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Great Expectations

I think 9/10 events fail to meet expectations.

My point is that when you think about it, most events do not meet all of our expectations. I’m not saying most events fail, but I do believe they often fail to meet some of the expectations. This is not due to a lack of aspiration or motivation; in fact, it is largely just due to expectations being set very high. Event people are achievers. We set our bar high. As do our partners and stakeholders.

Whether that be financial expectations, such as revenue from registrations or partners. It may be just one group of attendees that we didn’t appease. Or, the failing is back of house, one aspect of the execution, an area of the logistics that didn’t go well. Events have so many moving parts, it is difficult, even unrealistic, to expect it all to go seamlessly.

So is the secret to happiness just lowering your expectations??

Do we just lower the bar?

I think not. Realistically we can’t, due to the increasing expectations both front of house and back of house. There is a battle for hearts and minds, to capture an audience, to justify funding. There are greater expectations from our bosses, and our teams behind the scenes. So we can’t compromise, we still need to aim high. We just need to make sure our aspirations are as achievable as possible.

When Resources meet Expectations

In recent forums I have been hosting, a common theme is that our resources never meet their expectations. Even with the bigger events, as budgets go up, so do the expectations. And with the smaller ones, well, people still expect the same high standards.

What to do?

To meet these expectations we need to ensure our Event Model supports the aspirations. That the Model we create is achievable, and sets us up for success. Where the rewards are greater than the risks, and the resources that are needed. And then, we will be successful. We can meet our expectations. And the odds are actually on our side. In fact, I’d estimate 90% of events should be seen as successful. Most are, we just need to define and agree what success is. Come up with a plan that lets us succeed, and, measures the proof of our success.



Start with WHY, and WHO, then WHAT, and HOW

We need to to know WHY the event exists, and WHO the event is for. To Match our expectations with our stakeholders, and with what is realistic. We then need to Mapthis out, WHAT it is. And then HOW, a plan based on a robust, achievable Model. With the Resources you need to achieve what you need. And, to accurately Measure the performance, WHAT it is we have achieved.

We don’t need a lot more information, and there is no shortage of tools to help us. What we do all need is a clearer roadmap, a proven Playbook to guide us on the road to meeting expectations.

And so, a couple of questions for you:

How do you define success in your team? How do you measure it?

What more could you do to define expectations? And prove your success?

If I can help you answer some of these questions, please jump into our Experience Design Playbook workshops now.

This is an excerpt from my new book ‘Creating Influential Events’.

You can get your copy on Amazon now!


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