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April 6, 2008
By: Anon

Getting the Board on board

For an event to run smoothly and to be a success, it’s vital to ensure that everything is planned down to the last detail from the venue to the menu selection to the speakers to the contingency plans. However, none of this will matter if the event organiser has not been able to get buy-in for the event from key decision makers. Without it you will run the risk that the event will either not get off the ground or, if it does, it is likely to lack direction.

There are simple strategies you can employ to encourage buy-in and therefore support for your event.

Get a plan in place
It should go without saying that planning is vital to the successful organisation and running of any event, however, this also has an important role to play in ensuring that key strategic decisionmakers back the event. Having a plan in place, which includes a time line of activity in the run up to event, as well as budget details, is imperative when pitching the idea for an event to the budget holders. They will want to know that, if approved, the event can be brought in on time and, if possible, under budget. Providing them with information relating to these criteria shows that you have done your homework and know your subject inside out.

Deliver the key messages
Any event has key messages that you want will to ensure are passed on to and retained by your audience. Budget holders are unlikely to give the green light for an event unless they are convinced that it is going to reach the target audience and deliver the organisation’s key messages. Therefore, outlining these messages should take place early on in the planning process. The messages should also be used to determine the target market segments for the event and will, therefore, impact on other activity.

Define the target market…

In order to successfully promote an event it is necessary to know what groups make up the target market segment. Determining this should form part of the pre-event planning and being able to demonstrate this will help to convince key decision makers that the event will a success and should therefore go ahead.

…And a strategy to reach it
Without effective promotion, any event will fail. So having identified the target groups that the event will be aimed at you should be able to illustrate the ways in which you can reach them. This should also form part of the pre-event planning work and will be of use in convincing the key decision makers that the event should proceed.

Jacky Selway
Business tourism manager
Aberdeen Convention Bureau

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