Event Planning vs. Event Strategy & Why You Need Both

Each event serves a unique purpose and aims to reach its audience through different means. Many events go for shock value with jaw-dropping aesthetics with the brand and product front and center. Others take a technical approach in the form of a large networking or conference event with the intent of disseminating information. The sweet spot for a successful event will fall right in the middle of planning and strategizing.

Here’s the difference between event planning and event strategy and why you need both.

Event Planning -The Visionary

As a leading Los Angeles event planning company, we understand the elements necessary to pull off a successful event. From selecting a venue that aligns with your vision, to crafting a design concept that is both visually attractive and on brand. Often times, planning seeps into logistics and management including the following:

  • Budget development
  • Negotiating with service providers
  • Creating invitations/guest list
  • Booking speakers and entertainment
  • Managing staff
  • Logistics
  • Resolving on-site hiccups
  • Overseeing tactical teams
  • Color, design & themes

Event planning means working closely with our client’s to understand their vision, getting it on paper, and allocating effective resources to make it happen.

Common things overlooked in event planning include:

Food–  With food sensitivities on the rise, it’s imperative to keep your attendees front and center when curating the perfect menu with your catering team. From gluten-free and vegan to whole 30 and paleo – ensure that you have options for everyone. We recently attended a networking event without a single vegetarian or vegan option which isolated several of the event attendees.  Be sure to provide options because outside of creating a highly successful event, you want to ensure attendee satisfaction.

Create the Flow– It’s important to create a sense of ease at your event. Even if there are a million things to worry about, the experience should feel effortless and enjoyable for your guests.

Digital Connections– On your event webpage, be sure to include the venues wi-fi password and charging stations (if it makes sense for your event). We’re not expecting charging stations at a sit-down dinner or brunch, but if you’re hosting a conference or summit, be sure to have charging stations easily accessible to attendees.

Check-in & Follow Up– It’s important to touch base with guests and read the room. Is everyone enjoying themselves? Can they hear you from the mic? Do they need a break? They’re your guests but they’re also people so don’t hesitate to ask if everything is all good.

Event Strategy – The Trailblazer

You cannot have a successful event without infusing strategy with planning. Without knowing the goals and objectives for your event, and mapping out a game plan for how you will get there, your event will not be successful. There are key questions you should ask yourself before entering the planning phase of your project, and while outlining your strategy.  Are you trying to reach 15 of your key influencers by hosting an influencer event that will get your brand front and center with your target market? Do you want to invite 1,000 loyal members of your community to a conference in hopes of educating them + pitching additional offerings? Are you launching a new location and/or product and want to bring loyal customers together to celebrate + open their wallets? Take the time to understand your goals so that you can craft a winning strategy that will lead to a successful event.

Here’s what we recommend to our clients as they develop a strong event strategy:

Understand your audience – Trying to sell your products or services to the wrong group of attendees is why the planning phase require an effective guest list. Strategy begs the questions- what will they buy and why…what will they learn and share? If they know you to be a thought leader, they’re looking for information, books, future seminars, and a lasting experience. This is not the audience you want to convince to buy a ton of merch with your name on it.

Know your “why” – what’s the point of it all? Why are you asking attendees to open their pocket books and invest $1,000 on your live event? Why should attendees take time out of their weekend to attend your influencer brunch? Why should donors write a check to your organization at your upcoming Gala? Regardless of the type of event you are hosting, there is always a why, and it’s imperative that you get to the root of it.

Strategic budgeting –  Strategy looks for ways to reduce your overhead, create a profitable event, and crunch the numbers in search of quantifiable success. Ways to make this happen include:

  • make it easy to spend
  • VIP ticket options
  • event sponsorships
  • effective marketing
  • negotiating
  • raffles/door prizes
  • event exclusive deals or opportunities

and so much more. A strategy is as tailored as the event theme itself. What works for one event may not work for another.

Combining the Two

Finally, strategy and planning come together for an event that makes an incredible impression on your target attendee and is business forward.

Don’t settle on just having pretty events. Your event is an investment and should be well throughout and fiscally sound. Not to mention, an encompassing of your brand’s personality and mission. To learn more about infusing a winning strategy with planning your next successful event, get in touch with our team today.


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