Why Event Visioning Is So Important, & How to Do It

By: ITA Group
team working on event vision strategy
As the events industry makes a comeback, attendees are expecting more from their live event experiences. The big question on every event professional’s mind: how should events look going forward? Even more pressing, how can you provide a remarkable experience that will deliver on the educational and emotional needs of attendees so they think attending is “worth it”?
Event visioning sessions are a great place to start strong. Align on objectives and create a shared vision for the attendee experience before you even begin designing the event by bringing together your stakeholders.
When working with clients, hear what our experts have to say about how to utilize visioning sessions to ensure client success.

Align Attendee Experience With Business Goals

Taking the time to create an event vision (or event roadmap) provides the client with a new and enhanced event strategy to inform the attendee journey. Many clients are looking for an end-to-end solution as well as guidance of what the new attendee experience should be. An intentional strategy will help create an event that stands out in the market as well as achieves their business objectives. With many clients doing hybrid events for the first time, proving the value of an event investment is paramount. Clients want direction on experience design with ideas of how to improve their event and how to engage their audience.
Jill Anonson, Events Strategy Advisor

Establish the Creative Thread

Event visioning sessions generate the event’s North Star, which guides many of the event design decisions, whether it’s theme, location, format, evening events, give-back opportunities, food, activations, keynote speakers or anything else. The event vision is developed by threading together the client’s goals, how they want attendees to feel during the event and key messages they want attendees to walk away with.
For example, should attendees leave with more knowledge, tools and resources to increase sales? Then develop a thread focused on the idea of “knowledge equals power” by incorporating an activation with trivia and breaking out networking sessions for top performers to cross-share strategies. Or, maybe the client recently went through a merger so the focus should be on helping attendees to feel confident in the company’s future, but also on board with change. In that case, your thread could be aligned to the power of change and feature a speaker that talks about how they changed their perspective of an adverse situation to be successful. Then designate a portion of your agenda for a give back opportunity where attendees enjoy team building and making a positive impact on a local charity.
Erin VanWerden, Manager, Creative Services

Deliver Consistent & Relevant Communications

The impact of your event hinges on delivering a consistent thread of clear and relevant messages to your attendees—and that can only happen after you identify the goals of your event and your target audience(s). Doing this as a group allows you to leverage all the perspectives, expertise and knowledge from key stakeholders. When you lay that framework together, you’re helping to ensure your team is aligned and a consistent message is supported in your attendee communications pre-, during and post-event.
Moreover, that framework allows you to identify where messaging might need to be segmented to make the biggest impact. The tone, content and messaging objectives could vary based on audience types, so defining it upfront allows you to plan for those differences to deliver the right messages throughout the attendee journey.
Kelsey Reis, Senior Writer

Identify Meaningful Event Measurement

A solid event vision is a core element to meaningful event measurement. When we align ahead of the event to solidify event objectives for all different stakeholders, it paves the way for us as partners to effectively track and measure desired outcomes and attendee behavior changes. We set in motion a measurement strategy tied to objectives, which informs other program elements elevating the attendee experience and course correcting content to meet ideal attendees’ specific needs. Visioning lays the groundwork for pre-determined data points to prove event success and identify which elements of the event were most impactful in terms of return on event objectives.
Anna Boggs, Analytics Advisor

Start With a Unified Event Vision

What you should take away from our experts is why prioritizing an event vision matters and how event visioning sessions might look. Remember: the event vision acts as your guide, informing all design and experience decisions to achieve the agreed upon goals and ensure all aspects align to the audience, creative thread, success metrics and partnership agreement.
Looking for more event tips? Use this white paper to refresh your post-event survey approach and get the feedback you need to make positive change.
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