Understanding who will be determining the overall outcomes and how success is measured.
Before digging into the technical details of an event, it’s important to understand, “Who will determine the success of this event and how will it be measured?”
While these may seem like straightforward questions, measuring the success of an event is incredibly subjective and each event likely has a different purpose. It’s even possible that individual portions will have their own metrics!
Keep reading for helpful hints to measure the success of your events …
Standard Expected Outcomes
How we measure the success of an event varies from program to program, but there are a few standard expectations that we think should be met every time.
First, we want to provide confidence. Throughout the entire event planning process, the client should feel that their production partner has a proven process, created through years of industry experience. In fact, they should feel so confident in their production team’s ability to achieve the promised outcomes that they sleep soundly the night before the event kicks off.
This confidence should extend past the client and to the entire event crew. Everybody from the Show Caller to the backstage technicians should be on the same page and have transparent communication. When the entire crew is in sync, the presenters and client will be able to feel the difference.
Second, overt professionalism from the entire event crew is a must. A client should never feel that they need to be present when top executives are rehearsing or preparing for the show. They should be able to trust the production team to act professionally, put presenters at ease, and represent them well.
This trust is built throughout the entire pre-production process through thoughtful, professional, and timely communications, consistent messaging from every member of the team, and a dedication to not only meeting their own deadlines, but holding the client accountable for reaching theirs as well.
Finally, the client should feel as though their production partner is prepared for anything and everything. Even though there may be hiccups along the way, the client, or at the very least the presenters and executives, should be blissfully unaware, feeling that, somehow, everything always seems to go smoothly, and the show crew is always prepared.
Whether it’s a show or a rehearsal, the presenter shouldn’t be waiting around when they arrive – the crew should be ready for them.
Additionally, everything should be taken care of backstage before executives and talent arrives. Even the simplest steps can go a long way! Microphones are prepped and ready to be put on, bottled water is available backstage and carefully hidden on the stage, and the remote advancer is charged and readily available.
It’s our job to look several steps ahead. If there is a concern that a challenge may arise, a contingency plan should be thought through and put in place immediately.
Specific Event Goals
Understanding what the goals are at the beginning of the production process is about more than understanding how we’ll define the success of the event and allows us to make recommendations that will help organizations reach their specific event goals.
Maybe the client is looking to wow attendees with a high tech experience. Or, maybe the client is more focused on emotional storytelling to connect with attendees on a personal level. Another client may want to encourage networking and connection among attendees. Perhaps the goal is to educate audience members on new products or services that they offer.
We want every event to be a successful one – and that can only be achieved by understanding the clients’ goals for the event and creating an experience that prioritizes them.
Defining Who Determines the Success of an Event – Clients versus Stakeholders
While the point of contact throughout the production process is who immediately comes to mind when we say “client”, there are additional folks who are measuring the success of the event. The event planning team, corporate executives, presenters, VIPs, and audience members are some of the most common groups to define as clients and stakeholders.
“In our experience, audience satisfaction is an inherent byproduct of everything else we do”, says Dave Jensen, CEO of Encompass Event Group. “How positive or impactful the event is for our client (often executives and their teams) and other stakeholders are the most important metrics for measuring success.”
Who is the Client?
By this, we mean the person (or people) that ultimately determine whether an event is successful or not. The CEO, Board of Directors, or other executives likely won’t have a hand in the day-to-day decisions being made around the event but they certainly have desired outcomes! In many instances, our job is to work with stakeholders to understand these goals and how we can create an experience that will prioritize them as the client.
Who are the Stakeholders?
Within an event team, there is often an Event Planner or Producer, a Technical Director, and an entire onsite support staff. The goals of this team are important and we want them to feel as though the event was successful; however, they might not be considered the client.
Who is the Target Audience?
Is the audience made up of engineers who will intently listen to every word or a team of sales professionals who want active engagement with presenters? Do the audience members want their voices to be heard or do they want to learn through watching presentations? The content and format needs to be representative of the target audience.
In order for an event to be considered successful, it’s critical to understand how success is measured and who will be determining the overall outcomes. Aligning on these before the production process begins helps everyone work toward the same goals!
At Encompass, we have unique backgrounds that situate us perfectly to produce high end and complex offerings. We’ve worked in broadcast television, touring entertainment, live sporting events, and countless convention facilities across the country.
We have technical design experience and a disciplined process in place that allows us to easily scale events and shift from in-person to virtual without angst. There isn’t much that’s beyond our scope and we love the intensity of putting on events!
If you’re a planner working to create an event, seeking help with virtual event technology, or simply want to learn more … we can help! Sign up below to receive our updates (we promise to keep your contact information secure and won’t “overshare”).