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How to set the right goals for your enterprise flagship virtual or hybrid event

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Key takeaways

  1. Without a clear vision, it can be difficult to make the right decisions about which virtual and hybrid event platform to use, how to market the event, and so on.
  2. It’s vitally important to set the right goals in line with your enterprise’s mission and values.
  3. Once your virtual or hybrid event goals are set, it’s important to establish how you will measure success
  4. Analyzing the data gathered from your event will help you determine the event’s level of success, as well as provide a single source of truth upon which to base data-driven decisions.

They are such an ingrained part of event planning practices that we often forget to step back and ask ourselves about the purpose of our event goals. Are they aligned with our company’s mission and values? Are they realistic and achievable? As virtual and hybrid are becoming the norm for flagship enterprise events, we may also want to consider how our goals fit into this new virtual landscape.

Virtual and hybrid events on the rise

According to the recent Virtual Event Tech Guide 2022 released by Skift Meetings, virtual events have become a permanent fixture in the event industry, with 38% of corporate event planners stating that their primary use of digital events now is to reach global audiences, as opposed to simply being part of a backup plan in the event of in-person event cancellations.

But virtual and hybrid event management also bring about a different set of challenges, such as virtual event fatigue and event ROI measurement. This means that our goals for virtual and hybrid events may differ slightly from those of in-person events.

Enterprise flagship event goal planning

When it comes to digital event planning, there are a number of different goals that can be pursued. For example, community building is all about creating a space where people can come together and interact. This could involve providing opportunities for networking or offering digital content that helps to bring people closer together. Moreover, brand building is all about using events to promote a company or product. This could involve providing attendees with information about the brand and its products, or hosting special events that help to raise awareness of the brand. Knowledge transfer is all about using digital events to share information and expertise. This could involve presenting company updates, hosting workshops and seminars, or simply providing a space for people to exchange ideas and learn from one another.

So, how do we set the right enterprise flagship event goals?

Without a clear vision, it can be difficult to make the right decisions about which virtual and hybrid event platform to use, how to market the event, and so on. Failing to set the right goals also renders data analysis and ROI measurement nearly impossible.

The fact is that virtual and hybrid events are on the rise. There are a number of different goals that can be pursued. For example, community building is all about creating a space where people can come together and interact. Brand building is all about using events to promote a company or product. Knowledge transfer is all about sharing information and expertise.

Before planning your next virtual or hybrid event, take the time to reflect on what matters most to your organization. Are you looking to build community among employees? Increase brand awareness? Share knowledge and expertise? Once you have identified your primary goal, you can make more informed decisions about the rest of your event planning. And don’t forget to keep your company’s mission and values in mind as well. By setting the right goals, you set yourself up for success in virtual and hybrid event planning.

Consider this when setting your virtual or hybrid event goals

Your brand’s mission and values

This foundation will help guide your decision-making throughout the entire event planning process. Is your enterprise in the community-building or networking space? Are sustainability and environmental impact important values to your company? Critically, you must ensure that knowledge is transferred to event attendees in line with your mission and values. To do this, consider setting goals such as ensuring a certain percentage of virtual attendees walk away with a clear understanding of your company’s mission.

What do your internal stakeholders want?

Gathering input from key stakeholders, such as the event planning team, marketing, sales, partners, and executive leadership, will not only foster a sense of buy-in and ownership but will also broaden your scope of ideas for tangible goals across the organization. This collaboration can also provide valuable insights into potential challenges, such as budget constraints, and how solutions can be arrived at while still achieving event goals. So make sure you know who your key stakeholders are and how they will be best served through your event.

Consider different goals for virtual and hybrid

Additionally, consider the impact your event will make on your external stakeholders (aka your event attendees). For virtual events, consider how you want to engage your audience online and what virtual tools you may need in order to achieve your goals. For hybrid events, think about the balance between virtual and in-person elements and how you can make the most out of both formats. For instance, think about the event experience for your virtual attendees compared to the people attending your in-person events. Should they feel equally engaged and connected with the event? Or are there different goals to work towards regarding engagement, knowledge transfer, and building community and brand connection? This then raises the issue of how you will measure and track virtual attendee engagement.

Measuring virtual and hybrid event success

When working on your virtual or hybrid event goals, it’s important to establish how you will measure success. This includes both qualitative and quantitative measurements, such as the number of virtual attendees or satisfaction surveys for virtual workshops. But before diving into metrics, take into account the difference between outputs versus outcomes for your virtual or hybrid event.

Outputs are the tangible results of an event. Factors like viewership, engagement, or marketing-based metrics like CTRs and net promoter scores are all examples of event outputs. Knowing these numbers can give a sense of immediate success, but they shouldn’t be the only measure.

Outcomes are the impact or long-term results of an event. They relate to how your event has impacted company goals. This could include how virtual attendees apply what they learned at the virtual event to their work, qualified leads from new customers, or the number of new members joining a community-building platform after the event. Outcomes are notoriously difficult to measure, but understanding them will provide key insights for future virtual and hybrid event planning and goal-setting. And starting your event planning with a clear understanding of your goals will bring you a long way.

Putting the data to work for your business

Once your virtual or hybrid event is over, it’s time to analyze and reflect on the data gathered during the measurement process. This can inform not only current events but also future virtual and hybrid events. For example, suppose virtual attendee satisfaction surveys indicate room for improvement in virtual workshops. In that case, this could lead to goal-setting for future virtual events to have higher virtual attendee satisfaction in workshops.

Final thoughts

With virtual and hybrid events becoming more commonplace, it’s vitally important to set the right goals in line with your enterprise’s mission and values. By critically analyzing data gathered during and after virtual or hybrid events, businesses can ascertain how successful the event was and use this information to continue improving virtual and hybrid events in the future.

Remember to gather input from stakeholders, consider virtual or hybrid event formats, and measure both outputs and outcomes in order to set and achieve meaningful virtual and hybrid event goals. Analyzing the data gathered from your event will help you determine the event’s level of success, as well as provide a single source of truth upon which to base data-driven decisions.

Data is essential for making informed decisions, but it can be difficult to know where to start when you’re looking at a sea of numbers.

That’s where Dexper comes in.

Dexper helps you collect data from all over your platform and then visualizes it in an easy-to-understand way on the Dexper analytics dashboard. This way, you can see exactly what’s working and what’s not, and make changes accordingly.

Dexper also helps you integrate your platform data into your company workflows. This way, you can use the data collected to drive the success of your virtual and hybrid event even further by making make data-driven decisions that help your enterprise reach its goals.

Reach out to discuss how Dexper can help you achieve your virtual or hybrid event goals.