┇ Event Planning

Sorting the clutter of event categories

How should we categorize events? A New York venue's perspective.

By: Richard Kim
Tags: get organized, event types, meeting planner

Grouping meetings into meaningful sets can help us better trace the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns and post-event analyses.

There are blog posts and sites that list the different types of meetings and events, and we are familiar with the usual suspects: board meetings, conferences, seminars, trade shows, and so on. But as suppliers and vendors, we provide specialized services and cannot be all things to all people, and so we must be able to distinguish and differentiate the many meetings and events that we encounter.

This is not a proposal to rewrite the categories you may already have in place, but to reconsider.


Here is a brief look at how we at Event Insider like to categorize the different type of meetings and events:

Organize by target audience

Internal (i.e. events held within companies for its own employees) Ex. Team building, achievement celebrations, training seminars, etc.

External (i.e. events held for people outside of the company) Ex. Product launches, trade shows, open networking sessions, etc.

Consider the mindset of an educational institution training its own people vs. a marketing firm that wants to invite people to a sponsored training. How we deal with these two events are starkly different regardless of your role in the event process.

Organize by purpose

Informative (i.e. events for one-way communication with people) Ex. Product launches, lectures, award ceremony, etc.

​Social (i.e. events for bringing people together) Ex. Exhibitions, team building events, networking cocktail sessions, etc.

The catering, audiovisual, and design needs for these two categories differ in direction. By knowing the purpose of events, not only can we cater to specific needs, but we can anticipate needs and participate in the creative process of event planning.


We have found that categories are best when they come in pairs.

Our industry may not be black and white, but looking at data this way has helped us make better sense of the mess we record every day. By assigning labels to events, Sales and Marketing teams can discover patterns and respond to them. Operations or Production teams can create SoPs that take these categories into consideration, allowing for more consistent service and better customer satisfaction. And you can see that the labels overlap. We believe that the true needs of an event lie within the parallel and interlocking nature of the demands within the different categorizations.

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