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Balancing Tactics vs Strategy at Events: 3 Easy Tips for Staying Strategic
Friday, May 18th, 2012 | Comments | Latest Posts

Earlier this week, we covered event branding approaches that can give your event a personality. Branding is a strategic initiative, one that guides your event from a high level. But a lot of event planning and execution is taken up by tactical initiatives. Between booking the venue, scheduling the travel, and making reservations so your keynote speaker can go to her favorite sushi joint in your town, tactics can start to outweigh strategy very quickly. To help keep event planners on track with issues of tactics vs strategy, we offer three easy ways to avoid being stretched thin by tactics.

1. Know your mission

When you’re bogged down in details like who ordered lamb and who ordered chicken and whose name badge was printed and whose wasn’t, it can be hard to keep the big picture in mind. Throughout your event planning and execution experience, remain focused on your real goal, which is not throwing a perfect event, but bringing people together to share ideas and make connections. Don’t let tactical issues pull you in the opposite direction from your overarching strategy.

2. Keep it simple

The tools you’ll use will vary by event type, but you’re likely to have at least a few spreadsheets, as well as an effective email and calendaring system for registrations and reminders. Don’t use an event planning tool just to have one, and leverage other tools–such as your event website (especially if you create it with SnapHop!)–for your own benefit, not just that of your attendees. Instead of duplicating content in multiple locations, use your own website as the master copy of content, updating information there (and updating attendees accordingly) as soon as changes happen. This makes it so that you’re not the sole holder of information that could be useful. One hint: if your spreadsheet color-coding is so complicated that you need to look at the key every time you open the document, you might be overcomplicating things. And refer to Tip #1: engagement, not an amazing array of planning spreadsheets and tools, is your real goal.

3. Find fun partners

Event planners don’t have to do it alone! Events exist to build connections, so make some of your own as well. Find favorite vendors, trusted event planning mentors, or even helpful audience members who can play key roles in tracking details and sharing information. A great event should make everyone involved want to promote it, so don’t feel like it’s all up to you.

What helps you remain focused on strategy and value proposition, even as tactical tasks stretch you in multiple directions? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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