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Katie MoserMay 14, 2024 12:27:01 PM5 min read

Step-by-Step Guide to Showing the Value of Your Events to Leadership

The idea of “we’ve always done this” doesn’t work anymore. 

Budgets are being scrutinized, meaning anything that seems superfluous to leadership will likely be on the chopping block. You’ll need to communicate value in a way that makes the most sense to them. 

Let’s look at how to approach your conversations with leadership and what points to include.

What Does Your Leadership Team Care About?

It’s probably not what’s being served for lunch.

They probably don’t even care about how much attendees liked the event.

Your leadership team cares about how this event (or series of events) will drive business forward. That should be at the top of your mind any time you present your event ideas, budgets, attendee lists, strategies, and more.

We hate to boil events down to purely numbers, because we know they are so much more than that.

But being able to properly communicate numbers and value to your leadership team will ensure you get to continue creating great experiences!

Let’s talk through the steps in more detail.

woman giving a presentation to her colleagues about corporate events

How Should You Present Your Event to Leadership?

We recommend a simple PowerPoint presentation that outlines the following areas:

  • Quick overview of the event
  • The “why” of the event
  • Industry statistics
  • Business goals
  • KPIs
  • The numbers
  • Testimonials & qualitative support

Highlight Business Goals

This is the most important aspect of your presentation. You need to show leadership that you understand the business goals and how your event fits into supporting them.

  • E.g. if your business wants to grow by X% this year, this event will help drive leads.
  • If your business wants to retain X% of employees, this event will help boost company culture and reward people for their hard work.

We recommend starting with this section so you can frame everything after it in terms of these business goals.

Bring in the Stats

We recommend bringing in some larger stats that can help you craft your story. 

Whether that’s internal data you have from previous events or external market data, stats lend credibility to your claims.

Think about what’s going on in the market. Are other companies’ event budgets growing? Are more people attending events? Are marketing teams moving toward more in-person activations? (“Yes” is the answer to all of these)

Situating your company against others in your industry or against “best-in-class” companies can also help your leadership understand the importance of your own events. 

Quick Overview of the Event

What exactly is your event?

Make sure that’s clearly outlined, including when, where, what, and who.

The “who” should include who is attending (including sponsors, exhibitors, partners, and attendees) and who is planning the event. Make sure to include all stakeholders.

This slide should be pretty high level, since all you’re trying to do is set up context for the rest of your presentation.

Develop the WHY

Next, discuss why you’re hosting this event.

Frame this in the context of what business challenges you’re trying to solve with this event.

  • If you’re hosting a supplier incentive program, you why might be “because we need to find additional channels to have executive conversations with suppliers to encourage them to drive sales.”
  • Your incentive trip why might be “because we need to connect our top performers with our leaders to learn from them and encourage them to continue working harder.”
  • Your user conference why might be “to encourage our users to network” or it might be “to drive greater sales through in-person channels.”

Also, challenge yourself to think through why not to host the event. “It’s too expensive”, “We won’t reach the right audience.” Are there gaps you’re seeing that can’t be easily overcome? Or are there challenges that you can address before they come up?

Eventually, this why should become the overall vision for your event. It will be the thing you come back to again and again to make sure the decisions you make are sound.

Outline the Event KPIs

Give specific KPIs or goals that go to support the business goals. They should all tie back in and logically go to support business goals.

Good example: We want the event to drive X leads to help the sales team bolster their pipeline.

Bad example: We want the event to get positive feedback to help the business grow. (This is vague and “feedback” doesn’t necessarily support improved sales)

Show the Numbers

Now is the time to review the numbers. Once you’ve given context for your event and clearly shown how it will support business goals, you’ll need to dive into the how of it all.

Give a quick financial overview, with allocations for specific areas of the event. Sometimes including explanations for certain areas or industry averages can be helpful here.

If your event is expected to bring in revenue, it’s important here to include any forecasts you have as well.

Finally, if you have any quantitative data from previous years, include that here as well. (e.g. how much revenue did you make last year?)

Make sure you know your numbers really well and be prepared to back up any budgetary needs (AKA – inflation’s affect on costs!)

Include Testimonials and Qualitative Support

Finally, include some qualitative support for your event by highlighting important testimonials and qualitative feedback from your previous attendees.

This can help create a holistic view of your event that isn’t just the hard numbers, which will be important for crafting the event overall.

group of business leaders having a discussion about corporate events

What to Leave Out of Your Conversation

Specifics aren’t really important here. Don’t get too caught up in the logistics portion of the event. If your leadership team wants to dig into that, host a separate logistics meeting.

It’s important here to win support for your event, and anything that might cause distraction (“no, we should only host the event for 2 days!”) will reduce your likelihood of winning that support.

Try to also keep your personal feelings out of the conversation.

You may love the event and know deep down that all the attendees love it, but those gut feelings won’t necessarily sway opinion.

Lastly, make sure to keep the conversation brief. Ask for opinions but don’t let the conversation spiral into an hours-long discussion.

Need help defining your event’s value further? Let’s brainstorm ways to make your event the most valuable yet.

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Katie Moser

Katie Moser is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at GoGather. She has an extensive background in creating content and branding for events, working with speakers, and managing agendas for conferences. When she's not updating blog posts and sending out social media posts, she helps clients identify areas of opportunity for their events from branding to communications. In her downtime, she enjoys spending time at one of the many beautiful San Diego beaches, exploring new breweries, or chilling at home with her cat.