Ready or not, 2022 is almost here! As we dive headfirst into what is often the busiest time of year, now is the time to make sure your organization’s event plans for early 2022 are squared away. For many organizations, that includes the annual sales kickoff — now increasingly dubbed an all-company kickoff or an employee kickoff to reflect the critical involvement of teams outside of sales.
Whether you still call this event your sales kickoff or have switched to calling it an employee kickoff or all-company kickoff, one thing remains the same: It’s always been complex to plan and execute, and the COVID-19 pandemic has added a new wrinkle. No matter what the new year has in store, these tips will help your kickoff drive maximum value for all employees and set the stage for a great year:
Use a unified event platform. We admittedly may be biased, but think about your entire tech stack — are technology silos and fragmented tools ever a good idea? Depending on the COVID-19 pandemic trajectory and your organization’s needs and preferences, your kickoff may be delivered in person, virtually, or as a hybrid event. Secured shared data, seamless flexibility, and end-to-end functionality covering everything from pre-event tasks to post-event surveys and measurement ensure smooth sailing no matter what form the kickoff takes.
Make plans to keep attendees engaged. A central purpose of the kickoff is to present an inspiring vision for the year and generate excitement among sales reps, marketing team members, and everyone else at the company. Use every available tool. Dynamic content, active participation via polls and Q&A sessions, and gamification can help sustain everyone’s attention, whether they’re sitting alongside their peers in a hotel ballroom or tuning in on their laptop at home.
Keep things running smoothly for everyone, no matter what. Features like rapid contactless check-in kiosks and a logical, manageable session schedule ensure a comfortable experience for on-site attendees, while content transcripts and as-needed language translation help virtual attendees around the world. Contingency plans — for every possibility from a local severe weather event to a keynote speaker’s delayed plane to an attendee’s illness — are also vital.
Track the right data. What are the most important metrics to monitor? The exact answer depends on individual organizations’ needs, but for most events, including an all-company kickoff, you’ll want to monitor session enrollment and attendance, participation in gamification activities, suitability of recommended additional content, training progress, and candid thoughts shared by attendees in post-event surveys. This information can inform additional training provided to sales reps and others throughout the year — and give you early insights for planning the 2023 kickoff!
Want more kickoff tips? Check out our complimentary full guide — Best Practices for Your 2022 Employee Kickoff — here.