In event production, it is very common to have to work with committees. Due to the globalized nature of society, many organizations now have regional, national, and sometimes international affiliates that all need to liaise with a local chapter in event production.
How can all this be done? Thanks to modern technology, the ability to communicate with diverse groups of people has never been easier, but for a newbie the process can seem overwhelming. In addition to using technology, having a firm understanding of client preferences and a clear chain of communication implemented can help to ensure the maximum amount of productivity from committees with a minimal amount of inharmony.
Here at Coterie Spark, we work as embedded planners with our clients to help manage all aspects of an event from conception to production. In our experience, understanding the below ideas can help the planning and production processes run smoothly and lead to a successful event.
Use the Right Tools
In the modern event planner’s toolbox, there are several technologies which are essential tools to use when planning an event with many stakeholders, such as committees.
- Provide real time data with document sharing. Tools like Dropbox and Google Drive allow for the creation of documents in the cloud which can be viewed and edited by any committee member. These tools are a handy way to store large amounts of information in an easily accessible location. Plus, changes can be made and reviewed in real time, allowing all members access to the most up to date information.
- Easily schedule meeting times. When it comes to coordinating schedules, blindly sending out meeting requests can be a recipe for disaster. And because people often use different scheduling systems (Google Calendar, Outlook, etc.) it is not feasible to view everyone’s schedule. Enter Doodle The meeting initiator proposes several meeting times at once and then sends a poll to all committee members. Members are able to log in at their convenience and select the time options that work best for them. A bonus is that a member is able to see the most popular times, allowing the ability to shift things around to coincide with popular decisions. The Doodle poll also automatically adjusts for the time zone of the person, so there is no confusion.
- Make meetings more productive with multimedia conferencing. With the modern technologies available today, the once ubiquitous conference call has received a substantial upgrade. For the most productive meeting possible, multimedia conferencing tools are the new standard. Technology such as Uber Conferencing allows for interactive conference calls via a laptop, smartphone, or other internet connected device. The technology enables voice chat, screensharing for viewing documents and presentations, and more. On screen prompts identify the speaker of the moment, so it is easier to take notes an understand comments. Another excellent tool is GoToMeeting, which provides many of the same functions with the addition of HD video conferencing.
- Make actionable and trackable lists. Any successful meeting should generate an action item list of things that need to be completed to move the project forward. To keep track of and manage these items, use a program such as Trello or Asana. These project management solutions allow for the creation of itemized lists, the ability to assign to specific parties, and to receive updates when these items are completed. They allow committees to view task progress in real time, without having to send out email reminders to ask for status updates. As an added bonus, these platforms can be used with Dropbox and Google Docs for complete cloud based task management.
Understand Your Audience
In order to effectively work with your client, you must first know your audience. The technology solutions above may not be the best solution for your client. While technology can help, it also has the potential to complicate things. Integrate only as much technology as your client feels comfortable with so as not to create additional friction in the project.
Control the Communication Flow
Early on in the planning process, establish a clear line of communication with the client. Most often, this consists of a committee chair reporting decisions and concerns to the event planners, who then liaises with other vendors or partners as needed to implement the decision or remedy the challenge.
Partner with Coterie Spark for Your Next Event
Coterie Spark is a global event and meeting management firm specializing in strategy, planning and execution. We are experts in providing innovative solutions to produce unique and memorable events that will maximize your dollars spent. We take a direct partnership role with our clients and invest the success of their event.
Submit our contact form or call Coterie Spark today to learn about how we can elevate your event to the next level.