How To Get Buy-In From Upper Management

car jump word-image-2470-1024x341

It’s totally deflating to pitch your creative idea for the next event to upper management and get a flat NO! You were so sure this was the right idea and would lead to superior results. But very often it is not that the idea was bad at all, it was that key questions were left unanswered and management felt it was therefore too risky….sorry for the bad news.

So then how do you present your highly creative ideas and get a YES from the CEO?

Our answer is the same answer we give to every question – put yourself in your audience’s shoes (ie the Decision Maker) and think about what they need to feel confident in your idea. Each member of your decision making committee is going to have different motivations for their decision so it is essential to find out who is on the committee and what is important to them. Think about the time we presented to our client the idea of placing an astronaut in to a Habitat at Circular Quay for 5 Days to replicate a scene in the movie The Martian…but we knew we’d get a yes!


Make sure you meet with each of the Decision Making committee to understand their key motivations prior to pitching each creative idea or work with an Events Agency that would automatically present their pitch to include ways in which they meet each decision makers criteria such as:

A Financial Decision Maker firstly wants to understand that the idea can be produced within budget and secondly they want to know the projected return on investment. They don’t usually concern themselves with the creativity of the idea as long as it will translate in to the results they need. Find out before hand how they prefer this information provided to them in the presentation for success.

An OHS Decision Maker will usually want to see a Risk Management Plan that shows how you have anticipated every potential risk for the audience whether it is employees, customers or partners. Think through the key areas of risk including Security, Privacy and Hazards and how you will prevent any problems. Your event management agency should produce this for you for every event.

Brand/Product/Marketing Decision Makers usually care most about alignment with the brand/product promise to the audience. Does your idea align with and maximise the brand values, positioning and it’s unique proposition? If you present an idea that will land powerfully with the audience and move them to take action to get closer to the brand they are likely to support your ideas.

And a Sales Decision Maker cares most about how this idea will inspire the audience to advance the sales process! If you can show specific steps taken to ignite a lead and how they will be captured the sales leader will usually sign up.

Once you know how to get an idea approved by the committee you can set your imagination free! Good Luck & Go For It!

Click here to go back to our newsletter 

Francesca Peskops