January 31, 2022
By Mike Fletcher

If you’re anything like me, at this point into a new year, all your personal resolutions and good intentions will have gone out of the window. It’s not too late though to form good event planning habits and ensure that professional resolutions for the year ahead become embedded into your events and meeting programmes for effective long-term results.

Cvent’s Senior Manager, Industry Solutions, Alyssa Peltier discussed five event planning resolutions for 2022 in a recent webinar conversation with Felicia Asiedu, senior marketing manager, Cvent Europe. Let’s look at each in-turn.

1. Adopt a more strategic approach

“2021 was all about understanding new formats for meetings and events and getting to grips with new technologies. It’s imperative therefore that in 2022, you now think more strategically about the 'Total Events Programme' and how every piece of activity fits within your overall marketing mix,” Peltier says.

Peltier advises starting with complete visibility on all the different events and meetings your company stages, bringing them all together under one holistic plan and setting desired outcomes and objectives for each.

To do this, you’ll need to understand the audience for each piece of activity, (where they originated from, how they engaged, do they still engage etc), and then reconnect with your organisation’s brand positioning.

“Dust-off the swot analysis, re-familiarise yourself with brand values, long-term objectives and how overall company strategy fits within your events programme,” Peltier advises. “Understand how your events can improve KPIs by assigning metrics to goals. For example, are you helping your audience to understand the benefits of your company’s product or service delivery? Do you need to bridge a perception gap with education? Are you creating opportunities further down the marketing funnel or building long-term loyalty and awareness? Once you’ve centralised all events and combined audience analysis and objectives into a Total Events Programme, you’ll be able to gain a much deeper understanding of what works and where improvements are needed.”

2. Tone up your event physique

The reality is that event programmes have taken their fair share of knocks over the past two years. Attendances may have fallen, budgets cut, planning teams shrunk and lead-times shortened.

According to Cvent Europe’s Felicia Asiedu, now is the time to get your events back into shape by adapting them for this changed landscape.

She says: “If attendance has fallen, consider segmenting activity into smaller events and focusing on a more personalised attendee experience for longer-term relationship building. If there’s less money, assess areas to reduce and reuse so that sustainability improves and savings are made. Less time requires greater emphasis on partnerships and supplier relations so makes sure contracts and working practices are agreed up-front. While smaller planning teams need technology to automate manual processes and do much of the repetitive heavy lifting for you."

3. Build more flexible and scalable programmes

Implementing a Total Events Programme by consolidating all meetings and activity across departments into one centralised structure not only gives you complete visibility, it also gives you maximum control.

Use surveys and spreadsheets to collect and analyse the number of meetings and events; their size (number of attendees and total spend); which hotels are being used and how often; how much is spent per chain or independent venue for both business travel and MICE activity; what negotiated savings per hotel contract, destination management company, and audiovisual supplier have been agreed; how many meetings are handled per staff member; how many meetings per third-party supplier; how much spend per supplier; and how many suppliers are being utilised.

It is imperative to have a good baseline understanding of where you are, in order to measure the benefits of where you will be going.

Peltier says: “Once you can see what’s happening, you can control and consolidate costs, determine opportunities for efficiencies, manage risk, streamline activity and scale success.”

4. Pick the right event marketing technology

“Don’t limit the hybrid readiness of your events from day one by only selecting technology that caters for what your activity needs today and by not partnering with a technology provider who will have you covered for what tomorrow brings,” Asiedu says. “Our world and your role as marketers and planners has got a lot more complicated. Individual pieces of technology which carry out a single siloed role just won’t cut it anymore.

"Cvent’s platform expansion is designed as one destination for logistics and execution, audience engagement, systems of record and a single source of data truth – allowing you to build and grow your audience, engage that audience and maximise the impact of that engagement without having to memorise multiple passwords or learn new skills.”

5. Love what you do again

“There’s so much new opportunity for creativity and collaboration to infuse into your event programmes. You’re no longer an event planner, you’re an event scientist,” exclaims Peltier.

“Embrace this role by experimenting with formats, engagement and technology. Trial, test and fail if necessary but let’s get back to loving what we do and use this phase of experimentation to relieve some of the pressure that surrounds the role.”

In time for Valentine’s Day, Cvent wants to hear how #eventprofs are falling back in love with what they do. Planners and event marketers are being asked to shoot a 60-second landscape video of themselves sharing the one thing they love about their job, an event they’ve run, event technology they’ve used, a venue they’ve worked alongside, a partner agency, their colleagues, or the skills they’ve learned over the last two years.

 If you would like to participate in Cvent’s Love Stories, start your video by saying ‘the thing I love out about the meetings and events industry’ or ‘the thing I have loved the most over the past year is..,’ and send them to marketingandeventseurope@cvent.com 

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Mike Fletcher

Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.
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