Defining Goals and Objectives for Successful Event Marketing

Hamilton Hamilton

Before contractors begin building a house, they create a blueprint to guide their work and ensure both the big picture and the small details have been considered. Successful event marketers do the same.

The first step in planning an event blueprint is to identify the why. Any campaign goals or objectives for the event should be built around that. This step is critical to ensure you get the most out of your messaging, attendance, and event objectives. More importantly, however, it simplifies the planning and strategy process later on.

Discover: Identify your why

The overarching why — what should drive all business decisions — is, of course, your brand’s purpose or mission. However, your event strategy should also have a specific purpose. As you begin to map out goals and objectives and build that framework, or blueprint, for your event, having a clear north star in place keeps your messaging consistent and your efforts aligned.

HME-JuneBlog-Graphic-V1-2Start by asking yourself some key questions:

  • Why are you participating in the event?
  • Why would an attendee want to visit your event or experience? What is the perceived value for your target audience?
  • What can you accomplish through event marketing that you can’t through other channels?

Your reason for participation, and the event outcome, should align with your brand’s targeted marketing strategy. Investing time in this step is important. Skip it, and you can easily get lost in tactical details and execution, which can lead to a disjointed and ineffective experience for your attendees.

Determine: Outline your event goals and objectives

Now that you know why you’re planning this event, it’s time to drill down deeper and outline the goals and objectives for your experience. Like a contractor’s blueprint, this outline will help guide your content and give participants an idea of what they can expect to learn.

To get started outlining goals and objectives, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What would make this event a success for your organization?
  • What is the overarching message or theme of your experience?
  • If you had to describe your brand in three words, what would they be?
  • What are the key takeaways for attendees?
  • What measures of success have you tracked in the past and what are the most important performance metrics for your business?
Now it’s time to turn those answers into a list of goals and objectives to guide your event marketing strategy. When doing this, make sure you create “smart” goals that are:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Thinking realistically and tangibly about what you can actually achieve will allow you to write better, more actionable goals.

Develop: Creating an integrated event marketing strategy

This is where you figure out how you’re going to achieve your goals.

When creating your event marketing strategy, you not only need to consider your brand perspective. You also need to consider the perspective of your audience.

To do this, ask yourself questions like:
  • What educational components are needed to accomplish your goal? (e.g. speakers, print collateral, demos, etc.)
  • How are attendees going to interact or engage with your brand at the event, and how will you encourage this interaction?
  • Where is your target audience at the event in the customer journey and how does your exhibit help move them through the funnel?
These answers will help you map out an event plan that highlights the goals you set and the steps you’ll take to reach those goals.

Once this plan is in place, you can proceed with the overall event marketing solution, along with the environment design, content, and tactical details that will assist you in accomplishing all your objectives.

Identifying your why, defining your goals, and creating a strategy is a great start to building a blueprint for successful event marketing. To take your event marketing from conception to execution, download our new guide, “Live Event Playbook: Getting Back in the Game.”