Now that we've officially entered the second half of 2023, it's time to start thinking about 2024! No, really.
Your kickoff events are an essential part of your annual planning, and they can often be an effective way to motivate your sales team for the year ahead. But more needs to go into your kickoff event than just choosing your venue and some food.
Let's look at the major questions you should ask as you start planning your 2024 kickoff event (or global sales meeting, national sales meeting - whatever you prefer).
Question 1: What Are Our Goals for 2024?
Clearly defining your business and sales goals for the year will help you define your event goals.
You should have a deep understanding of where you want the business to move in 2024 so you can set your event up for success. Consider things like:
- Increased revenue
- Improved sales reporting
- Greater customer retention
- Greater employee satisfaction / reduced turnover
Your specific goals will help you craft your agenda, decide what teams to invite, and prepare your content.
Question 2: What is Our Budget?
Budget is an important area to really understand for your Kickoff event. Inflation has affected all aspects of events, so what you spent in 2019 is not going to translate to 2024 numbers.
The first areas to know are:
- How many people you are planning to invite
- How many days you need for your event
- Where you want to host the event
If you can get a topline budget for your event, with an understanding that some things may need to shift, you can then work on crafting the right type of Kickoff for your team.
Question 3: What Challenges Did Our Sales Team Face Last Year?
This should guide how you strcuture your Kickoff event. From content to event structure, you should be able to help your team address issues they faced last year and ones you foresee in 2024.
For example, if their challenges mainly centered around connecting with prospects, maybe you need to host interactive training workshops.
If their challenges focused on product knowledge or internal issues, maybe you need to bring in other departments to collaborate with the team.
Don't just assume that the content and structure you did last year will work this year. Go to the source to learn what will be the most effective.
Question 4: What is the Best Way to Motivate Our Team?
Your Kickoff is about motivating your team and setting yourselves up for success in 2024. You should strongly factor this into your planning.
Maybe your team is motivated by awards. You can structure an awards evening into your Kickoff event.
Or maybe your team is motivated by learning from their peers. Provide ample time for networking.
Maybe it's the perks that come with their job. Perhaps your Kickoff can be hosted in a fun location or include unique perks (e.g. touring an NFL stadium or going on an off-roading tour).
This is a good question to ask your team before you begin planning. What gets them out of bed? What pushes them to succeed? You may be surprised at what they tell you.
You should also consider what types of motivations and incentives to announce at your Kickoff, whether it's an incentive travel program or a bonus structure.
Question 5: Will Our Past Strategies Work Well Now?
This really makes you examine your event wholly. Don't just assume that what worked in 2019, or even 2023, will work now.
Examine your past events, look at the ROI (if you've tracked it), and really consider whether they were effective.
Then take a look at 2024 and how this upcoming year might be different. Ahem, budget.
Attention spans are changing as well. Not everyone can sit through long meetings anymore without feeling drained and antsy. Endless networking can also be draining for many.
Take a look at the individuals on your team and consider what changes might be effective for them. Whether that's shortening your presentations, including workout sessions, or providing some quiet time, there are several ways to incorporate fresh ideas into your event.
Also consider what's going to get your team excited about this year's event. If you've had lack-luster participation in the past, maybe it's time to mix things up. Consider things like new locations or engaging event themes.
Question 6: What Areas Do We Need Help With?
Let's face it: sometimes you need an extra set of hands to make an event incredible. Especially if the answers to the questions above lead you to conclude that you need to mix things up in 2024.
Some areas you may consider include:
- Event strategy
- Venue selection
- Event planning
- Onsite management
The first place we always like to start is with a bit of research. Here are our recommendations on how to make your next Kickoff or national sales meeting a success.
GoGather: Your Go-To for Kickoff Success
Ready to start planning your 2024 Kickoff but your answer to #6 was a resounding "We need help"?
Let's chat about how GoGather can help you craft a Kickoff (or national sales meeting) that not only motivates your employees, but helps you hit all your goals.