Events are large-scale marketing objectives that require several months of planning and coordination. Setting goals and objectives are a big part of the battle plan that event professionals need to pay attention to in order to get the most out of these campaigns. In our previous blog, we elaborated on five ways you can set relevant, realistic objectives for your events. If you haven’t read it yet, we suggest you give that a read.
Moving on, let’s get into what SMART goals are. For the uninitiated, SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. But why set SMART goals? What makes this method so important at events and trade shows. That’s what we are going to discuss in the next few sections.
Why set SMART goals?
Firstly, SMART goals help you identify important aspects of your campaign and ensures they are kept track of in a structured way. It is important to understand that using this method to set goals has a lot more to do with setting actionable goals as opposed to associating it with setting effective or the best objectives.
SMART goal setting constantly requires revision and reimagination. The better your goals are defined, the better your team will be able to function. SMART goals are especially suited for task oriented and number-driven functions that are primarily focused on the end result. Therefore, if used correctly, this methodology for goal-setting at events ensures that your team knows what needs to be done, is able to tracks the effectiveness of their efforts, and is sufficiently motivated in doing so.
Why SMART goal-setting is not dead
There are two reasons why people think the SMART model does not work. The first contention that SMART goals face is that the methodology is not suited for long-term goals because of the lack of flexibility. The second argument is that this model seems to suit leaders rather than team members. Let’s break down these contentions and how the SMART goal setting can work around them.
Getting the most out of SMART goals requires you to personalize your objectives. Personalization is a great way to show your audience you care. As an example, personalizing goals to reach a specific section of your audience can help streamline the brand’s message and target them effectively.
The SMART model employs steps that help you focus on relevant objectives that are important in the long run. It can help you prioritize certain objectives over the others based on what is important to the desired outcomes. This is especially true and helpful at events since some objectives require more attention than others. And this can also be used for both short and long term goals. Whether this means prioritizing goals that directly impact bottom line or those that have long-term effects on brand image and market performance.
There’s a thin line between a stretch goal and an unattainable one. SMART goals need constant review and revision of strategy. The idea is to understand that every goal exists in a specific circumstance. But as far as events and business goes, even a fresher can tell you that context and circumstances change quite rapidly. Strategy that was at the pinnacle of forward thinking can very well as easily become obsolete. Therefore, the notion of this model’s lack of scope of improvisation can be debated.
Do not be afraid to discard objectives that have become redundant. For example, the success of events was equated to vanity metrics like social media engagements and the number of business cards you managed to collect. But this strategy may have been proven inadequate seeing the number of these were only interested in a freebie or did not fully understand what your product does. And therefore, each objective of the event needs to be the result of a well thought out game plan, keeping in mind the relevance and shelf-life it may carry.
SMART goal-setting goes beyond just ensure that campaign objectives are effective. They ensure that they are actionable and encourage motivation. In summary, SMART goals are effective if they are personalized, prioritized, reviewed, measured with the right metrics, and kept relevant. They have to be the outcome of constant revision and reiteration which can prove to have both short-term and long-term benefits at events.
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