What Do Event Professionals Need to be More Effective? Answers from Nine Insightful Women in Event Tech
By Tom Pick
When asked what would help them do their jobs more effectively, event planners commonly mention things like more hours in the day (wouldn’t that be great!), more support and understanding from management / clients and more efficient resources to help them keep current — for example, events-focused podcasts that are easy to digest on the go.
Another commonly expressed need is for respect for the profession (people who plan large corporate and association event are strategic pros — not “party planners”), though strategic meetings management programs and initiatives like Meetings Mean Business are starting to help in this regard.
When these nine insightful women, most though not all members of the Women in Event Tech community, were asked for their thoughts on this question, they provided a fascinating array of answers.
Dahlia El Gazzar said more resources (staff and budget) would be most helpful. Kahshanna Evans wants to work with “engaged and passionate” event teams to optimize the results. Christy Lamagna cited a direct line to decision makers as most helpful.
And both Paula Rowntree and Tracy Fuller mentioned event tech. Specifically, they would be helped by technology that automates manual tasks and is easy to use, enabling event professionals to be more productive without a steep learning curve or getting in the way of moving tasks along efficiently.
Here are the full answers from this group to the question of what would help them to do their jobs more effectively.
Dahlia El Gazzar, Tech Evangelist / DAHLIA+ Agency
More staff and more budget. Corporations need to make sure that event planners SHOULD NOT wear so many different hats. Designing experiences takes a tribe, as well as money to try new technology, new tactics, and new designs.
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Corey Fennessy, Creative Director, DAHLIA + Agency
How about cloning myself, or more hours in the day? Too often, as an event pro, you can’t do the things you really want to spend time on because you’re too deep in other smaller projects/busy work that take priority.
Kahshanna Evans, Founder, Kissing Lions Public Relations
Working with teams that are innovative, realistic, that have their budget expectations managed, understand how highly collaborative the event process is and that embrace leadership can make it much easier for event designers, producers, and professionals to do the dang thing.
An engaged and passionate team that fosters the best tools, resources, and flexibility is on the right track.
Donella Muzik, Director, International Marketing and Outreach, AVIXA
More support for creativity and thinking that challenges the norm—and being brought to the table much sooner in the discovery/strategy process so that the appropriate context for projects/initiatives is set.
Christy Lamagna, CEO and Master Strategist, Strategic Meetings & Events
What helps me do my job more effectively is a direct line of communication and access to key decision makers to ascertain what their strategic goals are for the year. From there I align the event calendar with those goals and help create content that will influence the target audience’s behavior so they are achieved.
By focusing on the overarching goals of the organization and creating custom, year-long content to teach and reinforce key messages, it’s possible to produce events that are investments rather than expenditures and that provide rock solid ROI.
Marissa Pick, Founder and Digital Marketing Strategist, Marissa Pick Consulting LLC
More hours in my day!
Seriously, sometimes days fly by and some days drag on, but when it comes to events it’s always that last minute rush of things coming together which can prove challenging at time.
I often find myself in a last-minute crunch and having to prioritize what really needs to get done at any given time. With two kids and my own consulting business, I’d say I’m a multi-tasking momma, and working smarter and not necessary harder at all times is what’s helped me to get ahead over the years.
Paula Rowntree, Head of Events & Experience, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
What would help is affordable technology that maps the member journey and streamlines our member personas. A lot of this is done manually as the technology to make this an automated process doesn’t seem to yet be readily available.
By understanding our members more deeply, we can create more enriching event experiences that increase the value to the member and that feel more personalized.
Tracy Fuller, President at InnovativEvents Inc. and Event Heroes
There are many options for event management tools, but the learning curve seems a bit tough while you’re doing events — so planners don’t use them. Easy-to-use management software would make life better.
I do love some of the new software that makes it easy to create floor plans and share with clients. It helps manage expectations and keeps everyone on the same page.
Danalynne Menegus, Managing Editor, Corporate Event News
Money always helps, as do (the right) resources, tools and technologies. But regardless of budget or resources, executive level support is critical. Having to continuously explain and justify every action and line item is both disheartening to professionals in any field, and takes valuable time away from all the work that needs to be done.