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Purposeful Abandonment for Tomorrow’s Event Success

Posted on the 21 August 2018 by Marketingtango @marketingtango

Purposeful Abandonment for Tomorrow’s Event Success

Determine When to Let Go, and When to Tackle New Challenges

You seldom hear a management guru advocating that you give up, but that's essentially what Peter Drucker did when he encouraged leaving behind those things that don't work in favor of future possibilities, what he called Purposeful Abandonment. Velvet Chainsaw recently took the opportunity to analyze how Drucker's theory of Purposeful Abandonment is a relevant-and indeed critical-strategy for integrated marketers to employ when planning events.

Of course, the notion of 'giving up' is reductive without understanding Drucker's rationale that what you should give up are those things that are no longer working, instead focusing on future potential. This is a logical and deliberate decision to abandon a conference, event element or effort that is no longer serving its intended purpose, reallocating resources to what may be and allowing new successes to supplant those efforts that you leave behind.

Purposeful Abandonment

The key to making the shift from investing in the past in favor of looking to the future is to constantly ask questions, regularly examining your existing planning, practice and programming. Consider the activities that you currently spend your time putting together for event attendees; are they effectively serving the needs of your community, yielding the results they once did or that you hoped they would? If not, perhaps the answer is to make the tough decision to discontinue your current endeavors and seek out new events, audiences or activities.

The Lure of Past Success

While it's easier to stick with what you know, sometimes taking a risk on your entertainers, speakers or other key event planning decisions will bring success you never dreamed of for your organization. Trying to relive past achievements can be a self-limiting trap, requiring substantial additional work, resources or staffing to chase the magic of a previous success. Instead, effective integrated marketers will recognize the pitfalls of this thinking and instead deploy purposeful abandonment to pursue the potential of what may be tomorrow's success.

Growing Through Abandonment

Drucker argued that true growth comes from carefully weighing what to leave behind and making the decision to do so. You must determine which procedures or planning efforts are no longer helpful or productive. Work with your team to identify those practices that are becoming resource blackholes and look to trends and anticipated opportunities in order to fully and successfully commit to reorienting your organization's event efforts. Each new event or conference is a chance to revisit what is and isn't working and plan for the next big thing.

Last modified: August 13, 2018


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