Playbook

Goal-Driven Growth: How to Scale Events With Purpose

Use this framework to scale your goal-oriented event marketing strategy through testing and reusable SOPs to fully integrate into a unified umbrella campaign.

Read time: 8 min

Who this is for and why it matters

"Growth at all costs."

This was the common mantra for B2B event marketers not too long ago. The norm was to develop numerous events throughout the year and find every opportunity to do more—even when the ROI wasn't clear or reached.

However, this process was not risk-averse, and it's likely why we've seen additional pressure to prove your event's success and adopt an event-led growth (ELG) framework. The 2024 Splash Event Outlook report found that 86% of respondents believe events are directly tied to business growth, but only 64% can attribute them to company revenue.

Even though 70% of marketing leaders expect to increase their event budgets in 2024, end-to-end efficiency is the new name of the game, which means you must think critically about every event's goals.

The problem?

Goals are often picked blindly or are too generic in a world where marketers are expected to do more with less. So, how do you find a balance between growth and efficiency?


Craft a goal-oriented event marketing strategy

Any guide will tell you—first, make sure you have your goals and metrics set for your events. What's missed is the importance of knowing your most impactful goals, understanding their true value to a specific event, and how they relate to your overall business objectives.

Data already shows that the majority of organizations (80.4%) deem in-person events their most effective marketing channel. That's why event marketers need to reimagine events to unlock their most impactful goal(s)—the ones that will prove your event's success in the eyes of leadership.

Otherwise, you're simply picking goals that you might not be able to scale toward or even reach. Follow this framework to choose more deliberate goals to better scale, track performance, and increase efficiency across your strategy. If done correctly, your next event will require a lot less work.

How to Scale Events With Purpose TL;DR Diagram

1. Run tests on ad hoc events

You likely know your overall objective, but how does your main goal correlate? Does the goal make sense for your specific event and the overall business objective?

Before going "all-in" on your next major event, run specific tests—potentially on an ad hoc or small-scale event—to unlock insightful metrics. This could be a webinar before a virtual summit to understand engagement or hosting a few small wine-tasting events in different geos to determine the best location opportunities for an expo.

Don't forget to create a hypothesis about what you think you'll achieve with this test and how it will solidify your goal(s). This will also strengthen your campaign proposal with data on the possible success or failure of your next event.

Tests don't have to be overly complicated. More likely than not, you've already inserted a testing plan by asking similar questions for your campaign. The point is to be specific and uncover 1 to 2 primary goals. Otherwise, too many goals will invite more risk and misalignment to your team (or external partners).

Not only do you need a hypothesis, but tests also require project milestones. This lets you see where you can make fixes early in the process, so your team can pivot. Then, you don't have to kill projects when you initially could've made improvements to reach each milestone.

However, wait for test events to conclude before proceeding. Once your tests present new data, it's time to make a decision—scale or scrap.

2. Utilize test insights to start scaling (or go back to the previous step)

After you've unlocked quality insights from tests that will solidify the main goal, the next step is scale. At the same time, this is where you should avoid moving forward if the test insights are vague, inconclusive, or don't back up your claims.

If you're hesitant at all—go back to the first step and test again. It's not the end of the world if your test insights poke holes in your originally forecasted event goal.

While going a step back may seem like more work than simply moving forward with inconclusive event marketing opportunities, you'd be falling back into the "growth at all costs" mindset. Survey data shows nearly 1 in 5 event marketers admit they lack the proper data to measure success.

Having the right data will make scaling much easier and more effective when event campaigns can be traced back to your original test data. This will also show leadership that your plan is based on more than a "hunch."

Alex Reynolds, CEO at Vendelux, an AI event platform, explained how to show the impact of your event marketing strategy with data.

Alex Reynolds LinkedIn Quote

3. Develop a reusable SOP for goal tracking and execution

Now that you're officially ready to scale the event, you need to create a streamlined system to reduce redundancy and simplify tasks across the team. The best way to do this is with a detailed event management SOP.

You know that with every event campaign comes an endless amount of details to manage, from coordinating vendors and speakers to promotional marketing strategies. However, a detailed SOP will establish your end-to-end process to manage all tasks, deadlines, and team responsibilities.

Ridgy Lemarier, Head of Global Revenue Marketing at ClickUp, explains that the biggest challenge is actually creating an efficient process to begin with. Far too often, event marketers move between various tools and documents, which prevents them from sharing all of their insights with the greater team.

Ridgy Lemarier Quote Graphic

The best part about creating a solid event marketing SOP is that it sets the guardrails for your next campaign, saving you time building everything out from scratch. This trackable process provides clear visibility into your campaign progress and performance toward the overall goal.

ClickUp Event Management SOP template

If you're still putting together the pieces of this framework, lean into a prebuilt system, like our event management SOP template, to centralize your entire campaign. You can build this entire playbook framework from this simple—yet detailed—SOP template.

4. Fully integrate the event under an umbrella campaign

Once you document, plan, and organize all of the campaign's tasks in an SOP, you need to fully integrate your campaign into the larger marketing team.

We personally know this challenge—event marketers may think they've integrated their campaign across the greater team without addressing every stage of the marketing funnel. We know we should keep teams informed and up-to-date. However, when the event strategy isn't under a unified umbrella campaign, huge opportunities are missed for promotion and amplification.

Fully integrated marketing funnel graphic

Centralizing everything in one place can help you better integrate your event across all marketing efforts. This is exactly how Convene, a global lifestyle hospitality company, brings its teams together to design and operate premium meeting, event, and flexible office spaces.

Jessie Whitman, Senior Director of Events at Convene, explained how her team used several different methods to manage events, which prevented teams from working toward the same goal. They were able to break these silos by centralizing teams to work together in the same place.

Jessie Whitman Convene Quote Graphic

Centralizing your strategy also creates opportunities to reuse what you've already built (like a detailed SOP).

Lisa Schulteis, founder of ElectraLime Marketing and Executive Director at the Northwest Event Show, reduces manual work by quickly cloning event campaigns in an organized system.

"One of the things that I love is that for (next year's event), I can literally take my entire event folder and just clone it," Lisa added. "I'll change the dates or maybe change some of the people assigned to it, but all of those nitty-gritty to-do's can all be cloned, which saves us hours—if not days."

Discover, scale, centralize, and repeat

No one said event marketing was easy. However, using this playbook framework should help you better uncover your goals while scaling and integrating your campaign across the marketing team.

As Joshua Johnston, founder of the consulting firm HYDRA, explains it, the biggest challenge to event marketing is falling behind on planning and not having really a good playbook to follow and reuse. It's all about repetition with event marketing, so you can continuously adjust, make improvements, and manage all the moving parts until (and after) the event day.

We know this is challenging for event marketers for a reason. But you don't have to go about it alone.

We're here to help you get the most out of your next event so you can streamline your process and save some much-needed time.

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If you're not ready to hop on a call, register for our weekly ClickUp Showcase AMA group webinar to hear from ClickUp experts and see the platform in action.

This live event takes the pressure off exploring ClickUp by hearing questions from other event marketers like you—all without having to keep your camera on!

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