Len Gauger

CEO at Connect Space, Inc.

Published on October 28, 2019

Meeting Planner Madness, Get your Life Back!

We meet and talk with Meeting Planners every day. They are working events of all shapes and sizes. One theme is consistent across the board…too much time is being wasted in tasks and activities that should be far easier and automated than they actually are. They know it’s a problem but often times just don’t know how to get started. Here are a few practical techniques to help you.

  1. Centralize your data. 
  2. Email is not an event planning tool. 
  3. Focus on building a collaborative event planning culture.

Centralize your data

The cloud has literally changed all of our lives. The cloud I’m referring to here is the online platforms that allow you to make minor modifications in your processes and reap enormous benefits. Spreadsheets and spreadsheet access are the biggest culprits. The cloud can be used now to securely allow all event planning team members to access the same datastore in real-time which eliminates the revision guessing you struggled with before.

TIP: As you evaluate event planning management platforms, this capability is table stakes. Where you should be looking for differences in how that datastore is accessed by other aspects of the event like attendee check-in, attendee matchmaking, and surveys. Any time you are using a separate system you are injecting more delay in your process which, in the end, actually costs you more.

Email is not an event planning tool.

The day is coming that we’ll look back and talk about email the same way we talked about old-school hard copy mail. You can already hear the words…”I can’t believe we actually used to do it that way.” And while email is an effective way to move files and send and receive messages, it’s a black hole when it comes to lost and missed tasks and messages.

TIP: put email in its proper place. It can be a great notification tool, but there are better options now for centralizing your tasking and tracking of actual event progress. One of the ripest areas of benefit here can be in how you manage your speakers, their biographies, and content. Email serves as a reminder, but your event management system should be the single source of truth and effectiveness when it comes to the event.

Focus on building a collaborative event planning culture

So many event planners and their teams are dissatisfied with how the teams work together. The most successful teams have several traits in common. First, they are fantastic communicators. They have a great balance between live and virtual meetings. Second, they know how to use digital tools effectively. They have a 6th sense when its time to use tools more robust than email or stand-alone DropBox accounts. Lastly, they have great intuition in sizing up risks quickly and keeping their cool. Event Planners live in a high-stress world. The ability to keep cool while Rome is burning is a serious skill.

TIP: eliminate stress by creating as much event transparency as you can. Share data for all stakeholders to see and digest. As the saying goes, “always win together, never lose alone.”

Make it happen

Event Planners are truly distinguished in their field. So much work goes into great events. There is much to be learned from the best of the best out there. So here’s our invitation to you: pick one thing you can do to improve your event planning productivity at your next event. One task mastered in the short-term leads to wild success in the future. Your, “one-thing,” mastered today becomes 10 freshly mastered productivity boosters that will yield massive results.

Share with us what you did, we’d love to hear what’s working and not working from you.