In Articles, Core Event Tasks, News Flash, Resources

Is Strategy Important to you When Planning Events?

By Megan Powers

Do you have a strategy for your events beyond simply getting them executed within a specific budget? Do you consider how your planning affects attendance? Event marketing is an interesting conversation when you pair it with logistics. It’s ALL inter-connected.

Start with strategy

Let’s start with your strategy. Do you have one? If you start with exploring why you’re doing what you’re doing with your team, it will help you get there. I mentioned team because it’s a great idea to get buy-in from those you’re working with so you know you’re all headed down the same path together.

In the process of planning and executing events it’s smart to do the same with all of the tools and strategies you’re using.

Managing your events

There are many elements involved in managing the planning of your events, including elements for execution, and post-event round-up and review.

Of course, we think you should start with a good project management tool. Here’s why…

  1. Using a cloud-based tool where you can manage every single aspect of your events will keep all elements of your events in one central place.
  2. Having the history of your events in that one place ensures you don’t lose any history when colleagues move on from your organization.
  3. Managing the workflow of your events online instead of via email also ensures you’re working efficiently and collaboratively with your supplier partners.

On a podcast recently I had a guest (an event marketer) tell me his clients aren’t terribly concerned with drawing in attendees (aka, “butts in the seats”) through their marketing. This really surprised me! After I processed it I said “I wonder what their bosses think about that?”

Event planners and managers are very wrapped up in the logistics (without which the event wouldn’t happen), and can lose sight that there are tools which, when used properly, will help them be more efficient. It might require more work on the front-end, but your solution provider should be helping you with that.

Ultimately – what’s your goal?

Whether your end-goal is to drive more revenue (which may or may not include more attendees), to get the “best of the best” in your industry to attend, or simply to educate your company’s staff, you should be using the best technology available to get you there.

If your team is managing the workflow of your event planning via email and excel, it’s past time to consider using a project management tool.

Using a cloud-based tool like EventCollab enables you to…

  1. Manage every room, and all of the gear and items that go into them in REAL-TIME (no more sending an email on-site, and posting version 21b of your matrix up to Dropbox!).
  2. Manage the staff and keyholders for every room in a central place, accessible to all who have been given permission to see it (no more worrying about freelancers or clients seeing information they might not need to see!).
  3. Manage your technical schedules, cue sheets, and labor in one central place with real-time updates (no more worrying if you’re paying too much for labor because now you can handle the next day in real-time every day!).

We have a client who saved over $100K in labor costs over the previous year because we were using our EventCollab and Showbook tools to manage the headcount onsite.

That’s pretty significant, right?

Now, it all depends on the size of your event, but another important thing to keep in mind is using a tool that will scale up and down with your event without a significant cost difference is possible. Our tool enables just that – it’s based on event and not the number of users or the number of attendees.

Back to strategy…

Industry speaker and thought-leader Christy Lamagna has a lot of valuable things to say about thinking of our positions in the meetings and event industry as strategic roles.

“As ‘Event Strategists,’ our mission will be to create goal-oriented events in alignment with an organization’s sales and marketing goals. There is a defined process on how this is done and how results are measured.” – Christy Lamagna

Because we are strategists and managers within this industry, we must also be demanding tools that enable us to do what trained, qualified, certified professionals do.

While we should be starting with the end in mind, which includes having our attendees at the very TOP of that list, using the proper tools for the job is important also.

Christy cleverly compares — in the realm of us being STRATEGIC professionals in the meeting industry (vs. the alternative of just throwing anyone and no tools at a project/event) — to having your hairdresser give you a root canal. You must have the right training and tools for the job.

The good news? It’s all VERY possible! There are great tools out there like EventCollab, wonderful industry associations providing the certifications and education, and tremendous industry thought leaders like Christy leading the way to proving the value of what we all do when we meet face-to-face.

Do you work within your organization to start with the end in mind? Are you regularly looking for tools to help you do your job more efficient and collaboratively? We’d love to hear about it!

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