and why are they so valuable?
Events bring us together at a time and place for a shared purpose. We know there is a demand, a fundamental human need for people to come together. We inspire people, create powerful moments and memorable stories. We influence people. Sometimes we even change lives.
We are in a powerful position.
We can (and should) use events as a catalyst to achieve our desired goal.
To create attention, action. To rise up, remember, or, to celebrate. To connect, engage, and influence. To sell tickets, memberships, products and services. To raise funds and awareness. To engage with our tribe, our community. We can impact in that moment, and for the future.
“People will never forget how you made them feel”
We have all experienced it. That moment at an event when you have been inspired. Sport or entertainment, music, arts, or an intellectual event. It has cut through and connected with you. It has changed you. What you will do, now, and next. Your interests, your friends, how you feel about things, maybe even your beliefs and your goals. It has changed your path. In small ways and bigger ways, events are influential in our lives.
I believe all events can, and should be, successful. To be successful we need to be influential. If we are going to sell, engage or educate.
With the right elements in place we will be influential, and successful.
The 5 features of influential events
Influential events are more VALUABLE, but still ACHIEVABLE. They are better than the rest and, possible to deliver. They are PROFITABLE, and SUSTAINABLE. They have IMPACT. Tangible influence and legacies. Influential events are momentous events.
Photo by Ethan Weil
But its not easy. There is a war on, a battle to win hearts & minds. It’s a competitive world.
We don’t need another mediocre event. Events take a lot of hard work, sweat and sometimes tears. So we want to make sure what we are doing matters. That it has a point, a purpose. We need influential events.
But, we don’t need mistakes or a ‘monstrous’ event. Events need to be aspirational, and, achievable. Momentous events are what we want. Manageable and successful. So we need the right processes and models in place to make sure we have success front of house, and back of house. We don’t need the risks; we need the rewards.
Being in the events world can be a stressful place. Things can, and will, go wrong. Generally, fortunately things work out. Event people are solutions finders. We deliver on the promise. But we need to make sure we set ourselves up for success.
THE BALANCING ACT
“Over 80% of events fail to meet expectations in some way”
I’m not saying most events fail, but I do believe they often fail to meet some aspect of expectations. Whether that be financial measures, or expectations from partners and attendees front of house. Or, the strains become unacceptable back of house. This is not due to a lack of aspiration or motivation; in fact, it is largely just due to expectations being set too high. Event people are achievers. We set our bar high. As do our partners, and stakeholders.
So do we lower the bar? I think No. Due to the battle for hearts and minds, the increased expectations, and risks to be mitigated, we still need to aim high. We just need to make sure our aspirations are achievable. And those aspirations are influential enough. To achieve something of sufficient value. Enough sales, engagement or whatever the influence we need to achieve. And, that our event model is manageable and profitable. The rewards are greater than the risks and resources. And then, we will be successful.
In fact, I’d estimate 90% of events are influential, we just need to define what we are trying to achieve. We then need to Match our expectations with our stakeholders, and with what is realistic. We then need to Map this out, a plan based on a robust, achievable Model, and accurately Measure the performance.
We all need more knowledge and support to make the right decisions. There is no shortage of tools to help us. But we need a clearer roadmap, a proven Playbook for success in today’s world.
Ultimately we all want successful events.
Let me know if I can help you make more influential events possible.