SMART Goal Planning

Each year, we all participate in performance review. It can be a difficult task to create goals that are SMART and reflect where we want to be in 2017. Goal planning for events can be particularly challenging as many of the variables are outside our control. For example, your goal may be to increase attendance at an annual event by 20% from the previous year. Then the ice storm of the century strikes, preventing travel.

To help current and future planners with incorporating events into their performance evaluations, members of the ECN Strategic Planning committee have created a list of suggestions.

Process Improvement

Everyone likes to save a penny. Here are some suggested goals for staying in budget or making the most out of the monies you have.

  • Example Goal - Maintain appropriate reporting and control of event expenses, staying within established budgets >95% of the time.

We suggest using our budget template to track your budget amount, estimated cost, and final expenses.

  • Example Goal- Create an improvement plan for two event functions you wish to improve.

This goal is easy once you start.  Let’s say you have more people show up than RSVP. Your improvement plan for this function could begin with meeting with other campus event planners for feedback. From there, you would identify strengths and weaknesses in your current system and create an action plan to bolster your strengths, while addressing your weaknesses.

Other event functions you may want to improve are registration processes, use of event technologies, or post-event reporting.

Take Templates to Heart

Part of having a well-planned event is having clean paperwork. Having consistent paperwork can help your team know what to look for.

  • Example Goal- Convert internal event documents to match templates provided by the ECN or Office of Special Events and Protocol.

For this goal, you could either convert current documents to match fonts, formatting, and information provided in ECN templates or begin to use ECN templates moving forward. View templates.

  • Example Goal- Review internal documents for brand and trademark consistency as outlined by Georgia Tech.

To quantify this goal, you can specify the number of documents or types of documents you will review.

  • Example Goal- Using ECN guidelines, create an event checklist for consistency across all departmental events.

To get you started, we have a master event checklist on our website. However, the spirit of this goal is to create a custom document for your department and events. Your checklist may include references to:

  • A list of all possible campus departments to alert about the event. (You may want to specify if you have internal guests only or external guest attending.)
  • Equipment used such as branded linens for registration table.
  • Signage and check-in procedures such as nametag formatting.
  • Post-event follow-ups and thank you notes.
For Your Guests

The event we host is for the guests, not us. It is helpful to have some annual goals that help you serve your primary audience.

  • Example Goal - Improve event communications to match ECN standards.

This may include the promise to respond to emails and phone calls within 24 hours or to communicate final run of show logistics to all parties involved no less than two business days prior to the event.

  • Example Goal - Create a follow-up report after the event that is shared with the department or department head within 2 weeks of event completion. The report will include:
    • Guest numbers with a specific breakout showing the number invited, number of RSVPs, and number attending.
    • List of hits and misses.
    • List of vendors used along with reviews of their service.
    • Budget numbers, if not included on a separate document.
For Your Professional Development

To take your event to the next level, you have to improve yourself first. Make sure you include self-improvement in your professional goals so you are always learning.

  • Example Goal - Participate in a minimum of three Event Coordinators’ Network events per calendar year.
  • Example Goal - Host an in-office meeting where you share notes gathered from the ECN functions and other campus networking events.

No time for meetings? Adjust the goal to say you will send quarterly updates to your department with notes gathered from ECN events and newsletters that relate directly to your department.

  • Example Goal - Follow-up with three new people you met at an ECN event to expand your Georgia Tech network of contacts.

You may want to specify a person’s job duties or department to take the goal a step further. For example, if you are starting to host more donors at events, you may have the goal to meet some development employees to learn more about donor best practices.