December 12, 2018

Make Cat Herding a Thing of the Past for Event Planning

Ah. You can finally breathe a sigh of relief. You might actually have time to kick back with a glass of wine and a good book for once. You deserve it. After all, you have officially survived the 2018 event season. Phew!

Unfortunately, you know all too well that this brief respite won’t last. The 2019 event season will be here before you know it. Now is a great time to take a look back at what worked and what didn’t, and to think about how to improve things going forward.

No matter what, you will get the job done. You always do. But, wouldn’t it be nice to find an easier and more efficient way?

It seems that event managers face an ever-growing list of details for each event.  Multiply that long list of details by the number of events you are responsible for each year, and the number of people (attendees and others in the company) you have to communicate with for each and every event.  It probably feels a lot like herding cats!

As you think about better ways to wrangle all those cats in 2019, we have a few things you might want to consider:

Moving beyond spreadsheets

Even with your spreadsheet superpowers, you have probably noticed that Excel and/or Google Sheets no longer cut it for just one event, let alone multiple events. You are likely to end up with one spreadsheet for this, another for that, and another, and another. Before you know it, you are buried in a stack of spreadsheets.  At best, they might work for simple checklists, but they certainly don’t make it easy to collaborate with other members of your event management team, and don’t really help you communicate with people traveling to your events.

Lets admit it, it would be nice to make late nights at the office organizing spreadsheets and creating event binders a thing of the past.

Taking a big picture view

Are you able to take a step back and look at all of the events you have planned for 2019? Can you easily see the dates, locations and other details for each event so you can plan ahead for any possible issues or overlaps?

As a planner, being proactive is part of your genetic makeup.  Are there tools to help you plan ahead to avoid missteps, miscommunications and confusion; and ensure everyone on your team does the same? Is it possible to get to that glass of wine and bubble bath a lot sooner?

Enabling better communication and collaboration

You might have a large team, a small team or no team at all. No matter the size, team communication and collaboration are key to your event management process.

Even if team communication and collaboration are seemingly under control, that is only one piece of the communication equation. How are you communicating with everyone traveling to your events? How are you capturing and sharing details not just about the event itself, but about their travel, their transportation, their accommodations, etc. Don’t forget about sharing event documents like agendas, presentations, floor plans, meeting schedules, and more.

You probably send emails, and lots of them. Do you feel like nobody reads them? And, where the heck do they hide when people actually need them? We are betting you could live without all the texts you suddenly get (at the same time!) as everyone heads to the show.

Wouldn’t it be great to have one centralized location where attendees can easily and quickly access all the information they need, when they really need it, from anywhere – in the taxi on the way to the airport, at the hotel check-in desk, or on the show floor as they rush to that customer meeting.

Imagine not getting a single email or text from sales asking about their own travel arrangements, about someone else’s travel arrangements or any number of other things they struggle to find on their own.  It is possible!

What if you could automatically send reminders, or easily send last minute updates when things change or something goes wrong? What if you could alert your travelers as well as members of your HR, risk management, and travel management team about heightened travel risks or emergencies?

On a more positive note, wouldn’t show attendees love an easier way to communicate with one another before or during the show – to coordinate dinner plans or rides to the airport, or to share photos and comments directly from the show floor or sessions they attend. As a bonus, it sure would help make your social media manager’s job of covering the show easier.

What if you could have one place where everyone on your team could access the information they need, and collaborate better on all of your events?  What if you could have a way for travelers and event attendees to easily access the information they need, when they need it? What if you could streamline pre-show and on-site communication? What if you could alleviate that stack of event binders, the mountain of emails and the confusion that come with each show?

Is this a reality?

It is and we can help. WorkTrip specializes in helping event mangers herd cats more easily and efficiently. We help you create an event communication hub that provides a common access point for all of your events and streamlines the communication of your event details to everyone who needs them, wherever they are. Here at WorkTrip, we believe planning and executing work trips should be easy and drama free. If you are interested in learning more or taking advantage of a free 14-day trial, contact us.