Successful Events Start with Purpose

By Sara Urquhart. Photography of Alt NYC, Rooftop party.

 Hosting an in-person event can have serious advantages for your business, and you’ll be most successful if the first thing you do is answer a simple—but often overlooked—question: What is your purpose in creating the event?

Do you want to:

  • design a space where people can network?
  • provide an opportunity for bloggers to discuss best business practices?
  • allow people to create collaborations? - provide exposure for one of your sponsors?
  • or be seen as an expert who can host great events?

That goal or purpose defines every other aspect of your event. Every decision you make about the event has to pass the litmus test: how does this help me accomplish my goal?

Once you define your purpose, create an environment where it can happen. For example, if it’s a collaboration or networking event, people will be seated in circles. If you’re speaking or having a speaker, you’ll need rows of chairs. If you’re highlighting a brand, you may need a different seating arrangement altogether. Your end goal will also dictate the design of your invitations and how they’re sent, what the table settings will look like, if you’ll have food and how it will be served. Everything is determined by what you hope to accomplish.

When you have a clear goal in mind, you also have a clear measure of success. Did it work? Was it worth the investment of time and money? As you evaluate your event, remember that it can take time to become established. It may take two or three events to reap the full benefits you hoped for. If you see progress toward your goal, but didn’t fully realize it the first time around, there may be reason to build on your current momentum and keep trying.

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.