Have you ever felt like pulling out your hair while working on a major meeting or corporate event? Or wondered if an event management agency can give you valuable support and better results without blowing the budget? If so, consider these four vital factors. They’ll enable you to choose the right resource as your partner for success.
- Relationships of trust are essential.
It’s vital that the event management and consulting services agency you select embrace your goals. You must be aligned as active partners and begin together with the end in mind. Is the agency willing to really peel back the curtain and expose you to the inner workings of the event planning process? They should be open and transparent in everything they do. That includes sharing tools, budget information on a real-time basis and direct access to all suppliers. In the same way, you need to be comfortable inviting agency representatives to your internal planning meetings.
- Competence and fit matter.
Hiring the right corporate event planning resource is a lot like hiring the right employee. Fit matters. Does the agency have the level of experience you need and will their supplier relationships deliver improved costs? Are they a good fit culturally in what they value and how they interact with others? Can they learn your business and apply it to your event design? Do they have the references to back up what they say they’ll do?
Agency representatives should understand your business and cultural and operational nuances. Most importantly, they should adapt to them. Does the type of hotel for your corporate event need to reflect your hip, edgy culture or be more upscale and refined? Do the activities need to energize participants, inject fun or align teams? Does your organization live, breathe and manage projects by reviewing daily or weekly budget reports? Bottom line, your agency’s solutions should sync with how your business works, both culturally and operationally.
- Tools and processes are a big deal.
Working with an event management agency that has powerful tools and processes in place makes it easier to manage a myriad of event details in real time. Does the agency use cloud-based technology solutions like Google Enterprise applications, which have changed the way groups work together on major events? This technology overcomes obstacles that arise when the agency and company are not on the same computer systems. It speeds up communications and keeps everyone on the same page.
Google apps also make it easier to check the budget, track work flows and see any “red flags.” Edits to presentations and last-minute schedule changes can be done more easily. It feels like everyone’s part of the same workspace, even though people may be thousands of miles apart. And, everything can be managed and shared on any mobile device.
- Innovation should be a standard operating procedure (SOP).
Creativity isn’t a function of budget, so find an experiential marketing agency that brings you fresh ideas for managing event logistics and engaging participants. Have you been offered innovative solutions that allow you to do more with less? The right agency can help you with creative ideas in just about every area. In the way budgets are allocated. In the location. In the way people register and how receptions, general sessions and workshop meetings are set up. For example, portable kiosks with iPads make registration easier and more interactive than ever before. And mobile apps avoid costly printed materials. They also allow you to engage audiences before, during and after the event.
Choosing the right event management agency is a strategic priority for many meeting planners. By focusing on these factors, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your organization. Once you do, you can spend your valuable time and energy making sure your leaders’ needs are met and your corporate event delivers the expected return on investment.
by Dave Wagner, President and Chief Gathering Officer, GoGather.net