Event Management
February 15, 2018  •  by Sean Burke

The Importance of Setting Well-Defined Goals For Your Event (And Achieving Them!)

Did you know that most New Year’s Resolutions have failed by this point? Read on and you’ll discover why most events never achieve what organizers want, too.

Everyone has a goal when they want to run an event. It might be to make a certain amount of money. Or, you might want to educate people on a topic that you feel will be useful to them. However, the problem is that rarely do I run into an event organizer that has a well-defined goal, or a definite chief aim for their event. When people call Ticketbud, they tell me that they are expecting a certain size audience. However, when ticket sales start coming in, they get worried – they aren’t selling as much as they want! A lot of times, I will converse with organizers that aren’t happy with their ticket sales. And the number one problem is that they expected that they were going to do so well, but they never worked towards a goal!

I want to end this trend! In this blog post, I’m going to teach you how to create a well-defined goal. Then, I’m going to teach you how to achieve that goal.

How To Create A Well-Defined Goal

Like I said, everyone has goals. But not everyone does a good job of setting them. A well-defined goal has multiple components. They are: concrete, have a set date, have what you’ll do to achieve it, and a budget, if any.

  1. Define Concrete Numbers and Outcomes

When you first look to set your goal, you need to think long and hard about what you want the outcome to be. If your event is a paid event, you should set a number for your revenue, or for your profit. The reason why this number needs to be concrete, I will explain in just a bit. The same goes for your outcome – maybe you want to raise awareness for a disease or for a cause you are passionate about. Your goal in this case could be for a certain number of people to attend, or for a number of commitments to service afterward.

The most important thing though, is that it is a realistic number! If you are a first-time event organizer, maybe set your goal for revenue to be a number that allows you to break even, with just a bit extra to grow. Of course, I’ll always tell you to follow your dreams. Still though, you need to always be realistic about what you can hope to achieve given what you know.

2. Choose The Date You Wish To Achieve Your Goal

The second most important part of a well-defined goal, is a date by when you want to achieve it. For event organizers, this is pretty easy: your goal date is the date of your event. It might even be a time before your event so that you can bring in sponsors, or something else.

3. Determine What You Will Do To Achieve It

Write down all the different marketing methods you can think of. If you’re new to event marketing, there are options like:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Flyer Distribution
  • List Calling

Whatever methods that you’ll use to achieve your goals, write them down. And include backup plans just in case some of them don’t work out. Take some time to think about your target market – where would the best place to find them be? Or where are sponsors located? Do you know your desired speaker’s schedule?

4. Work Out Your Budget

The important part of setting a goal is knowing what you have on hand in order to achieve it. Keep in mind, as well, that budget doesn’t just include money. It also includes your time, and your effort. There are 24 hours in a day. If you don’t have a lot of cash on hand, you need to use your time instead. And if you do have a budget, I recommend allocating a balanced amount to all of your marketing options. If you are already experienced, of course, you can put more money into what you know works. One rule of thumb is to spend at least 4 times what you expect an average sale to be. Ergo – if your tickets are $40 each, spend at least $160 in that marketing channel before calling it a failure.

How To Achieve Your Goal

So, to backtrack just a little bit, we have already discussed having a concrete number and outcome, you have set a date for your goal to be achieved, what you will do to achieve it, and your budget. This is all extremely important.

Now, how to achieve that goal? Simply put, just do it! Now, you might find that anticlimactic after all of the talking up that I’ve just done, but the truth is, you’ve already gotten a good portion of your work done. When you start working towards your goal, everything will fall into place. Having a definite aim for your event will ensure that you only focus on what really matters.

On Preventing Procrastination

Even if you’ve heard of this strategy, it’s still a good one. Do the most difficult task of the day first. Don’t leave it until later, when you’re more tired. Generally speaking, this means that you should work towards your goal the first thing in the morning. As an event organizer, you have a lot of things on your mind, but your goal is what is most important. The goal is what is going to enable you to achieve profitability, or help people.

Just remember: what gets measured, is what gets done. That’s why you had to set a concrete number of outcome in step one.


Today I talked about how to set a definite goal for your event. The steps of setting this aim for your event are as follows: set a concrete number or outcome, establish a date for it to be achieved by, what you will do to achieve it, and your budget. These steps are all extremely important – don’t overlook any of them. Also, by working towards your goal first thing in the morning, you will make sure that you have your full, undivided attention on the matter. I hope this helps you – it helps me in my everyday work, too. Have a great rest of your week, and see you again soon!

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