By: Travis Blythe
While many of us make New Year resolutions to lose weight, get fit, eat better, be a better husband, etc, how many of you make resolutions for work? I am not talking about what you are thinking…make more money, get a promotion, be the boss type of stuff, but rather things you can incorporate into your everyday work environment to get the pre-mentioned things. We put together ten items which if worked into your year, could quite possibly make your next event be the best it has ever been. Now don’t quote us on this, but you have a really good shot.
Without further delay…here you go:
1. Become Data Driven
In most industries, “being data driven” is a given. But the event planning industry has been slow to adopt a data driven mindset. What does being data driven mean exactly? For us it means to have insights to what makes your event tick. You may need to provide data to support why you chose to do something a certain way. From Marketing to measuring ROI, collecting data on everything you do is going to be key. Being data driven can help organizers to better understand what channels are helping to drive revenue, making it easier to double down on those channels while stopping channels that aren’t working. Event registration software, can provide planners with the data that shows what channels contributed the most to gross ticket sales for example.
2. Take 15 Minutes To Learn Something New
Most successful business people will always find time to learn something new, whether it’s a new approach to organizing your client consultation meetings or a new color scheme or a new way to do something. It is no secret that event planners have very busy schedules, finding a minimum 15 minutes each day to invest in business learning will pay off in the long run. The more tips, tricks, and skills you can add to your planning tool belt, the more you have to offer your clients. The best planning professionals at the top of their field are those who understand that even people with experience should never stop learning their craft. Developing your skills each year will help you keep up with trends and evolve as a planner instead of going stagnate. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent resources out there for event planners, event managers, race directors, etc. From event marketing eBooks, to event software guides, and seminars/conferences - there are a number of different resources enhance your skill set.
3. Be More social
By social, we mean social media. Look, it’s easy and can really help create a buzzbefore the big day and to keep your event alive after it’s finished. Obviously platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be beneficial to your event, but so can Instagram, a good blog and even Pinterest. We suggest you create an event specific hashtag. Don’t forget LinkedIn, make sure you have a great looking LinkedIn profile. Then join event planning groups on and answer event related questions. They will always be content, make sure you provide more than just “buy me” type of posts. Be thoughtful and create content that is engaging. Most importantly, engage with your fans, followers and friends. One of the most annoying trends is for brands to not communicate back when people are talking to them. Crowd-Streaming. This is a new trend for 2016, while most events have done this to an extent, most notably with twitter feeds and hashtags. The concept is to get the a attendees to actively use their smart phones to live stream the experience. Now with video streaming apps, attendees can live-stream at your event. With your social media team on event day on the ball, you can definitely tell the world about your event. Again it is all about engaging my friends. Crowd streaming is substantially different from live-streaming. Crowd-streaming is a user generated movement, where the content is created by the attendees and event professionals are just one of the voices. Remember, you’re not looking to get the entire world talking about your event, you’re giving your attendees the opportunity to engage with fellow delegates and to feel a part of the bigger picture. If done consistently, being social has the power to help organizers form new and fruitful business relationships, while also cementing themselves as “influencers” in the industry.
4. Embrace New Technologies
Creating a PDF or Word document for registration, posting it on your website and waiting for the checks to come in are a thing of the past. Unfortunately, some events still do this because they are afraid of technology. Sadly they probably still run windows vista or 7 and use the Internet Explorer as their web browser. Well IE is no longer a browser as miscrosoft finally bailed on it and took it away and we are now a full 3-versions of Windows later. So don’t you think it is about time you embraced technology and realized it isn’t going away? Just because it is “what you know” and “the way we have always done it”, doesn’t mean it is the right way. The event industry is evolving and it doesn’t matter if you run corporate events or sporting events or charity events, people are all using technology at a growing rate. Our basic cell phone does not exist anymore. Now we use them to pay our bills, buy our coffee and yes register for your events. The world has gone mobile and you need to also. Safe a tree and embrace technology!
5. Think outside the box
While most of you may think this is silly, here is what we want to say to you. What makes your event unique? How are you different from the multiple events just like yours? Well, we believe it is your ability to think outside of the box! Stop being just another event you hope people want to come to. Make it an experience, leave them with walking away thinking one thing…”Holy crap that was an incredible ___.” People love a take away, so give them someone different from the norm. The best keepsake you can offer is one that people are proud to display or tell the world about. So put your thinking caps on and have the most unique event out there!
6. Plan Ahead
One thing most events do not do enough of. Look we know you have the same event every year at the same time. But please for the love of God do not wait util the last minute to start working on the event. Most events can take a whole year to plan, some as short as 6 months even. So start now, get your location reserved, start working on sponsors, start marketing, in our opinion, the sooner the better!
7. Be more collaborative
Networking is nothing new. I could write about all the benefits and this and that, but at the end of the day you just need to do it. Sometimes we buddy up with a great vendor and you both promote each other. Once and a while you have someone who sings the praises of your business or event, you need them. We suggest you start collaborating with your sponsors, vendors and anyone who can help your event grow. Develop a brand ambassador program to go out and raise awareness for you. You can’t do it all on your own, having people help you, who like you, can go a long way!
8. Learn from your mistakes
Events are all about taking risks, doing the unheard of and providing that wow factor. But there is absolutely no way this can be done without taking risks. Not all risk will pay off though, and it’s all about using your experience and talking to other people in the industry to gage what might be a great idea and then having the guts to give it a go even when it’s not been done before. But what if it fails? (*shocked face!*)…then you cross it off the list, learn from it, and most importantly move on. And don’t be afraid to take those risks again, because more often than not it will pay off and you’ll get used to hearing people say ‘I wish I’d thought of that.’
9. Have Fun
We know, this sounds like a no brainer. But seriously, if you are not having fun with your event(s) then why do it? Yes we know they are stressful and not everyone is cut out to do this, but you have to have fun. Fun is contagious, once people see you having fun, then it is like a switch is flipped and everyone enjoys coming to work, they enjoy the day of the event and are over joyed when it is over and you get to start on the next one.
10. Develop a better work/life balance
All event managers struggle with this at some point in their career. In the process we tend to ignore everything we are working so hard for. Remember the “Fun” we mentioned in #9, well you need to rinse and repeat this in your personal life as well. You can only miss so many birthdays, dates or schedule conflicts before it will catch up and get you. Don’t let this happen, remember to take time with your family, friends and remember you are working to enjoy a better life, so you better enjoy it while you can, because you never know what tomorrow brings. Find that balance, go on vacation when your event is over, and enjoy your life!
Travis is our “Chief Swarming Officer”, the head honcho, king bee, master of the swarm…okay, okay, okay you get the point. The man behind the curtain loves to get involved in every aspect of the company including finding great recipes. As a wrestling coach and an OCR athlete, he tries to eat a healthy lifestyle. Often distracted by a great pie and/or slice of pizza, he loves food almost as he loves traveling the country. When not running the HIVE, he participates in motorcycle riding, snow skiing, dirt bike riding, running and roller coasters! Want to see more of him or say hello? Get in touch with him below.