3 Things to Digitize To Streamline The Busy Event Season
In the throes of peak event season, it can feel like the world is spinning faster than usual. Between prospective client meetings and event-filled weekends, every minute becomes invaluable. If you can shave some precious time off your regular day-to-day operations, you’ll find yourself with less stress and increased productivity.
Fortunately, technology has grown to the point where it can assist us in the event planning and production processes to help us reclaim our precious time. Many different apps on the market can be utilized to your advantage, so it’s up to you to find the ones that are the best fit for your needs.
Here are three things to consider digitizing to create a more efficient and streamlined event business.
Your to-do list
There are so many mobile apps for creating to-do lists that it can seem overwhelming. After all, your to-do list is a pretty basic thing. While paper and pen may be your mode of choice, digital programs allow you to keep your list of tasks on-hand, no matter what the day brings.
Create your list in the morning, and it will be with you in the office, at the grocery store, in your daily meetings, on the commute home, and at home. As long as your phone is with you (and let’s be honest, it always is!), you’ll have access to your to-do list.
There’s a lot to keep track of in the events industry, especially if your company manages an inventory. Rental furniture, glassware, raw food ingredients, photo albums, stationery materials — regardless of what you stock, you need to be aware of what you have and how it will be allocated to ensure you don’t run out when you need it.
Paper files and sticky notes are helpful reminders, but should never fill the role of an inventory management system. Instead, look to a digital program to organize your numbers for you. The right program will depend on your business model and vendor category, but rest assured that you’ll see far fewer discrepancies with technology on your side.
Look beyond simple phone calls and emails to take client relationships to the next level. The typical event client is on the go more than ever, so we need to meet them halfway. Consider implementing virtual meetings with video conferencing programs, like Skype or Zoom. Better yet, provide them with access to 3D floorplans and virtual walk-through of their event space using AllSeated.
Not only will this elevate the client experience, but it also opens you up to new markets. Destination clients often have trouble planning their celebrations from a distance, so digitizing your communication methods allows you to fill that gap and set yourself apart from competitors. Modern clients will appreciate the opportunity to plan their events virtually, perhaps not even stepping foot on site until the big day — but with full confidence in the process.
If technology is appealing to you, start by considering the most significant needs in your company and look for ways to address those first. I believe there is a digital solution for just about every requirement you may have, but it’s essential to start slow with one or two new apps at a time. You’ll want to evaluate the cost and scalability of each, and take the time to learn all of the features. It would be best if you also determined the ease of training your team members to use the program.
Transitioning to digital can take time. This shift should run parallel with your current processes until everything is carried over, to ensure you’re not missing anything along the way. Be strategic and have a transition plan before diving in headfirst; you will be far more open to new technology if you feel that you have all of your boxes checked before taking on a new trial.
Jake Anderson is the founder and host of EventureMind TV, a channel dedicated to providing event professionals with educational resources to develop their strategic role within a business. Anderson is also the principal of FêteTech, a business solutions company dedicated to advancing the digital world for the special events industry. He maintains a role as founding partner and strategic manager of his first company, Lighting Professors, a large-scale event lighting provider based in Central Virginia.