Now that you have your planning team in place, the next step is to decide WHY you are having this event. Start by setting event goals and objectives.


Identify the general purpose of the event. Start by answering these questions:

The following are some reasons people hold meetings and events. Select all those that apply to your meeting or event:

Ask your boss or client their reason(s) for having the meeting or event. Ask members of your target audience what they want from the meeting or event.

NEWS FLASH! If you are not educating folks about your organization, your mission and your cause, you are missing a great opportunity to build friends and spread the word about what makes our organization special. Don’t let your attendees leave your event knowing no more about your organization, mission, or cause than they did when they arrived.


Define what “successful” looks like to your clients and stakeholders.
Remember, your event won’t succeed if you don’t know what success looks like and how to measure it.

Describe how you expect to accomplish your goals and support your overall plan.

Identify what attendees will learn/gain by attending the event.

Makes sure your objectives are SMART.

  • Specific
  • Measurable: Easily measured factors like costs and deadlines are the best way to answer the question, “How will I know my goals have been achieved?”
  • Attainable: You should set a goal that you think you and your team will reach 50% of the time if you had to repeat the event over. You can set an additional “stretch goal” that you think your team will reach only 10% of the time, as an additional motivator.
  • Relevant/Results-Focused: Goals should measure results and not activities
  • Timely: Achieved in a realistic time

Additional Resources

At the end on many of the steps you will find Additional Resources, some of which are the source documents for the section content. Some are just information I thought you could use. I hope you will check them out.

  • Meetings and Event Planning Playbook by Debi Schol and Susan Losurdo, © 2018 Barrel Maker Publishing

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