After spending so much time on a rebrand or another project, a kick-off event is a perfect way to give it the spotlight it deserves. It is also an excellent opportunity to start off on the right foot and provide some recognition to those who worked so hard to make the entire project happen. Some companies have annual kick-off meetings to mark the beginning of a season, and others host an event to showcase a big project or product launch.

An amazing kick-off meeting can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and is aware of their role in making the launch a success. Regardless of the topic, it can also be a great way to show off your team’s hard work and preparation in order to get to this point. So how can you craft the perfect kick-off event of your dreams? JTB has a few different tips that can help set you in the right direction.

Creating a Purpose
Before embarking on your event plan, it’s important to create a goal for your kick-off event. Consider why you are even having the meeting in the first place. Ask yourself and your team questions like this:
  • Do I want this to be a working meeting?
  • Who should attend the meeting?
  • Where will the meeting take place?
  • Who should be highlighted in the meeting?
  • What kind of key information should be communicated?
  • Which leaders should present long-term goals?

Not every kick-off meeting should be the same, because each launch will be different and have different goals. Before getting started, the leaders should get a goal for this particular meeting. Without a defined purpose, the meeting will not likely have the intended effect. The kind of meeting will also help the planning process and set your team up for long-term success.

Internal project kickoffs
One kind of meeting is an internal kick-off event, where the business team comes together for the launch. When planning an internal meeting, the planning process is relatively simple and does not need to be as complex or polished as other kinds of events. Still, it is important to keep in mind that preparation is important, even for internal kick-off meetings. This is because you will likely be using the meeting to help ensure that the team is all on the same page.

Consider using the meeting as an opportunity to show off some of the key players in the project. It’s a great time to boost company morale and recognize some of the hardest working people on the team. Include the following elements to make the meeting successful:

  • Create goals and objectives.
  • Showcase the project timeline.
  • Incorporate important milestones.

You can keep it casual or exciting as you want, but the end result should make the business feel ready to take on the future as a team.

External project kickoffs
The other kind of kick-off meeting is an external project event. This brings more than just the company together to launch a project and may even include some client-facing elements. The meeting or event could be highlighting a new marketing campaign, an appreciation event or a rebranding launch.

This is your chance to create an extremely polished and branded event that will impress attendees. Consider inviting some of the following guests to be a part of your external project kickoff:

  • Important Stakeholders: Inviting stakeholders to your event will make them feel more connected to the brand and company they’re supporting.
  • Rarely seen executives: This could be a great opportunity to bring in high-level leaders who most of the staff rarely get to interact with.
  • Valuable investors: Show investors what their money is going towards by inviting them to a polished event.
  • Top customers: Bringing some of your company’s best customers is one of the best ways to show appreciation and increase retention.

Instead of just a regrouping meeting, use this meeting as more of a showcasing event to get people excited about the project launch.

Tools for Success
Regardless of the kind of kick-off meeting you are hosting, your team will need the right tools for success. As previously mentioned, you will need a project plan and a creative brief to boost the end results of the kick-off meeting. Make a roadmap, not only for the meeting but for the project launch that you can share with the attendees. This will help everyone feel connected with the process and understand where they are headed as an organization. Here are some important tools for success:

  • Project Plans.
  • Creative Brief.
  • Roadmaps.
  • Backup Plan.
  • Long-term Goals.

The tools for success will vary depending on your organization and business requirements. Leadership should come together to create a complete understanding of where the project is headed, which will inform the initial kick-off meeting plan.

JTB’s Experience
Planning a high-level kick-off meeting or event can feel a little overwhelming at first, especially when launching a new and highly valuable project. This is where JTB comes in with its experience and industry knowledge to ensure that the gathering is the ideal first step for the project kick-off. To learn more about how your team and launches can benefit from JTB event planning, reach out today.