Before embarking on a lot of work to create a remotely engaging event, you need to fully explore the vital question of strategy.
Why are you doing this and what do you hope to achieve?
It is fundamentally important to give this question adequate consideration before getting wrapped up in the detail of delivery of the event.
Some event planners are just too quick to create their events and then later discover that they didn’t achieve what they had hoped. Without a clear set of desired outcomes, it’s not surprising that results are likely to disappoint.
In contrast the best remotely engaging events we come across are those where the association has clearly determined why the event exists, how they want it to affect their audience and the part the event plays in achieving the organisation’s over-arching mission and core objectives.
Here are some ideas of really basic questions to ask, that may help to determine the “why” for your event. Of course these can apply to the physical event itself and need not be limited to the online component.
How many members do you have in your association?
Are your numbers growing or declining?
Do you struggle to retain members?
Do you have the right members?
What proportion of your membership attend your events?
Do your events attract non-members?
Do delegates value your events?
What are the long-term aims of your association?
Are your local / regional / national / international / events helping your association fulfil key objectives?
Of course there will be many other questions you can ask that may be more relevant or specific to your organisation. Those above are merely intended to kick-start your thinking. You may choose to answer these questions by yourself or with your team. With some of them, it may be of even more value to ask your members and delegates. However you go about this, the insight and clarity that can come out of understanding why your events exist will help you determine clear objectives and make sure that you design future events that have the best chance of truly engaging all of your audiences.
Think about your events in new ways. Consider how you can reach new audiences by breaking out of the conference room and unlocking the full value of your event content. In turn, this will help you achieve those newly defined objectives.
If you need further inspiration to help you discover your answers to the whole question of “why?”, take a look at the writings and videos of Simon Sinek at www.startwithwhy.com