The most driving question you can answer when planning an event is: Why?
Why am I doing this?
Why does this matter?
Once your event strategy has been approved by the key decision makers, it’s time to motivate your team—and it’s the “why” that inspires people. In Start With Why, author Simon Sinek maintains that if your why gets lost along the way, growth and success become harder to attain. The same can be said for planning events. People are more connected and engaged throughout the entire process when your goal, mission, and vision are clear every step of the way.
Through why, you empower your stakeholders to understand that they are a cohesive and valued part of the bigger picture, which honors their position and creates a shared mission for all collaborators.
Here are the five steps to motivate your teams:
1. Start by scheduling an all-hands kickoff meeting where you invite stakeholders to be partners and advocates of the event strategy.
Once your event has been approved it’s time to meet with your team and stakeholders. This is where you can ignite inspiration by going into detail about your event strategy framework, deep diving into the why behind your event. Through this, you’re helping your team to understand the significance of what you want to accomplish and allowing them to be in on the overarching theme and design. From there, your team will be more inspired to work together toward crafting an experience that lives up to the vision.
2. Ground the event strategy in actionable impact so it sticks.
A part of planning an event is taking into consideration external and internal elements that have a greater impact on your company.
For example, say your company recently announced new initiatives in sustainability. This would then be a theme that you’d want to integrate into your event as an overall company goal. Whether the overarching mission for your event is to create a team-building experience or launch a new product or service, your team will need to make sure that everything from your vendors to your venue are a part of that cohesive sustainable picture. Your strategic plan will have this outlined, providing outcome objectives and themes that will help with the decision making and direction of the event at every level.
Each goal and objective that’s clearly outlined not only helps provide a clear path, but it will also help you avoid wasting resources since everyone will be aware of the budget and your why, which will shape all decisions moving forward.
3. Ensure that stakeholders have access to the strategic plan and can also communicate the key tenants.
Now that your team is inspired, let them know where they can access the strategic plan, as well as share it with any new team members and stakeholders as they join the team. By allowing them individually to take ownership and share the why, you’ll keep them engaged in the vision.
Systemize your plan, whether that’s in shared calendars or working together in organizational platforms like Notion or ClickUp. Throughout this journey, you’ll have to share information, address concerns, and ensure each group working on the project knows their role and can help others understand the work that needs to be done.
4. Revisit the event strategy framework throughout the planning and development of your event to reinforce the why.
In Sinek’s book, he delves into how knowing the why is vital when collaborating on projects. Whether you’re fighting for a cause or toward a work goal, the why is what makes it all worth doing. That’s why it’s important to reinforce it throughout the planning process. This keeps everyone engaged and inspired—and keeps the mission clear, so that the message doesn’t get lost along the way.
5. Deliver the event strategy through executing your event.
Throughout the entire event planning process, ensuring that your strategic plan is front and center will drive actions and decisions. Planning an event together with your team, with a shared sense of purpose and mission can bring more joy into your event. Even if it seems at times all-consuming, seeing your event come to life and the impact this shared vision has on your team and stakeholders makes it all the more fulfilling for everyone involved.