Meetings and events always have a meaning and a goal behind it, whether it is something as straightforward as celebrating a 50th birthday or as monumental as meeting to create the Declaration of Independence. It is important for meeting and event professionals to consider strategic questions, beyond the logistic questions. The WHY is equally as important (if not more so) than the who, what, when, and where. The following strategic questions are important for meeting and event professionals to ask before they start the planning process.
Overall Goals and Objectives
- Is an event the most appropriate way to achieve our goals? (i.e. Would a press release suffice?)
- What are the key goals and objectives of this event?
- What is the desired outcome of this event?
- What do you want your guests to take away from the experience?
- What is the event’s primary message and theme?
- Is a speaker needed? If so, who would be most appropriate? (If there are multiple speakers, consider how their messages should differ and integrate.)
- What will be the “flow” of this event? (i.e. agenda items and their order)
- Who should be on the event planning team? (Remember to define roles and responsibilities – contributor, decision maker, etc.)
- Who are my key stakeholders?
- Who is my target audience? What is their demographic?
- Does it make sense to collaborate with any third party partners?
- What is the best date and location for this event? (Remember to check if the date conflicts with major holidays or other important dates.)