Executing a flawless event requires attention to detail, strong multitasking skills, the right event tech, and a clearly defined event marketing plan. From knowing what type of event to host (in-person, virtual, or hybrid) to inviting the right mix of attendees and creating the best content, organizers often rely on event management planning strategies to pull everything off.

An event management planning strategy shows your event teams how to put all the pieces of the puzzle together, and helps your company excel at creating an event that runs smoothly from start to finish. To help you start the planning process, we compiled the five most important steps for event planners to follow when executing a flawless event.

5 steps to event management planning success

1. Establish your event goals and objectives

What goals and objectives are you trying to achieve by hosting an event, and how will you measure success with a specific target audience? Understanding your goals is the first key to strategic event planning.

When planning an event, focus on measurable marketing objectives. Some possibilities include:

  • Product promotion and brand awareness: Got something new to share? Events offer the perfect opportunity to create a buzz about your organization’s latest product or service. Make sure to think through how you’ll measure success. It might include product sales, earned media coverage, or even going viral on social media. 
  • Generate revenue: If your event goals involve generating revenue for your organization, make sure to think through your revenue streams. Will you earn revenue solely by ticket sales, or do you plan to sell booth space or offer premium sponsorship placement across your event? It’s likely a mix of all three.
  • Capture leads: Events offer endless ways to grow news leads. From capturing attendee emails during registration to giving your vendors cutting-edge lead retrieval software to make lead capture a breeze, take full advantage of your lead gen possibilities.
  • Grow memberships: Member-based associations often use annual conferences and events to grow their member bases, typically by tying new memberships or renewals to event registration. 

2. Choose an event format

The second key to event management involves determining what type of event to host. Much of that depends on the target audience you’re trying to reach and potential COVID-related health restrictions.

Virtual, hybrid, or in-person? The type of event format you choose will impact your content delivery, the venue, budget, and most importantly — your event technology needs.

With event organizers seeing a resurgence of in-person and hybrid events in 2021 and 2022, it’s important to send the right signals pre-event to set the tone and tell attendees what to expect and how to participate. 

While many organizations pivoted to virtual events out of sheer necessity, a large number found success with hosting virtual conferences, which allowed more participants to attend than ever before. Hosting a hybrid event with engaging activities for in-person and virtual attendees offers the best of both worlds, and often results in increased attendance at your event.

Want to learn how MAD//Fest, a “marketing, advertising, and disruption festival,” became trailblazers of all three event formats? Download the case study.

3. Design your event  

When determining your event design, think in terms of enticing attendees with the right speakers and presenters who have authority on the subject at hand. Your event format will determine whether your speakers will engage with participants in a live format or via pre-recorded video. For hybrid events, you’ll need to consider how to seamlessly combine both live and pre-recorded content.

Dynamic speakers, trivia games, and other fun activities keep attendees engaged at in-person events. For virtual and hybrid events, you’ll need to get a little more creative when it comes to attendee engagement. Some ideas include:

  • Live chat, polls, and Q&A
  • Gamification (friendly challenges, virtual scavenger hunts, leaderboard games)
  • Social walls (event-wide social wall where attendees communicate, share photos, etc.)
  • 1:1 and group networking
  • Video rooms (targeted to attendee interests)
  • Virtual classes and activities (cooking, meditation, etc.)

Looking for an event planning roadmap? Check out our Virtual Event Planning Guide.

4. Choose your event technology 

To execute a flawless event in today’s digital environment, your event organizers and team members need the right tools to plan it as well as a support team to make sure things go smoothly on the day of the event.

With an end-to-end event management platform, organizers gain access to a suite of tools that can be used for in-person, virtual, and hybrid events, such as:

  • Registration: Create your own custom-branded registration pages, set ticket types and tiers, and capture attendee information seamlessly.
  • Mobile event app: Keep all your in-person event info in one place for easy access. Look for an event tech company that offers the ability to white label your event app.
  • Lead retrieval: Scan attendee badges and capture leads for future follow-up directly from a tablet or mobile device.
  • Badge printing/scanning: Save time and costs by working with an event technology vendor that offers on-site check-in and badge printing services. 
  • Virtual event platform: Create interactive, immersive, and intuitive events with all-in-one virtual event functionality. The best platforms support multiple live streaming options and even allow you to weave in pro-shot audio and video.

Free virtual event guide download: Get the complete guide to learn the ins and outs of planning successful virtual events that delight, engage, and keep attendees and sponsors coming back for more.

5. Marketing your event 

A well-planned event management strategy outlines your goals and objectives, details the strategies and tactics needed to engage attendees, and establishes a tracking method for measuring your ROI. It also means setting a budget and determining the best ways to market your event.

But first, you need to understand who you’re trying to market to and where they typically hang out or search for the information you want to share. Once you’ve captured the interest of potential customers who may be straddling the fence, nurture them along by:

  • Creating an event landing page for registrations so it’s simple and easy to sign up. Event landing pages are a must-have to capture real-time lead information.
  • Offer early-bird and tiered pricing. This helps to create urgency around your event and gives window-shoppers an extra nudge to pull the trigger.
  • Deploy all available channels to market your event, including social media, other influencers in the market, viral marketing, and more.

Start planning your next flawless event

Executing a flawless event is seamless when you have the right event platform in your corner. Webex Events combines best-in-class event technology with top-tier customer support to simplify event management and power engaging, memorable experiences.

Interested to see how Webex Events can help you execute your next event? Request a personalized demo.

Lisa Vogel
Lisa Vogel

Lisa has been in the event marketing field for over 16 years and is the Sr. Field Marketing Manager at Webex Events (formerly Socio),. She is passionate about producing events that create engaging, unique and inclusive experiences.