Mar 12, 2010 Using Strategic Event Marketing to Engage Your Stakeholders and Partners
Two weeks ago, we moderated a panel discussion for some new friends at the VCOMA. Joining us were a couple of longtime parters, Janet Gregg from Meadowood and Geoffrey Applegarth and Ashely Capra from Paula Le Duc Fine Catering. The main focus of our our presentation was to help our audience view their events in a strategic event marketing context, provide some “behind the scenes” insights on the creative collaboration process, and to emphasize the importance of measurement.
We framed the presentation around The Wilsonwest Way, a methodology we use to approach every event or meeting we produce. This 4-step process has retained its relevance and resonance due to the power of its simplicity and also because it helps to engage your stakeholders and partners. Plus, it keeps you focused on the corporate event marketing objectives and encourages creative collaboration.
Here is a brief overview of the process:
Spend a lot of time on the intake phase and dig deep. Prompt your internal stakeholders to tell you what they hope to accomplish and why this event will make a difference. The next step is the innovation phase and this part of the equation is always the most fun for me. I love sharing the “big picture” and all those insights with a group of diverse, smart and creative people and then step back to see what emerges. As event producers, we act as “conductors” bridging the sometimes divergent chords together to create a complex and powerful experience for our guests. When you support and encourage collaboration across your carefully selected partners, the end result will be better than imagined. Of course all that innovative thinking means nothing if you don’t stay focused on the implementation part and employ rigorous tools to ensure your event is managed and executed flawlessly. Timelines and spreadsheets, data scrubbing, and conference calls may not be thrilling but remain critical to success. And last, and certainly not least, is the interpret component. Please, PLEASE, as much as you’d like to toss that binder, don’t move on to the next event until you ask “How well did our event measure on the objectives?” Survey, ask, prod, and observe. And be sure to document your findings – all that data is critically important as you start the process all over again.
It’s a good, healthy challenge to sit down at a table with your partners and really dig down to the core of what you do and how you do it. We hope we measured up. We appreciate the opportunity to share our process with the VCOMA members and we’d love to get some feedback from some of you who attended the presentation. Please leave us a comment here or contact us directly so we can talk further.
Next time you’re ready to start planning your next meeting or event, we invite you to employ strategic event marketing The Wilsonwest Way – and let us know how it goes.