Organizations have events for a variety of reasons.Most events can be categorized as primarily for: fundraising, mission fulfillment or outreach and engagement.
Too often organizations say goodbye to the guests, clean up, write their thank you notes and check the event off the list.
If you are doing so, then you are not getting the most from your investments. Like many good parties, the action is at the after party. A proper after party analysis should include:
- Review of logistics. Rate and review the venue, caterer, entertainment, expenses, chairs.
- Assessment of the event against its goals. For fundraisers, how much money was raised; for mission and outreach events, qualitative and quantitative measures.
- Discussion of the Larger Picture. Check of how the event fit into the organization’s business and strategic plans (this should be discussed before each event and then afterward to see if the concept and reality were on par).
- Strategic follow-up. Beyond sending thank you notes and flowers, mine the guest list and review guests and conversations of interest, who expressed desire to get more involved and what is the plan for following up etc.
- Giving it a Grade. Overall, what grade would you give the event. Would you repeat it? How would you change it? Why?
Planning events is a tremendous amount of work. There is a certain release that planners feel when the event is over and too often other work is waiting in the wings that has been pushed aside or neglected. Resist the urge to move on before properly following-up. Go the extra mile and evaluate your events thoroughly. Doing so will result in more strategic event planning and getting more bang for your buck!