When it’s all said and done, you gotta Deliver

We might sound like a broken record, but we can’t stress enough how critical it is to think about what happens after your big event is over. And it doesn’t matter what your team was focused on during the event: whether it was a strategy session with your senior leadership, a team building exploration of your organization’s vision and values, or the launch of a new initiative; the ability to hit the ground running after the meeting is over depends on what you walk out of that meeting with. It depends on how much time you spent thinking, ahead of time, about What’s Next. It depends on crafting the perfect deliverable.

You’ll want to walk out of that meeting with a solid, engaging collection of post-event notes, artifacts, and conclusions. At CN, we spend a lot of time thinking about that crucial collection of thoughts and decisions-made. It isn’t enough to just dump all of your notes into a power point presentation and call it a day. And even though you might be ready to move on the next project after your event is complete, the time and energy spent on developing a cohesive post-event deliverable is well worth it.

Keep the momentum going

There is a liminal, sometimes awkward period organizations face between moments of “insight” and “action.” The event you organized almost certainly provided plenty of insight. Ideas were flying around, big plans were proposed and refined. This is part of the beauty of getting a team together to collaborate: we can imagine a future that solves all of our problems, safe in the confines of a room filled with like-minded teammates.

“Imagining” isn’t always easy, but it’s a lot simpler than bringing what you’ve imagined to life. If you’ve come up with a new process or a new product, you’ll need to engage your entire organization about how to actualize what you’ve dreamed up. After all, it’s safe to assume that most of your organization wasn’t in the room with you during your event. A good deliverable facilitates action. It takes your audience into account and lays out the thinking and rationale that’s driving your ideas. And an effective deliverable literally gets your entire audience on the same page. That’s the only way to bring your ideas to life, together.

Consistency, consistency, consistency

That type of coordination, of working in concert with every relevant part of your organization, is key. And coordination requires a consistent vision of not only where the team is headed, but why. Coordination requires an understanding of how decisions were made. What was the rationale behind those decisions? Why was one choice made instead of another? Your event’s archive should be able to answer these questions. And if it does, you’ll find that you’ve already overcome a huge barrier that new initiatives face.

And having that elegant explanation of the changes you want to make can serve as a lodestar as you move forward. You won’t have to bring each relevant individual on board for each discrete aspect of the project if they have a consistent record to refer back to. Building that type of record is harder than it sounds: after all, the idea is probably crystal clear to everyone that took part in your event: why wouldn’t it be as clear to everyone else in your organization? But we know that every audience hears stories in different ways. And we can’t assume that what seems obvious and brilliant to you will be intuitive for the rest of your team.

What happens in the room

Part of the reason why your audience needs to be brought up to speed on your event is because…they just weren’t there. There’s an intangible element to every meeting and collaboration that is hard to explain. And it’s almost impossible to explain to folks that weren’t in the room with you. It sounds a little corny, but there really is a kind of magic that happens when ideas are flying around and your team is working together in the moment. How can you capture a sense of that magic?

The best deliverables are not just a record of decisions made. They’re an artifact of the experience itself. They capture the feeling, the energy, the story of your event. And that story matters. You can provide your team with all of the data in the world, but getting them inspired to move forward, together, can’t be done with data alone. You need to get everyone in your organization as excited as the people that were in the room.

Collective Next Deliverables

There’s a lot that goes into crafting the perfect post-event deliverable. At CN, we are constantly thinking about new ways to refine our approach to every aspect of post-event momentum. We’d love to grab a minute to chat with you about your next event or project. Reach out to us today to talk.