Strategic event planning: use cases explained

Organizations may face various use cases that create a strong need to transform their events into strategic event planning. The trigger for each organization may differ, but the subsequent step is always to lay the foundation by crafting a bespoke event strategy and enabling change toward success through a phased approach.

Below are several use cases that call for strategic event planning. In all these cases, an event strategy is the solution for achieving greater impact, results, and control:

1. Accountability of events (event ROI)

Issue: We lack clear visibility on the events we conduct and how they contribute to our strategic priorities. What are the benefits of our events?

Solution: Ensure events are utilized as strategic tools, aligning closely with and contributing to the business strategy, objectives, and ambitions. Make outcomes of all events visible and measurable. From goal to measurable result. How to make success visible and what to measure. Ensure this is safeguarded in an overall event strategy.

2. Process optimization – Towards a uniform approach

Issue: We have a team of event managers, but they work differently and its unclear for our organization what roles and tasks they do.

Solution: Improve your internal planning processes and way of working to streamline activities and organize in a smarter way. Establish an operating model with responsibilities and clear governance. Safeguard brand identity and consistency.

3. From Facilitator to Strategic and Tactical expert

Issue: Many events are organized without clear insight into why we do this or whether it is the right means. We receive ad-hoc requests from various internal clients and then just proceed. But we lack enough capacity and budget to do everything.

Solution: Ensure a process is in place to assess requested events for their impact and desired outcomes beforehand. This allows you to make clear choices about which events to organize and which not, preventing ad-hoc events organized at the request of various internal clients that miss their value and are not synced with business plans. Introduce an annual event calendar with planned events and secure this in your process.

4. What do our events deliver?

Issue: We would like to better understand the value and role of our events. And what the best approach is moving forward?

This may specifically arise in companies undergoing mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, or a holding company with multiple independent companies wanting to have more influence and control.

Solution: Map the current situation through stakeholder research and baseline measurements on various parameters, like event category, objectives, target audiences, themes, costs and spend time. This provides a clear overview of where there are pain points and areas for improvement. Then, you can steer changes in your policy based on this, ensuring clarity on the role of events and trade shows within your marketing activities and the choices you can make for the future. On top ensure cultural alignment in merged or acquired entities.

5. From ad-hoc to planned events

Issue: We want to move from ad-hoc to planned events as events are requested by different internal clients or organized by departments themselves. There’s a lack of cohesion and consistency, and everyone is reinventing the wheel. Likely, we spend a lot of money on events without real contribution.

Solution: By developing an event strategy, you first map all current events and assess these events on self-defined parameters. Then, map the desired situation through stakeholder interviews. From these insights and recommendations, you work towards a desired situation that aligns with the company’s strategy and objectives, including process optimization regarding the request process, planning of events, cost management, and clarity in role, direction, and responsibilities.

6. More control, ownership, and visibility for the central events team

Issue: We would like to have more ownership, control, and visibility as a central events team. We get involved after the decision for an event has been made.

Solution: A clear event strategy and process improvement can promote full central control and ownership. This leads to higher efficiency and productivity within the event team, better planning and execution of tasks, increased quality of events through structured feedback collection, and stronger brand consistency through a central approach. Focusing on financial accountability also improves cost management, while enhanced cooperation and stakeholder involvement are essential for success. Finally, by making events highly visible and providing a seamless experience, participant satisfaction and engagement also increase.

7. Moving from decentralized to central ownership

Issue: Our events have always been organized by various teams, leading to a fragmented silo approach. There’s no collaboration and alignment between departments, and we lack control over what is being done. Therefore we want to change this but don’t know how.

Solution: A central strategic approach and a centrally responsible team ensure a uniform brand experience, more efficient planning and execution, and stronger collaboration. This promotes brand consistency, improves the quality of events, reduces costs, and increases results.