As a marketing leader, you know better than anyone how quickly marketing priorities can change. That’s why you and your team probably leverage generic project management solutions like Asana, Basecamp, Wrike or Trello to keep track of tasks and deadlines.
While these types of platforms will work wonders for digital marketing and knowledge-based projects, they fall short of supporting in-person events.
Let's take a look at all of the event logistics not solved by generic project management:
- Budgets to plan and track expenses, including payments to venues and vendors
- Briefings to communicate schedules and expectations to execs, staff, speakers and VIPs
- Calendars to manage and share all of the team's upcoming events
- Contacts to keep track of all the agencies, customers, speakers, sponsors, vendors and VIPs
- Contracts to centralize legal obligations to agencies, venues, vendors and sponsors
- Request Forms to receive and process requests from the team to sponsor or host events
- Inventories to track collateral, equipment and swag
- Schedules to fully plan the days of the event, including travel
- Shipments to track booths, collateral, equipment, staging and swag
- Surveys to capture post-event feedback
- Staff Reporting to understand the time and effort spent by staff and opportunity costs
- Travel to plan, book and track the costs of flights, hotels, restaurants and ground transport
Phew! The amount and variety of work that goes into planning even just a small event is impressive. There are so many moving parts and people. There's so much pressure. The show must go on, whether or not the shipments are on-time, the budget is running over or the keynote speaker is stuck in airport traffic.
Event logistics... in the real world
One reason event teams require custom project management is that they are dealing with so many more deadlines and dates than other marketing functions. Event marketers have to worry about event start and end dates, sponsorship deadlines, vendor shipping timelines, printing timelines, booth schedules, and more.
While generic project management tools have basic deadline functionality, there isn’t anything remotely as detailed as what is necessary for event teams. Add in different locations, time zones, and travel schedules, and the confusion continues to grow.
Without a true event management solution in place to clearly manage all of the necessary timelines, budgets, and logistics, it’s easy for event marketers to miss a critical deadline - and create a domino effect from there.
Event marketers can also leverage pre-made templates across multiple events to effectively eliminate any repetitive manual work. With event-specific solutions working for event teams, they can get more done where it counts instead of wasting time on mundane admin catch-ups.
After the event, it's all about the ROI
As with other marketing channels, events thrive on tracking ROI.
While other functions such as digital marketing can easily measure ROI by tracking digital interactions, calculating ROI from events and field marketing is much more difficult. There are meetings, conversations and handshakes that should be taken into consideration – not just clicks and conversions.
Tracking ROI from events and field marketing should include:
- Lead Capture to capture and qualify contacts from badges, business cards, forms and games
- Meetings to book and track important sales and exec meetings with customers
- CRM Integration to tie all customer data back to the company's "system of record"
- Cost per Lead or Meeting to evaluate and benchmark event ROI on the most universal basis of comparison
- Opportunity Evaluation to score and predict the ROI of new event marketing opportunities
- Portfolio Optimization to reallocate budget and attention on the basis of measurable results
- ROI Reporting to look at all of the event's quantifiable and intangible costs and benefits
This information can be automatically integrated into your CRM solution for realtime, actionable follow-up, but not with a generic project management tool.
For teams running 20, 50 or even 100 events a year, the complexity increases not only on the backend, but on the ROI tracking level as well. Event marketing at scale requires a huge investment of time, resources, and capital to ensure events run smoothly and successfully. Instead of providing event marketers with insufficient tools or (gasp!) Excel spreadsheets, marketing leaders can deliver proactive, efficient solutions that help maximize output, increase efficiency, and grow ROI.
Better ROI from better tools
Event teams are constantly on the go and require solutions that go everywhere with them. This is why marketing leaders should look for event-specific platforms with advanced mobile and ROI capability.
After all, trying to load an Asana page in a hotel basement ballroom can take forever, and event teams need travel plans on demand. Event-specific project management platforms take the explicit needs of event marketers to heart, and this is definitely apparent in the features and capabilities of some of today’s leading event project management solutions.
From budget planning to mobile apps to email integrations, EventGeek takes the inefficiency, guesswork and stress out of marketing events.