosing a venue, hiring a band, and getting a headcount. Before you figure out the when and where, you must first ask WHY. When working with clients to plan events, we like to make sure everyone involved is on the same page about what they want to get out of the event and what they want the participants to learn or experience. Determining the purpose of the event prior to planning helps us to set attainable goals and objectives for you.
Here at JASM evaluation is critical. We always debrief and review with our team before AND after the event. Analyzing the event beforehand and determining how we’re going to measure our success makes it much easier for us to achieve our client’s desired results.
Are you trying to gain more exposure on social media? Do you want a bigger turnout than last year? Is there a specific amount of money that you would like to raise? We believe it is important to make sure that our team, the client, and everyone else involved in the planning is clear on what criteria we are going to base our success. This information paves the way for setting goals and objectives tailored to the client’s wants and needs.
Carefully defining the goals of the event is directly related to how successful you are going to be. It is necessary to make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, and realistic. Making goals that are extremely vague will make it very hard to distinguish whether or not they were met. We like to make goals that include some means of measurement so that we can effectively pursue a specific desired outcome. Setting goals that are unrealistic will result in unnecessary pressure and added stress.
For example, “to gain 5 new clients and raise $5,000 by the end of the event” is a smart goal because it is direct and can be easily gauged. “To get participants interested in our company and raise a lot of money” is not nearly specific enough to use for evaluation. We measure our success following the event by referencing our goals, so we keep that in mind as we define them.
Only after identifying your event’s purpose and objectives can we begin to start the planning. Finally! This is when JASM will discuss what we specifically need to do to achieve your goals. We find it can be helpful to create a timeline in reverse, starting at the date and time of the event and working backwards to set realistic deadlines. Planning an event this way makes it easier to meet obligations in a timely manner.
Another event detail that the JASM team looks at carefully is the audience. Determining who we are trying to target with the event first makes it easier to successfully put together a guest list. Keeping in mind the projected attendance and your budget, we will work with you to thoughtfully choose a facility, date, and time for your event. Will you be serving food? Open bar? Entertainment? Will you be charging admission? These seemingly small details come last but are still extremely important. If even one element is overlooked the whole plan can fall flat. We try our best to be as thorough as possible even with the small stuff because the big picture cannot come together without all the little pieces.
After we’ve finished working with our client to nail down all the details, we strategically designate roles so that the plan can be implemented in the best way possible. At JASM we give our team enough time to get things done and assign each person with jobs within their capabilities. We set up our team to succeed!
Once the plan is set into action, it’s time to start getting the word out. Making sure to promote your event is just as important to us as planning it. Social Media is a great way for us to get a lot of exposure for your event very quickly. We create beautiful print invitations and flyers as well as digital ones to send out via e-mail blast. We can work with you to run a radio spot for your event or purchase space in the local paper for your ad, among many other promotional services.
On the big day, our goal at JASM Consulting is to be able to keep calm and trust that we’ve done all the proper homework to ensure a great event! After it’s all over, we take some time to reevaluate your goals and discuss with our team how we did or did not meet them. There’s always something to learn from an event that can help make the next one even better. We celebrate our successes and learn from our weaknesses to ensure that we are providing our clients with the best possible service every single time.