If you want your event to be a success, you have to know what this success looks like. And you have to define it in advance. After all, an event is expensive and time-consuming, and not only does it have to pay its way, it also has to deliver benefits or profits.
In these high-tech times when the need to travel to a specific place is removed by the ability to run webinars, Skype conferences and web-based presentations using just-in-time interactions, you have to consider whether a 'traditional' format such as a conference or convention is the right option. If you don't know where you want to be, you'll never find your way there.
Use the SMART mnemonic to define your objectives:
S for specify > Do you all have the same idea of why you are doing this? What is the purpose of the event?
M for measurable > What attendance rate/number of delegates/income/amount of sponsorship etc. do we plan to achieve? Also, how many reporters/articles do we want to attract/generate?
A for achievable > Is it feasible (for us), financially and in terms of personnel?
R for realistic/relevant > What is the environment like in the sector? Are we at the cutting edge?
T for timing > Plan and set dates and times
With this in mind, create a brief profile for the event, including key facts, figures and targets – and a delegate profile. What type of participant/target group do you want to reach? Armed with this information about who and what you are focusing on, you can make a start on the organisation.