Coping with silly season

Posted on: Jul 28, 2017 by Paula Neame

Anyone that works in events will understand the joy of coordinating an audience, a venue, the production, the presenters, the entertainment, the content.. and so it goes on! Mind you – I LOVE it!

Anyone who reads my blogs knows that I am prone to reflecting. Reflecting about change, advances, comparisons from ‘the old days’ – I will take a look backwards about anything – compare it today and see how that might look in the future.

This one is no different, so brace yourself for a little walk down nostalgia lane!

I have been organising events for years, well, actually decades – but let’s not dwell on the timeline too much – it makes me feel old!

‘Back in the day’ (there… I said it)... organising an annual event would start pretty much the day after the last one had finished! The planning would be long – it had to be to fit everything in.

Firstly – briefing sessions and workshops. Getting all key stakeholders in one place for a face to face meeting – after all conference calls were ‘ok’ but how do you brainstorm when you cant see what is being written or mindmapped or doodled. So, week 1 post last event – coordinate diaries and if you were really lucky – week 2 the event would actually take place.

Throw ideas around, come up with a plan – then start looking for venues and production. If going out to tender then there would be face to face meetings to prepare the tender document, then wait for them to come back – and all get together in a room to review. Seems so antiquated now – document sharing via collaboration these days cuts literally weeks off this process!

Engage agencies and start calls and emails. With literally 100’s of elements in a big event – the email trails came thick and fast – with at least a dozen in ‘cc! Plus you never knew what was being missed. Sifting through the minutiae detail in hundreds of emails was an epic task in itself.

No wonder the process took so long.

Of course, employers have never had it so good… a team that could have produced one major event a year can now easily produce 3, 4 maybe more.

Consider how collaboration tools have streamlined and improved:

  • Single storage place for information and documents
  • Spanning time zones – broadening the geographic agency pool and improved venue liason
  • Agencies – they work as virtual teams. They even have their own circuit gurus! (you know who you are Lizzie!)
  • Building relationships – as projects progress, personalities transfer across collaboration and memes and personal interactions appear
  • Plus, it is not JUST for the pre event either? Onsite – voting, logistics push, reminders, questions, for ALL the delegates and hosts and agencies (for onsite management of venue and production)

So, here I am, the day that the 2017 UPC ends, and I don’t have to start planning straight away for next year. I don’t have to worry that I won’t find the previous year’s reference material because it will all be easily locatable in circuit, and I don’t have to worry about ‘digging out’ all the agency contact details. I know exactly where all reference material is, I know exactly what we did this year.

Am thinking that this virtual teamwork on Circuit is a bit of alright actually… I could even relax a bit before the fun starts again!

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About Paula Neame

Global Sales Enablement: Comms & Readiness
Mother, fiancee, sister, daughter, friend, employee, teacher, philosopher, organiser, chief cook & bottlewasher... with a tiny *hint* of geek. Views are my own.

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