Event Concept: What Is It and Why Is It Essential to Have One?
Designing a knockout event isn’t as easy as it seems. There’s more to it than just inviting some speakers and attendees. When it comes to designing an exceptional event that impresses your attendees and satisfies your sponsors, you’ll need to develop a real strategy to make your event unique.
The event concept is the starting place from where the event design comes to life. The event concept visualizes the main idea or theme that guides your decisions on everything from the speakers you invite to the decorations you choose. Importantly, the event concept identifies the values and expectations your participants will take away from your event. If you are missing a clear concept to design your event around, your event will feel chaotic and disjointed. A strong event concept is essential because it helps you to stay focused and organized. It will also set you up for success when it comes to creating a unique event that will impress your attendees and speakers.
In this article, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about creating a strong event concept.
What is an event concept?
As mentioned previously, your event concept is the high-level overview of an event. It includes the who, when, where, and why of your event.
There is an important distinction between your event concept and event theme. Be careful not to confuse the two. The event theme is the idea that guides your event creation: what you want your event to focus on – the main story of your event. The event concept is the practical application of your event theme. It encompasses the different practical elements that will help you bring your event to life (activities, location, stage layout, decor….).
The importance of having an event concept
An event concept is essential because it provides a framework for planning and organizing the event. It helps to ensure that all aspects of the event are aligned with the overall goals and objectives. It is the foundation of your event that will help provide a roadmap to your event planning. It details what the event will entail and what needs to be done in order to make it a success. Without a well-defined event concept, it can be difficult to ensure that all aspects of the event are planned and coordinated properly.
Additionally, event concepts can help to create a unique and memorable experience for guests. By outlining the overall theme or concept of the event, planners can create a coordinated experience that engages all the senses. This can be especially important for branding and marketing purposes, as guests who have a positive experience are more likely to remember and recommend the event to others.
What are the steps to designing an event concept?
When it comes to events, it’s well known that the event itself is actually the smallest part of the process. Planning and imagining a good strategy are the biggest and most important steps when it comes to producing an event. Here are the steps you need to follow to design a great event concept.
1. Define the event goals and objectives
The first step requires laying the groundwork for what the event will be and how it is executed. Event goals and objectives should be clearly outlined before the planning process gets too far underway. Why do you need an event? Who will benefit from this event? What do you want to achieve by organizing an event? Is it because you want to raise awareness for your brand, generate more leads, promote a new product, or build loyalty with existing clients?
Make sure that everyone on your organizing team understands these key objectives before developing your event concept. By explicitly outlining these objectives, it will help you set up the right KPI to measure the success of your event.
2. Define your target audience
The target audience for an event is the group of people that the event is meant to appeal to. This can be a specific demographic, such as young adults or seniors, or it can be a more general group, such as people who are interested in a particular topic. Knowing your target audience is important for planning the event, as it can help you determine what type of event to hold, what activities to include, and how to market it. It helps to define your target audience accurately.
To make sure that your event concept fit your attendee’s expectation, you need to know who is going to attend your event.
Alongside knowing your attendees, you need to know who your stakeholders are. Your stakeholders are all the other parties that will be involved in your event, such as your sponsors, your vendors, your partners, and associated organizations. Understand their needs and what their expectations are for your event. Outline each of these clearly. Find where these expectations and your audience’s expectations overlap. This exercise will help you along the line to create an event concept that aligns with your stakeholders’ vision while being interesting to your attendees.
3. Define key considerations
Once you have developed a clear vision of your event’s goals and know who your target group is, it’s time to get into the thick of things and draft a concrete action plan. To do so, you’ll want to decide on a date, and a realistic event budget, assemble a talented event planning team, and carefully plan all aspects of the event.
4. Theme, creative brainstorming
Now is the time to let your creativity free and to find a theme for your event. Your goal is to come up with a good UVP (unique value proposition), to make your event interesting and attract your participants. The theme is important because it acts as the basis for a lot of things: it’ll help your marketing team to come up with a story and to design all communication (tickets, flyers, invitations, website, and social media campaigns).
Ultimately, your goal is to find a way for your event to stand out, all the while integrating your brand and its values. The best way to go about it is to gather your team and take part in a brainstorming session. Now it’s time to get creative with your event team, to further develop the right theme to ensure your event makes an impact.
5. Planning overview
The next step is to set your agenda and coordinate with your team so that you can implement your event stress-free. Make sure that everyone knows what they are responsible for, set deadlines, and discuss the logistics. If you need guidance on how to come up with a good event timeline, you’ll find some interesting templates and resources on our Pinterest board.
Having a good timetable with all the milestones planned out will help you visualize everything when it comes to event planning. You can see all your subgoals and the current completion status for every task. Don’t delay in setting your timeline, as it will orient each step of the process to come.
6. Location Scouting
Location scouting is the process of finding an appropriate place to hold an event. When it comes to choosing the right location for your event, there are many factors to take into account:
- What kind of location are you searching for?
- What size should your location be (based on attendees’ estimation)
- Does the location allow accessibility for everyone? (Wheelchair users, persons with reduced mobility…)
- How easy is it for people to get to your event? Is there a parking spot? Access via public transport?
- Is it an easy location for you to bring the materials you need? (cameras, stages, decor…)
- Does the venue fit into the budget?
Here, you will also be asking about digital options, for example, if your event is online or taking place in a hybrid format. It is important to evaluate your digital “venues” just as effectively as your physical locations!
7. Decide on additional services
Now you need to decide on every additional service that will be included in your event. This can be hiring a catering service or artists to entertain your guests. Many events consider adding elements to bring a “wow” factor, such as an esteemed keynote speaker, or a creative element that provides a sense of surprise or novelty. Maybe you’d like to implement digital elements in your physical event, in which case you’ll need to take a look at different event technologies and see how they can be implemented to make your event more immersive and entertaining.
8. Content planning for your event
Events are always a great opportunity to engage your community and further your organization’s mission. So, the content that will be shared with your participants needs to be aligned with your brand’s vision and the event concept you develop. Whether your event includes a panel discussion with experts on a particular topic, a workshop, or a fireside chat with prominent speakers, you need to make sure that the content is relevant to your event theme and to your audience‘s interest.
9. Communication & Marketing
Your event concept will be the foundation for all of your marketing materials. Without a clear event concept, your content will lack focus and will be difficult to produce and promote. Make sure your marketing team is included at each step of the way… They’ll come up with a communication and marketing strategy to promote your event accordingly, and will know what type of content needs to be created during your event, so you can share snippets with your community afterward. Those snippets are great for audience engagement post-event.
10. Post-event actions
Once your event is complete, you’re not quite ready to call it a day. Here, you’ll want to carefully look back on your process and evaluate each step. How well did your final event adhere to your original concept? What changed and why? What went well and what could be improved? This is the only way you can learn and improve your concept development process. Carefully look at the KPIs you set initially to determine the success of your event. Was the community happy with the event? Its theme? The content shared? Did you as a brand reach your engagement objectives? Reach out to your attendees post-event, so you can follow up with them and collect their impressions.
How can you come up with a creative event concept for your event?
Developing an event concept can be a challenge because it requires creativity, strategic thinking, and a clear understanding of the target audience. It is also important to consider and incorporate the logistical challenges of putting on the event.
Concept development takes practice, and confidence to try out new ideas. There is no one formula or surefire way to come up with a creative event concept. Encourage debate and collaboration within your team. Create space to brainstorm and reward creativity. Don’t forget to think about your target audience and what would appeal to them. Make sure to be flexible and open to changes, as you may need to tweak your concept as you go along.
It can also help to find a sparring partner or external party to help contribute fresh ideas to your thought process. Event agencies have considerable experience executing events for different clients, budgets, and audiences. Working with an experienced partner can help fuel creativity and benefit from sharing ideas based on successful productions.
The bottom Line
Having a clear and well-executed event concept is key to providing your attendees with unique events that provide a great experience and unique value. The event concept is a framework that allows you to structure each element that will encompass your event production in one place. It helps you keep a clear vision of your objectives, not go over budget, and be relevant to your target audience.
Each event concept is different. If you’re not sure how to come up with a good one, reach out to us! We at PIRATEx have lots of experience as an event agency. In your Event Design Workshop, we help you come up with a solid event concept and coach you on how to implement said concept afterward.
PIRATEx Digital Marketing Manager