Event technology can free event teams from the burdens of stressful and time-consuming manual work, often cutting down time spent on labor intensive manual tasks by two-thirds. You may have considered making the leap from spreadsheets and emails to a software tool, but have been holding back as it seems too overwhelming. Don’t let investing in new technology intimidate you. To help you make a thoughtful and low-stress transition, we’ve put together some simple ways in which you can make event technology work for you by doing a little bit of work up front.
1. Look to the future
Don’t just look at day one, week one, or even month one ahead—start as early as a full year prior to your event and walk through all the moving parts to identify what you need. By anticipating needs and walking through them with your technology vendor you can help alleviate some of burden of manual tasks. You will likely discover new approaches to your workflow and can find ways to use automation or implement new processes before it’s too late. Key areas where this upfront work is most impactful include the call for papers process and how you will publish your content to your mobile apps or website.
2. Begin with the end in mind
Putting in even one hour of work upfront can drastically improve the quality of submissions received and selected through the call for papers process. There are countless ways in which a content management solution can simplify this process such as automating reminders, data collection, and grading assignments. But in order to implement them, it’s important to first understand the capabilities of the technology. Begin by walking through your timeline for when submissions will be open and graded with your technology provider. As you talk through the whole process, you may realize that you’ve not given yourself enough time for the CFP process based on anticipated number of applications and speaking spots to fill. Rather than reaching that realization months down the line when there’s not much you can do other than hustle through the chaos, you can adjust your timeline well in advance of impending deadlines.
3. Anticipate the worst
You know the drill—the CFP has been up for weeks but prospective speakers wait to complete their submissions until the last day. This last minute spike in submissions puts pressure on your speaking session graders. There are a couple ways you can alleviate this; by allowing speakers to begin grading on a rolling basis so they can grade at their own pace, and setting up automated reminders to encourage earlier submissions. A simple, automated reminder email about the upcoming submission deadline boosts the number of early entries received, allowing graders to take the time needed to make the best decision for quality speakers at the event.
4. Take advantage of integrations
Ask your provider about the integration capabilities of your technology. They will help you understand how speaker presentations, bios, headshots, and more can be pushed to mobile apps for in-event experiences, or posted to your company’s website through simple integrations with other technology solutions offered by partners. This automated push saves immense time and resources when compared to manually moving the content from one ecosystem to another, and allows you to market content more effectively.
Put the time in early to learn and implement your new system and you’ll save yourself a whole lot of time and headaches. In an industry with high turnover and stress levels (CareerCast named event planning the 5th most stressful job of 2016), finding a way to reduce that stress in any way will dramatically improve your team’s morale and productivity, as well as the quality of your events.
Want to see how event technology like Hubb can help create a stress free tomorrow? Sign up for a no-pressure demo, below.