Best Practices – What are Critical Factors to Success?

Post authored by Susan Bennett, CASE, CEM – Vice President, Sales & Account Management at Experient and 2010 IAEE Washington D.C. Chapter Chair

The Victory Loop process allows critical factors for success to be identified and assessed.  This process has three stages: (1) Plan Well, (2) Execute Well, and (3) Learn Well which allows an immediate review of the outcome versus the goals, creates best practices, and reinforces continuous learning.   Actually, I envision it more like a staircase than a loop, with each step leading to the next.  The Learn Well stage should be the first step in Planning Well for the next event.

The time planning and executing can outweigh the time evaluating the outcome against the goals.  The lessons we learn are filed away in our memory banks and not captured in a structured after action review for use prior to the next event.  When the Victory Loop process is first introduced it highlights how often we “do it that way because we have always done it that way.”

The first stage is Planning Well.  In this stage, ask what the intent of the action being taken is and what is the desired goal?  Let’s apply the Victory Loop process to the planning of housing for an event.  For example, one of the goals in the planning stage is to improve usage of the room block from 85% to 87% for an event.  Our intent is to ensure we maximize the room blocks.  To accomplish this goal, we plan to target specific registrants in past years that have stayed outside the block.  Communication of the desired goals to the project team is critical as we move into the execution stage.  We have completed the first two stages….identified a goal or the intent of our actions, and executed our plan.

To begin the Learning Well stage, we asked what have we learned from what we tried and what actually happened?  We learned that by proactively contacting our target list of registrants that stayed outside the block in previous years, we were successful in converting a percentage of them to stay in the housing block.

What do we know now that we did not know before we started?  We identified factors not previously considered on why a percentage stays outside the block.

If someone where to start down the same path, what advice would I give this person?  We would recommend a survey to those that stayed outside the block to identify key factors in their decision.

To summarize our example of the three steps:

Step 1: Plan Well, Our intent was to maximize our room blocks and the goal was to increase usage from 85% to 87%.
Step 2: Execute Well, We contacted a target list of registrants that stayed outside the block in previous years.
Step 3: Learn Well, Proactive targeted marketing converted some to stay within the block.  We identified factors not previously considered for why they stayed outside the block in the past and will use those factors when planning the next event.  We reached our goal and increased the percentage from 85% to 87%.

Ready to take your first step?

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