While revenue kickoffs (RKOs) are still somewhat new by name, they are becoming the event to hold. As you all likely know, RKOs bring new benefits and fresh approaches compared to the traditional sales kickoff (SKO). But how do you create a successful RKO?

Learn from Your Past Successes — and Failures

The first step you should take when planning, well, anything is to reflect on the past. What worked? What did not? What could you do better? The truth is: You cannot grow if you do not fail, so do not be discouraged when visiting the ghosts of SKO’s past. If you did something different from your other events, think about the outcomes of that. How did your teams respond? Did you see your desired or intended results? If so, consider trying it again! If not, what can be adjusted or should you completely avoid the change you made?

Another great way to measure your past SKO performance is through numbers. Take a look at numbers like your organization’s revenue performance, whether you accomplished the goals you set with past SKOs and if you met or exceeded the goals you set. Furthermore, try surveying your past attendees. Just remember that if you are looking at past SKOs, adapt them to pivot to RKOs.

A great way to narrow down what to do — and what not to do — is to investigate the past. You will likely uncover insights and ideas you have not yet considered!

Plan Ahead of Time

Preparation is a valuable tool in your belt use it! Planning months in advance is a great way to ensure the maximum impact from your program while helping your teams accomplish the goals you have set.

  • Choose a theme. This is an incredibly fun part of planning an RKO, but this can also feel daunting. Luckily, we have a list of questions to ask yourself when choosing an RKO theme. It is important to consider your organization’s team morale, values and goals for the upcoming year.
  • Identify what trends are worth following. Specifically for your 2024 RKO, we have developed a list of trends to follow — and ignore. It is important to remember that not all trends should be followed, so take into account your goals and the message you are trying to create with your RKO.
  • Create a checklist. We developed our own RKO planning checklist, but it was made as a way to help get you started on your own. Start from the beginning (as always) keeping your goals, values and any other aspects you want in mind. First create a list of the RKO objectives you need to accomplish (choosing a theme, choosing a venue, etc.). Then create a sub list for each (i.e. if you have choosing a theme on your list, add the things you will need to achieve the theme to your sub list). This could be as simple as decorations or as complex as how you will tie your theme into your keynotes (or both!).

Planning is convoluted and is foundational to creating a successful RKO, so start early and you will not be left to scramble.

Create an Engaging Program

We have all had those days where you are at a less than glamorous meeting or event and after what feels like an hour, you check your watch to find it has only been 15 minutes. You do not want your RKO to feel this way, so push for an engaging program.

A great way to promote engagement is with role-play and hands-on activities. This gives your teams the chance to move around and put what you are teaching them into practice. Last year, we explored why you may not be seeing results from your kickoff. We found that a great majority of people learn by doing, so adding these activities not only captures your teams’ attention and gives them a break but allows them to absorb what you are teaching. Another way to build engagement is to create buzz around your RKO. This is a great opportunity to use your theme in a fun, uplifting way to get your teams excited and — most importantly — remind your teams that the event is happening.

Creating an engaging RKO helps your teams grasp what your goals for the organization are and allows them to understand how they can help achieve these goals.

Plan a Successful RKO with the Planning Playbook

As mentioned before, the planning portion of your RKO may be daunting but it is vital. With the Ultimate Revenue Kickoff Planning Playbook, gain expert insights to help you create a successful RKO.

Download the Playbook