Event Management is a lot of work. No big surprise there.
Getting your entire team on the same page can be a challenge and depending on your technology, it can be a really big headache.
Fortunately, there are many ways to have your team connect with each other and keep everyone on task and coordinated.
The term for this, of course is collaboration.
Whether you want to track status and deliverables, or simply want to share documents and spreadsheets with multiple members of your team, there are many fantastic solutions out there. Many are free, which is a nice bonus!
However, experienced meeting planners know there are several crucial aspects to team collaboration:
Each of these items is crucial on its own, but combined, can cause you a lot of stress if you don’t have a structured approach to each element. For the technically minded event manager, much of this can be done for virtually no cost at all, if you are willing to put in some work to keep everything organized and on track.
We’re talking about Google Docs, Smartsheet, and other tools that are free to use, or have limited free access for basic use.
Also, most email solutions will have a group calendars part of the platform, which is also useful for team management.
The challenge to this approach revolves around cost and organization. The tools may be free, but what happens if you hit the limit on the free access?
Using multiple tools for team collaboration comes with multiple challenges as well. Everyone on your team will need access, and someone, somewhere needs to be coordinating all the teams in your team collaboration toolbox.
Coming from the need for team collaboration from a completely different perspective, however, is the option of licensing a comprehensive collaboration tool.
Many event organizers are fans of tools such as:
The reason these tools exist and flourish is that they provide a complete ecosystem of task and project management all within one system. Task assignments, real-time updates, messaging/chats, calendars, version control and much more all exist and play together nicely in the same sandbox.
The downside to all this is cost. Most of these systems will charge you a per-month fee, for each user with a license.
It all comes down to ROI, however. How important is it to your meetings team to stay connected and organized?
There is a third option that many meeting organizers are not even aware of.
Some event management platforms are designed with team communication and task management built in. These all-in-one event management solutions typically understand the approach that is required by busy event management teams and attempt to provide team collaboration tools as part of their comprehensive design.
One product in particular, EventsAIR by Centium Software, has won several awards due in part to its state-of-the-art workflow and team collaboration tools.
“It all comes down to client productivity,” said Alec Sonenthal, Director of Technology for Centium Software. “We’ve been publishing software for busy event planners for dozens of years, and team collaboration and task management is a crucial element of successful event management.”
Mr. Sonenthal explained how their flagship product, EventsAIR, broke new ground upon its release several years ago.
“We knew we wanted to build the most comprehensive event management platform the industry had ever seen as well as empower our clients with workflows and processes to make their work easier to perform and manage. With that in mind, we’ve built into EventsAIR a variety of tools designed to aid in project management, communication and task management.”
In addition to built-in project management and onsite run sheet tools, EventsAIR includes a powerful organizer app designed to connect teams while onsite at a live event. Mr. Sonenthal noted that the Organizer App represents a paradigm shift in how teams work and collaborate during a live event.
“Our organizer app is quite extraordinary in that your entire team stays connected to the data in EventsAIR and with each other in real time,” Mr. Sonenthal said. “Every assigned tasked is tracked through to completion, and teams stay connected through the built in messaging and alert system.”
At the end of the day, you and your team all need to be on same page, literally as well as figuratively. How you get there is your journey, but when done well, will have a dramatic impact on your team’s productivity and results.
And everyone wins!