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Meghan Ely 2018 Photo by Melody Smith Portrait

Event Pros Share Goal-Setting Tips for Their Businesses

You hit what you aim for; four smart tips when setting goals for your event business.

The process of setting, monitoring and adjusting goals is among the most effective business practices--recognized by experts in every field. If you are operating without goals, you are missing an opportunity to book more jobs, make more money and derive more satisfaction from your event industry career.

1. Getting Started
This is an ideal time to set or revise your goals. As you are preparing for tax season, totaling your revenue and expenses and looking at what went well and what needed improvement in the previous year, you can take this time to put some extra thought into where you want to be this time next year. Next, formalize those inclinations as goals.

Shannon Tarrant of Wedding Venue Map starts her goal-setting process in the last quarter of the year.

“First I review my current goals and evaluate the data to see if we have achieved or are on track in late October,” she says. “Then, we review the data and analyze it in November before setting the plan and goals for the next year. December is about finalizing our goals and getting our team on the same page.”

No matter when you begin the process, it is good to set regular dates for reviewing them throughout the year to measure your progress and tweak anything that might need minor revision. Quarterly reviews are effective and easy to calendar.

2. Involve Your Team

One key is to involve your team members in the process. Trip Wheeler of SB Value asks for input when setting goals. “If you involve your team, the ideas and goals will be theirs as well,” he says. “You want them to believe in the ideas as they will be the ones responsible for executing them.”

Emily Sullivan of Emily Sullivan Events agrees: “I let [my team] see the numbers and encourage them to help me think of ways to create income-producing activities. Getting out of the rut of the ‘to-do list’ and focusing on business building as a group is very important to us.”

3. Determine Accountability
It’s not enough to set goals. You need to ensure that the work necessary to achieve them is happening as well. Heather Rouffe of Atlas Event Rental holds her team accountable through regular check-ins. “Every week we have meetings with our sales team to see where we are, and analyze those stats in comparison to the goals we have set,” she explains. “If we are not on target, we explore why and try to come up with a solution to ensure we get goals met.”

Regular reflection keeps everyone on your team on track and accountable for their roles in reaching your goals.

4. Deal with Failure
Not every team can achieve every goal. Deciding in advance what you will do with a failure is an important part of business and personal development. When Tarrant doesn’t make a goal, she doesn’t shy away from the issue. “I really dig deep to figure out
why we didn’t achieve it,” she says. “Was it overreaching? Did we not work the plan? Looking at the ‘why’ helps us see if we need to modify this goal, or work harder to achieve it next year.”

Ultimately, though the better you know your business, the more successful you will be at attaining your goals. As Rouffe suggests, “Be realistic, know your market, make sure you have the product, the staff, and proper infrastructure to reach your goals.”

Aim high, work hard and monitor your progress. You’ll soon be crushing your current goals, and soaring towards the next.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. She is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.

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