Event Mender Featured Image

11-step guide to creating a future-proof event strategy

Events are evolving. Here are a few trends that stand out:

1. There is an almost equal demand for all types of events. Statista predicted 40% of events to be virtual, 35% going hybrid, and 35% to be held in person in 2022.

2. Usage of technology in events is rising. Enhancing user experience through augmented/virtual reality, gamification, personalized marketing, and so many advancements boil down to technology.

3. Events are becoming an integral part of marketing. Mark Kilens, CMO of Airmeet, reiterated this fact in one of his interviews about how events are becoming a true differentiator for the brand. And it helps to create a deep connection with customers and buyers, especially if you’re in the B2B industry.

These latest trends also shift the way we plan events. Considering all these factors, we bring you an 11-step guide to preparing your next event strategy.

Explaining event strategy(in-depth)

Event strategy is the overall event plan, bringing together all the moving parts from the initial concept to post-event follow-ups. Let’s break it down step by step.

1. Research

When asked about how to create an effective strategy, Ruby Sweeney, Founder & Director of The Events Hub, points out, ” People are becoming more conscious of their time, and you need a solid value proposition to get someone to commit“. So the first step is taking a step back, wearing the research hat, and looking into your target audience and competitors.

Target audience

Get answers to the below questions:

  • What are their needs?
  • What type of event do they respond to?
  • What feedback did you get from your previous events?


Two reasons to review competitors are: 

  • Checking for any clashes in agenda or dates
  • Identifying what you could do better

2. Set goals

After you have done the research, now comes the question: Why are you organizing an event in the first place? The end goal will help you set the path forward. Some common event goals are:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Engaging employees
  • Generating leads
  • Retaining customers
  • Increasing sales
  • Establishing thought leadership on a topic
  • Showcasing products
  • Meeting new investors
  • Knowledge sharing amongst peers
  • Educate participants
  • Getting funds for a cause

Pro tip: “My advice is to really agree on the objective of organizing an “event”. For me, an event is more than just a series of sessions, a question I am asking now with many organizers to think about the why is the following. The content that you are producing and organizing for this event, why can’t it just be an on-demand series on your website, or why can’t it be a podcast? That hopefully helps focus on why they are bringing people together and why they are requesting people’s time and focus.” ~ Adam Parry, Director, Event Industry News

3. Choose the event format and type

Once you have the goal, you can decide on the event format accordingly. Here are a few options:

Next comes the event type, whether to go for hybrid, virtual or in-person. Choose the type based on the following factors:

  • Your event goal
  • What your audience wants
  • Where is your audience located

4. Plan agenda or content

This is the heart of the event and your value proposition. Take an audience-centric approach while deciding the agenda.

Another point to note is if you are conducting a hybrid event, you shouldn’t have the same agenda for digital and in-person audiences. A few sessions can make sense more online, and a few work out only offline. While it does help to have a similar overarching theme, you should design your event taking into account two different audiences. 

Another point to note is if you are conducting a hybrid event, you shouldn’t have the same agenda for digital and in-person audiences. A few sessions can make sense more online, and a few work out only offline. While it does help to have a similar overarching theme, you should design your event taking into account two different audiences. 

5. Decide timeline and coordinate with speakers for availability

Next, look at the event calendar and figure out dates. When determining dates, consider the following:

  • Time required for pre-launch activities: launching events, marketing, registration, developing sponsorship strategy, looking for sponsors, and other logistics
  • Industry events
  • Competitor events
  • Time of Year
  • Attendee Location

Based on the dates, you can coordinate with speakers for availability.

6. Decide budget and team

Here comes the tricky part. You have an agenda in hand, but do you have the money to execute it? Consider the approximate cost of:

  • Venue
  • Catering
  • Decor
  • Tools/Event Management Technology/Virtual Event Software
  • Marketing spends
  • External support staff

You can revisit the agenda if something cannot suffice in the budget. Another task is to decide on the team for event launch, execution, and marketing. A major event is a collaboration of many team members owning individual tasks and making their area shine. 

Pro tip: Budgeting is also where you keep a contingency fund for any emergencies. Contingency is often set at 10% of the overall budget, but in our experience, it should be set closer to 15%. 

7. Look for sponsorship (if required)

Sponsors usually want to support strategic events for their brand awareness and generating leads. So the best is to reach out to sponsors with whom you share an audience. Top three ways to find sponsors are:

  1. Check sponsors who supported similar existing industry events.
  2. Do outreach by email and social media.
  3. Check online platforms like Sponseasy, SponsorPitch, and SponsorMyEvent.

To win sponsors, address their common objections in the pitch. These are common barriers sponsors face when sponsoring an event. 

Common sponsor objection to consider in your event strategy

Pro tip: “Convince sponsors with a pitch that’s backed by numbers. Any strong pitch is incomplete without numbers and factual data to fall back on. You need to show your sponsors that you’re giving them just as much value from the partnership as they are. Dig out numbers that confirm user registrations, estimates of footfall, and the demographic that will be attending these events. Anything that paints your event in a positive light — even previous attendee testimonials — should make it into your pitch.” ~ Harry Morton, Founder at Lower Street

8. Fix venue, tech and tools

For a virtual or hybrid, decide on the technology based on:

  • Number of attendees – How much can the tool support
  • What kind of experience do you need – 2D, 3D, VR, AR
  • Do you need any gamification

For in-person events, book

  • Venue and basic setup like chairs, stage, podium, projectors, Wi-Fi, audio speakers
  • Flights and hotel for speakers/guests
  • Parking availability and costs
  • Catering
  • Decor
  • Entertainment- External host, DJ

9. Create a marketing plan

Now, you have all the logistics figured out. It’s time to find the attendees. We have created a base event marketing plan template. You can further tweak it as per your event.

Initial announcement 

  • Announce on social media
  • Send emails
  • Collaborate with influencers and your speakers
  • Turn previous event attendees into advocates

Event launch

  • Launch the event with an event website or event page
  • Leverage what you already have: Speak to sponsors, speakers, and employees with strong personal brands to promote the event
  • Run paid ads
  • Use content from previous events as social proof
  • Continue with email marketing

After the event

  • Press release (if required)
  • Post on social media about the event. It will get you more eyeballs for the next events.
  • Publish takeaways and snippets on your blog and repurpose onto social channels

10. Work on a contingency plan

An event is a living entity; you can never plan it 100%. A solid contingency plan will allow you to prepare for any unforeseen conditions.

➡️ Have a plan B

No matter what type of event you’re organizing, you should always have a backup plan, especially for aspects that have a higher chance of experiencing hiccups.

You should also communicate the details of your plan B with all team members, so everyone knows how to proceed when things don’t go according to plan A.


➡️ Troubleshoot in advance

Create a troubleshooting doc for smaller things that don’t need to activate your plan B. This is what it could look like:

[Insert the function name i.e., AV]

If X occurs → proceed with Y

The Y can be one item or a list of multiple steps.


➡️ Keep your cool

It’s easy to start pointing fingers in the heat of the moment. But this isn’t the time to lose your cool because that’ll only escalate the situation and leave a bad impression on your attendees and sponsors.

Jot down your feedback and thoughts on your phone. If you still deem them valid after the event, share them during the evaluation meeting post-event.


➡️ Align everyone involved

Ensure everyone on the team knows their responsibilities, start time, and where they need to be at all times. (on-site and online)

Having a slack or WhatsApp group dedicated to each event also helps keep the communications line short for when unexpected questions pop up, or your teammates need support.

Pro tip: “One piece of advice I give is to build in time buffers between sessions so that you have more time to not only address potential issues, but also allow for serendipity during your event.” ~ Marvin McTaw, CEO, Sched.com

11. Measure results and nurture leads

Darryl Praill, CMO of, Agorapulse, who has been acing the event game, spoke in a webinar about the various reasons people don’t get success with events. And the biggest reason was: they don’t do the basics. For example, during registration, organizers ask for all the details from attendees but forget to nurture them.

You don’t want to miss the basics. Go back to the goal and measure the results. For instance, if the goal was to generate leads, you could check the number of leads generated. And it doesn’t stop there. Nurture the leads through follow-up marketing or sales sequence.

That covers the entire content strategy. Are you looking for more suggestions to make the event successful? Check tips by 55 thought leaders on organizing a successful hybrid event

Find the right event platform provider for you using Event Mender

Technology plays a huge role in the success of any virtual or hybrid event. It’s the biggest part of the event strategy. Using Event Mender, you can find the right platform based on:

  • Number of attendees
  • Expected technical support
  • Kind of experience(2D, 3D)

Save yourself from a long search filled with tiring demos, confusing technical feature lists, and pricing issues (and headaches). Instead, find the right provider for your event now by answering just six questions. 

Want to find the best platform for your virtual or hybrid event?

Check out the Event Mender Marketplace and get a shortlist of options in under 4 minutes.