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  • Writer's pictureBeth Hernandez-Casey

If your goal is THIS, do THIS

Goal-setting is a crucial part of the planning hierarchy for any successful event. Though it’s easy to name the desired outcomes of an online event, it can be tougher to figure out what goals need to be set for your organization and how to achieve them. Before we dive into the “what” and “how” of creating practical, meaningful, goals, let’s take a step back and have a quick review of the basics.

What’s the difference between a goal and an objective?

It may seem like a silly question but the answer is, “A LOT!” Though the two work together, they are not the same. Think of it as a roadmap: your goal is where you want to end up, and your objectives are the directions you’ll follow to reach your goal.


Setting your event goals also sets an intention for the business you run. You want to ensure your success is meaningful, so it’s important to have the right goals in place. To be sure your goals work hard for you, be sure they’re SMART:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Relevant

  • Time-Bound

Using this tool as a guideline, you’ll be able to create clarity around successes and failures. Plus, when you accomplish your goals, you’ll be able to see exactly how you did it.

How to write SMART goals

  • Decide what you need to develop

    • What is your desired process, performance, or outcome? (Be exact!)

    • Who needs to be included to accomplish this?

  • Choose metrics wisely

    • What are your Key Performance Indicators?

    • How do they tie into your objectives?

    • What are the specific numbers assigned to each goal?

  • Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate

    • Are your goals realistic?

    • Do you have the skills/resources/capacity to achieve these right now?

    • If not, what’s the plan to get them?

  • Make sure your goals are compatible

    • Will each add value to the other?

    • Why are you setting these goals now?

    • Are these goals appropriate for the event you’re planning?

  • Give them a deadline

    • What are your checkpoints to evaluate progress?

    • What is the final deadline?

    • Is this a realistic time frame?

Pro tip: It’s easy to get carried away but don’t forget: once your goals are in place, you actually have to follow through. Reevaluate how complex your goals are, then decide if you need to add a few or even table a few for later.

When it comes to virtual events, many businesses share common goals. Regardless of industry, here are a few common goals we help businesses reach and a few tips from Meeting Nerd on how to reach them.

If your goal is THIS:

Engage your audience until your next live event


  • Make it memorable (Read: FUN)

  • Give attendees an incentive(like a guaranteed reservation or admission discount) to your next live event

  • Consider funding your event via a sponsor to keep your pricing as low as possible

  • Create a community that will live on after the event

Pro tip: social media is your friend. Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn are great platforms to start on

If your goal is THIS:

Get leads and convert them into clients


  • Create a dynamite attendee experience (Read: Invest! Invest in your platform, your engagement giveaways, and your speakers.)

  • Incorporate pre-work and post-event marketing campaigns to keep your audience engaged

  • Include experts in the speaker lineup wherever possible

If your goal is THIS:

Increase membership


  • Make pricing approachable

  • Provide discounts or free access to new members

  • When it comes to highlighting the value your organization provides: SHOW, don’t tell!

...and if your goal is THIS:

Make an embarrassing amount of money


  • Partner with relevant sponsors

  • Encourage referrals with an affiliate program

  • Incorporate multi-channel marketing

  • Include speakers in event promotion

  • Team up with Meeting Nerd to take care of your event planning!

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