Maybe more than any profession, events professionals are faced with a unique challenge: it’s called the “Invisible Workload.” The cure to this dilemma? Automating event management tasks.
If you’re reading this blog post, then you likely know exactly what we’re talking about. The Invisible Workload is the work you do for your organization that goes completely unnoticed. The endless list of tasks that would draw attention only if they didn’t happen. The stress you manage, the chaos you endure, the mental weight of it all. From event budgeting and venue sourcing, to post event-reporting—and everything in-between. It’s often a physical and mental drain.
But there is a bright side, and it’s as simple as “ABC.” Well, in this case, it’s a simple as “A to Z.” Check out this list and learn to eliminate your invisible workload so that you can spend more time on what matters most.
A. Automating Event Management Tasks
When it comes to event planning, time spent on manual processes quickly adds up. That's why modern event professionals are setting aside their spreadsheets, sticky notes, and tedious processes and replacing them with automated and centralized technology solutions.
B. Badging and Check-In
You can only make a first impression once! The stress of travel can mean attendees arrive with frayed nerves, and because check-in is the first impression your attendees have onsite, you should make it a positive one by incorporating badging and ticketing software.
Is your content easily accessible and sharable? If your attendees want more information on a session they attended (or want content they may have missed due to scheduling) it should be right at their fingertips. From keynotes to breakouts, a mobile event app that enables content-sharing is critical to your event success.
D. Data and Insights
Before, during, and after your events, your attendees are giving you valuable information…are you listening? The best way to get a solid return on your events (ROE) is to capture that data through the entire event lifecycle, with event management technology that helps you make that data actionable and sets you on the path for success.
E. Event Engagement
We mentioned that mobile event apps must include sharable content, but there’s so much more! Your app should enable networking, a hub where peers can easily connect and speakers can share their content. Engaging also means connecting with your brand and the brands of your advertisers and using in-app Gamification.
F. Faster Processes
Faster isn’t *always* better, but in the case of event planning, especially the time-consuming tasks, faster is definitely better. Being able to automate manual tasks means being more flexible, being able to focus on bigger issues surrounding your events, and being able to focus on the attendee experience. After all, happy attendees = repeat attendees.
G. Gathering Leads
Companies struggle to prove event lead quality, quantify face-to-face value, protect data privacy – all while trying to capture leads. Trade shows, product showcases, and networking events are all opportunities for lead-gathering. Having a solution in place to capture those leads digitally, and being able to quickly integrate the data into your existing CRM tool will power marketing and sales and help you create more successful, profitable events.
Room block management can be a major pain. To reduce the monotony and for ease-of-mind, event professionals can and should lean on tools that enable them to own room block data (eliminating the back-and-forth communications with hotels) and help you create and customize your own booking sites for each event, controlling set-up, inventory, sub-blocks, etc.
You’ve decided on the venue, the theme, the name of your event, etc. Now you need to get the word out and generate registrations. Don’t do this manually. Instead, create an automated, personalized and fully branded email marketing campaign and heighten the value of your events, secure greater response rates, make it fully measurable (opens, clicks, deliverability, opt-outs), and conform to CAN-SPAM and GDPR regulations.
J. Juggling last-minute changes
Pre-printed guides can be your enemy. While you can’t eliminate last-minute changes (the one constant in an ever-changing planning universe), tools like mobile event apps help you manage them. Top event pros use event apps to update content on the fly and use push notifications to communicate real-time with attendees—anything from a room change to a session cancellation.
Defining the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your events puts you on the fast track for event success. While they’re going to be different for each type and size of event you hold, line up your desired outcomes (tracking leads, event attrition rates, ticket sales, trade show booths sold, etc.) and measure your successes and failures. This will help you focus on areas that need improvement and can help you pinpoint what’s working.
L. Lead Management
For many industry professionals, capturing leads at trade shows and other events is an integral part of their business plan. The time out of office, travel costs, and more means events are an expensive endeavor for an organization. On top of it all, keeping track of leads the “old way” (collecting business cards) is difficult. So, ditch the fishbowl and embrace onsite technology. Gather leads quickly and send sales and marketing follow-up instantly.
M. Mobile Event App
We’d like to reiterate this: paper programs are costly, wasteful, and cannot be updated onsite. A mobile event app isn’t just a fun tech experience to give your attendees, the benefits of mobile are endless. From increasing attendee engagement to improving your event’s ROI (advertising sponsorships), going mobile is sure to positively impact your event.
Another plus about having a mobile event app? Networking. According to our recent study, among event factors that contribute positively to the overall event experience, in-person networking with other attendees was at the top, with 63 percent saying this contributed to an overall positive experience. Enabling easy networking via your app will drive face-to-face engagement onsite at your events.
O. Onsite Event Management
Big or small, far away from the office, or right around the corner, there’s no such thing as an “easy” event. And once you get onsite, the last thing you want is for all that #invisibleworkload effort go down the tubes. Put the concerns of a bad attendee experience behind you with automated check-in, on-demand badging, attendee tracking, lead capture, reporting capabilities, and mobile event apps—then you can focus on the bigger picture to deliver engaging, profitable events.
At an event, meeting the right people makes all the difference. Pro-tip: you can increase engagement between customers, prospects, employees, sponsors, and exhibitors, and allow all your event attendees to make valuable connections with each other by pre-booking them via event management software. Set meetings with customers and prospects before you leave to attend a trade show. By pre-scheduling appointments, you reduce no-shows and increase engagement with important customers and prospects.
Long queues, whether they’re at check-in, sessions, mixers, educational sessions, keynote presentations, or happy hours offer an extremely negative onsite experience at events. If you’re doing things manually, chances are something is going to stop the line from flowing. Automating processes onsite can essentially make long queues a thing of the past.
Your events are engaging, profitable, memorable, and support your brand. But for most event planners and marketers, event ROI is hard to define. It’s essential to prove your events are a key driver for your business to the C suite. When you can understand, calculate, and communicate ROI for the meetings and events you produce, you can prove the true value of your events and take your rightful seat at the table with your senior executives.
S. Seating and Diagramming
You need a no-stress way to manage your event design and seating that gives you total control. Otherwise, you’ve added more to your invisible workload. Find a user-friendly solution that helps you visualize your event space so you can plan properly and make sure your event day goes off without a hitch. One that’s collaborative and can help you design your event space with your team, venues, partners, and vendors.
Your event is over. 10% of your attendees bothered to take your survey. So, you’re left guessing: what sessions worked? Which bombed? What were your attendees really interested in onsite? Make your events more intelligent and take the guesswork out of session attendance and attendee attitudes. As ROI for events becomes even more critical, attendance tracking technology helps you understand the attendee journey, increase ROI, and attain better customer insights, which will help you make more engaging, profitable events.
U. Unlock Better Room Block Management
There's actually a bit more to say about room block management, so we're devoting another letter to it. Human error leads to incorrect reservations and annoyed attendees. Who wants that? What you need is the ability to track additional bookings and attrition across multiple hotels, events, own the room block data, reducing need for lengthy hotel communications, greater control over manual errors, room list management and real-time reporting, customized booking sites for each event, controlling set-up and inventory, and enhanced attendee experience with high-quality venues and empowered booking. There’s event management software for that.
V. Venue Sourcing
Finding the perfect venue is very important. You need to make sure it fits your event theme, can accommodate the number of attendees you plan to have, and works with the style of your event. Most importantly, the sourcing process should not require opening dozens of browser pages and manually contacting hotels and venues looking for the perfect space. Again, a time-suck you can’t afford. Automate it with venue sourcing solutions that put you in charge, and add time back in your day. Sit back and wait for the RFPs to roll in.
Your event registration site sets the tone for your entire event. It’s also a painful undertaking and a major, thankless part of your Invisible Workload. If they only knew the pain! Instead of dealing with the tedium of working with other departments or outside vendors, it’s time that you get total control over the details. Event management technology removes the friction from your planning and gives you greater control over the details that matter—essentially helping you build a fully-branded event website and making event registration an easy process for attendees.
X. X-hale (Breathe)
Yes, take a breath. You’re under a lot of stress and it’s important to take time out from the craziness to just breathe. Even your Apple Watch tells you to do this from time to time. Okay? Now back to planning!
Say yes to exploring more thought-leadership material and embracing new methods and trending solutions that will help you, once and for all, conquer the Invisible Workload.
Z. Zero Wasted Time
The Invisible Workload of Event Planning is real. Planning and executing events means dealing with loads of manual processes and details that no one outside of your immediate team ever sees. Automating event management tasks and simplifying the entire planning process from venue sourcing, website building, employee wrangling, reporting and beyond will help you in a myriad of ways. Learn, step-by-step, how to eliminate the Invisible Workload once-and-for-all with our interactive experience. You’ll see how top event pros are automating the mundane so they can focus on what really matters—creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience for attendees.