Remember the Ferrari that never left Cameron’s dad’s garage in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?
Cameron: Ferris, he never drives it! He just rubs it with a diaper!
Well, you can purchase the 1961 Ferrari 250GT of meeting technology, and it won’t do your team any good if it just sits in the garage.
According to the 2018 AMEX Global Meetings Forecast, meeting technology is challenging for many companies to implement, define and manage. While 74% of companies polled indicated that they have technology, only 43% report that the technology has been widely adopted among its potential users. Even among those who report having optimized programs, 16% say they are not fully utilizing their meetings technology
The Amex Forecast stated that many companies purchase meetings technology, and assume that it will be adopted, but then discover later than only a fraction of their meetings are managed through that technology. The key to your event and meetings success isn’t just great technology, but also successful adoption of that technology.
So, here are some lessons Ferris Beuller can teach us about how to lead successful meeting technology adoption:
Keep the big picture in mind
Ferris: “Where’s your brain?”
Sometimes when a need arises during the lead-up to important meetings or events, teams might think, “We really need to accomplish this one thing right now, so let’s slap this technology onto our stack because it suits our needs today.” Then a few years later, staff are pulling out their hair over a mishmash of processes and procedures, and a tech stack that’s not integrated properly.
Instead of frantically filling gaps in the months leading up to big events or meetings, wait until AFTER everything is over, when you’ve had time to rest and renew. Only when you have the time and brain space should you start thinking about how you are going to architect your meeting technology.
Work backwards from your technology road map
Ferris: “We’ll drive home backwards”
Does your company have a technology road map that supports its overall strategy? Start with your future business goals, and work backwards to create your road map. A gap analysis between your current technology capabilities and a definition of your future capabilities will help you set up a road map, if one doesn’t exist. Once you have this knowledge, it’s easier to create a technology adoption plan that not only helps you identify which meetings technology is best for your team and integrates with your current and future systems, but also helps get you from Point A to Point B in streamlined way.
Don’t just get leadership support
Ferris: “Anything is peaceful from one thousand, three hundred and fifty-three feet.”
Yes, C-suite support is crucial to a successful meeting tech implementation. But do you know who really understands the challenges and needs on the ground at your events? And do you know who is ultimately going to make your technology adoption plan a success or a big flop? The people using the technology. Staff at all levels should be included in your meeting technology planning process from the very beginning. They are your experts.
Remember what Cameron said when he was pushed to participate in Ferris’ day off without proper buy-in? “Look, don't make me participate in your stupid crap if you don't like the way I do it. You make me get out of bed, you make me come over here. You make me make a phony phone call to Edward Rooney!?”
Kick off with a team meeting to explain why you’re considering a change, or what you’re trying to enhance or improve. Then get feedback from your staff. What are their pain points with your current technology or processes?
Enlist the users in the process of researching possible tech vendors and give more than one person an opportunity to lead sections of the planning and adoption. The more people who are invested in a change (like better meetings technology), the more people you have who have already bought into the new technology when it comes time to implement and train.
Set S.M.A.R.T. adoption goals
Ferris: “The key to faking out the parents is the clammy hands. It’s a good non-specific symptom; I’m a big believer in it.”
Ferris “handily” fools his parents into letting him stay home from school by creating vague symptoms that, unlike a fever, are hard to measure and track. Like Ferris’ non-specific symptoms, vague adoption goals will create a challenge in diagnosing how successful your adoption has been because vague and highly subjective goals are impossible to measure and track.
Refer to your technology roadmap. Look at what you want to accomplish with the new technology. Add specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals to your plan that will serve as the stepping stones to where you want to go. This way your adoption goals can also be built into your team members performance KPIs.
Train a core group of “super users”
Cameron: "Ferris Bueller, you're my hero."
Create a small team of users who have a high level of expertise with your meetings technology, who can act as role models, advisers and trouble shooters. They should be given proper resources and support for ongoing training, because these people are the heroes of your new meetings technology.
With Ferris Bueller on your side, we know your team will select the right meetings and event technology at the right time, and your adoption process will purr along like a well-serviced Ferrari.
Are you interested in taking Hubb’s meeting technology for a test drive?
Ferris: "You're still here? It's over. Go home. Go." Or check out a few more of our blogs: