Where would we be without goals?  Sitting at home on our sofas contemplating the inner workings of our navels probably.  Too revealing?

Working towards something feels good.  It gives us a sense of purpose.  Dare I say that we should have goals for everything we do?  Things we are passionate about aren’t the only things worthy of a goal.  It can be anything.   Must. Get. Off. COUCH!!!!!

Many years ago, some friends and I set a goal to break a world record and capture it on video for a lame public access t.v. show.  We didn’t care which record we broke.  We flipped through the latest Guinness Book and found something about a record breaking picnic in England.  Surely we can bring together more than 1059 people to break that we thought.

It took us about 6 months to secure permits from New York City’s parks department, volunteers to help, performers to entertain and contacts within the various media outlets to help us publicize the event.  We even worked with a food charity, City Harvest, to help raise awareness of the event all the while collecting donations for their organization.

We worked on the event after hours and on weekends, giggling the entire time at how ridiculous it was to do something so taxing and draining for the sheer sake of doing something ridiculous.  We did it for the story, for no other reason than to say, “we broke a world record.”  Hey, it’s still a goal.

When planning your next event think about the goals of the overall event first.  Think about your marketing goals second – what channels you want to use, the results you’d like to see, the message you’d like to communicate, the strategic partnerships you’d like to establish, your digital marketing reach, etc.  Put together a strategy for each and tick things off as you accomplish them.  This way you can look back at your timeline as a time-capsule of all the milestones you reached and goals you achieved while working on that event.  Setting goals first allows you to see where you want to end up and gives you the freedom to create a map of how you want to get there.  Besides, reaching your goals feels good.

We did hit our goal of breaking the Guiness World Record for largest assembled picnic (even though some in the media were a bit skeptical) with just over 1300 people in attendance.  In fact, reaching that goal felt so good that we completely lost interest in filling out the last bit of paper work to send to Guiness, so technically it was never recorded in the book.  Some might say we messed up, that our goal should have been to get into the book, not just beat the current record.  Perhaps, but I’m still happy with our original goal.