3 Key Questions to Ask Before Planning an Event

Jill Anonson

3 questions to ask planning events

When you’re planning an event, before you book the speakers, the venue, the caterers—or even what the name of your event will be—you’ve got to do some homework.

Without taking a strategic look at your event, you’re going to miss the mark, both for yourself and your event attendees. But where do you start? Ask yourself these three questions before starting to plan a great event experience.

1. What unique ideas will your event bring to the market?

While Woodstock wasn’t the biggest concert of all time—and it certainly wasn’t the best organized—it’s fondly remembered as being one of the most successful events ever. Why? Because of experience. The music, the people and the buzz around the event still resonates, almost 50 years later. 

What will your event bring to the marketplace that other events won’t? When you focus on designing an unforgettable event experience, full of incredible speakers, entertainment and relevant, timely learning opportunities for your event attendees to take home and apply, you’ll build momentum. 

2. What are your event attendees’ desired outcomes from participating?

Whether your event is across the country or just down the street, your attendees are taking time out of their busy schedule to hear what you have to say. Not taking into consideration what they’re getting out of the deal is a mistake. 

Do some research and discover your audience’s goals, challenges and problems, and then design your event around them. Show them how your product or service can alleviate their business issues, and steer them toward their desired outcome. 

Once you consider what your event attendees want to learn from your event or conference, you should plan out the content and activities needed to get them there. Try mapping out the value that your event participants will take away from each component of your event, similar to a syllabus for a class. 

3. How will you build FOMO?

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a strong social pull that is crucial to your event. It’s something you definitely want your audience to have before your event. 

Your event awareness strategy needs to achieve necessary FOMO levels to make your event attendees think, “Heck yeah! I wouldn’t miss it!” Bring people together around the moment, and make them regret not going.

Pique their interest, get them talking and make a play at their emotions—months before your event even starts. Then plan what you will do to create an event that people would want to photograph and post about while on site.

Download our strategic event worksheet to learn more about creating a successful, strategic event that answers your participants’ questions and boosts your bottom line.

Jill Anonson

Jill Anonson

Jill Anonson has over 20 years of diverse experience in event management, incentive travel and sales strategy, and serves as the Events Strategy Advisor at ITA Group. Focused on continuous improvement and challenging standards, she consults clients and team members with impactful strategies and innovative ideas that deliver successful business outcomes. She is a Certified Engagement Practioner, and certified through Pragmatic Marketing.
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