Event Design Part 1: What The Heck Is It?

Photo courtesy of Nick Hirschmann

When thinking about event design, we know that it encompasses more than just the physical set-up that is seen during an event. Event design is an all-encompassing strategy of the event: from first touch-point to post-event emails or post-event follow ups.

Tahira Endean, author of Intentional Event Design: Our Professional Opportunity, defines event design as “developing stronger event processes, understanding how to make the most of the available technology and data including digital marketing, designing to optimize the experience through immersive, brain-friendly design, and creating sustainable, wellness-driven events.”

When using this model, we can break event design into three categories: Business Plan, Project Plan, and Communication and Content Strategy.

Business Plan:

  • Align
    • Align your event and organization’s priorities
  • Define
    • Define your event’s business goals
  • Research
    • Understanding the value of attendee research and analysis
    • Know your audience!!!

Project Plan:

  • Identify:
    • deliverables and areas of focus
    • key stakeholders
    • value of the project
    • critical success factors and define metrics/analytics
  • Key areas to include in project plan/project charter:
    • project purpose
    • project vision
    • stakeholders
    • project objectives aligned with organization goals
    • project scope
    • project team
    • milestones
    • values (i.e. drivers, assumptions, conditions, risks)
    • direct and/or indirect monetization
    • accessibility opportunities

Communication and Content Strategy:

  • Content = Engagement
    • This is important because this also focuses on retention
  • Prioritize the attendee’s reasons for attending the event from their perspective, not yours.

IMPORTANT! Decide who primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences are and land on each of their top three priorities or key desired learnings for attending the event. This will help create a framework for content.

Stay tuned for part two in this series where we share a guide on “Event and Tech Experience Design Language”!

– Your Tycoon, Eryne XO