Six Goals for Corporate Events

I believe the very first step in planning a corporate event is to get clear on the reason for the event, in other words what is your goal(s).  Time, money & resources will be spent in the planning process as well as all of the staff and or customer time in attending the event, therefore there should be an expectation of ROI.  In order to answer the question; “Was that event a success (Did we get a return on our investment)?” there needs to be clarity on what you are hoping to achieve. As we all know defining ROI for events is a very foggy process compared to typical investments, https://www.cvent.com/ has published a great Ebook on the process of determining ROI on events that is worth reading.  They discuss the drivers of ROI as well as a process for calculating return. You can find that EBook here.

That said, the first step in insuring you will achieve ROI is to know what your goal is and what  success will look like when everyone goes home from the event, the invoices are paid, and the planners are doing the debrief before moving on to the next big thing.  Not only will the goal be the way for determining ROI but it should be the filter all planning decisions go through. It should be the lens you look through when you are envisioning the event.

From 30+ years of experience in corporate events I have seen lots of them that had no clear goal.  In fact, I have seen a few cases in which the only purpose of the last minute/thrown together event was to spend budget so they get the budget next year.  Those situations break my heart. From someone who has dedicated my career to the event industry it isn’t a win/win situation just because we get a last minute surge in revenue. We see an opportunity to have some type of impact with a well thought out event thrown out the window and most likely never done again since there is no return.  

I have also seen some of the very best award winning events produced because they started with a clear goal of what success would look like when it is all wrapped up.  Here are some of the most meaningful event goal categories I have seen, that may spark some well-thought out & impactful event goals in your pre-planning phase;

  1. Celebration – connecting people to celebrate the wins, successes, show appreciation and to create a culture of community. Company Picnics & Holiday Parties are great examples but think outside the box a little and maybe celebrate a project completion, a great quarter, employee awards, or a revenue/budget goal achievement. 
  2. Build relationships – a cohesive team is the number one business advantage. Having social interactions and getting to know one another is a great way to start creating cohesion.
  3. Launch – bring awareness/PR/buzz about the company, products, services or new innovations.
  4. Create community – take a segmented company or even industry and bring them together to collaborate and problem-solve.  We do an annual event for VRCC (Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado). One of their missions is to create community in the veterinary industry in Colorado by giving small vet offices the benefit of coming together to learn and collaborate with each other and vendors as well as the benefit of having an event that the size of their individual offices could never produce by themselves. 
  5. Corporate Social Responsibility – Coming together to have a greater impact on your community as a whole than you could individually.  This creates culture and a sense of working for a company that makes a difference.
  6. Incentives – If you have goals that you want your stakeholders to be engaged in making happen dangling the carrot of a great event as the incentive can drive productivity.