Art & Ammunition: Debriefing Your Special Event

The party’s over; the band’s gone home; you’ve packed up your supplies and said your thanks. Now what? 

Whether you regularly host special events, fundraising parties, conferences, galas, or professional workshops, evaluating your efforts and outcomes is as crucial to your future event success as developing a winning game plan from the start.  

At Allora, we believe events are an art form. So, to continually hone our skills, we go deep into the details and the debrief. Our debriefing practice begins with information gathering and peeling back the layers by seeking feedback from everyone involved in the planning and implementation. If sponsors or donors were involved, we seek their input, too. For conferences and workshops, we survey attendees, presenters, panelists, and partners, leaving no stone unturned. 

Armed with facts and feelings, we dissect the art of the event by breaking down and evaluating the core components:

  • Planning Process
  • Timeline
  • Communication 
  • Teamwork
  • Technology/AV
  • Entertainment
  • Vendors
  • Volunteers
  • Number of Attendees/Repeat Attendees
  • Number of Tickets Sold
  • Number of Sponsors
  • Revenue vs. Expenses
  • Publicity
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Major Hurdles
  • Major Wins
  • On a scale of 1-10, how successful was it?
  • Top three takeaways

Once the assessment is in our rearview, we take steps to identify new “zingers” to help scale our art to an even higher level of praise, practice, and success. These zingers can come from anywhere, but our best ideas tend to rise to the top during the evaluation. Sources of ammunition can include:

  • New Venue
  • Immersive Experience
  • Element of Surprise
  • Emotional Trigger
  • Unique Theme
  • Pre-Event Hype
  • Post Event Hype
  • Celebrity Appearance
  • Livestream
  • Nostalgia

There’s a reason why the Met Gala, also referred to as “fashion’s biggest night out,” continues to be one of the most sought-after events for young creatives, stars, and celebrity attendees. At this year’s event, themed Gilded Glamour, the visionary planners added the opportunity for anyone watching to vote on the looks most fitting to the theme. The event forces creators, stylists, and designers to up the ante every year, creating an annual tradition that’s hard to top.

If you’re planning a picnic potluck, trivia night, leadership conference, or championship gala this year, a thorough debrief with ROI analysis will ensure you have the art and ammunition to scale. 

To learn more about outsourcing your next event to Allora, contact Kat Leitner at

Listen to our Business Solutionaries podcast every Tuesday for tips on hiring, processes, operations, events, and more. 

See you at the party,

Photography by Carolina Davis and Grey’s Graphics

— Kat & Ashleigh
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