As more and more companies operate their events virtually as well as locally and regionally, one of their key challenges is keeping the caliber of these separate events consistent across locales. While saving precious dollars on travel and hospitality expenses, the risk of an event getting executed inconsistently from office to office puts the ROI from this investment in jeopardy. Nowhere is this more evident than with training events.
One of our recent clients needed to rapidly roll out across their domestic and international offices a critical and timely training program. In the U.S., they hired Anna Marie Events to plan and execute the San Francisco and New York half-day training programs, then rolling out to their international operations in 13 locations.
So how do you ensure consistency of a corporate training conference in terms of event planning, preparation and on-site execution across locations/venues, time frames and office teams?
Leverage Relationships in Venue Sourcing & Negotiation
A key way to ensure consistency is by using the same venue partner across jurisdictions. This enables a client to get maximum leverage in negotiations across property locations as well as creating a stable and reliable set of standards for quality (customer service, cuisine, A/V support, transportation relationships, etc.) that impact the attendee experience.
Assign Clear Roles to In-House vs Outsourced Teams for Execution
One of the most important values an events agency brings to its clients is avoiding costly mistakes in resourcing. For example, in this case, our client wished to staff the registration area with their internal administrative team. Registration is a critical event gateway when you must be able to service attendees quickly and efficiently or you risk starting the event off with a nightmare scenario (bottlenecks, wasted time and inaccurate attendance data). We knew that our client’s team was not of sufficient size to handle the 220 attendees in New York. We were able to reassign the planning and execution of registration to our team at Anna Marie Events, bring in technology on a moment’s notice, ensuring that all went smoothly. We were easily able to replicate this model with the 1500-person San Francisco event downstream two days following.
Over Communicate Across the Project Team
When planning an event, over the course of the event’s lifetime, people often come and go on the client side. An important part of ensuring consistency is having a visible project plan, updated in real time and visible to all parties so that, should a key member leave your internal team, everyone is up to speed and can fill in seamlessly. This is also important if budgets shift and event elements (program, event flow, speakers) change. Communication between an agency and the client team needs to be frequent, organized and documented so that priorities are clear and accountability is ensured for follow-up on action items. This is also particularly helpful when porting an event model from market to market, as what works in one office/venue, may not work perfectly in another. Surfacing conflicts and issues early is paramount for proactive action and resolving any potentially problematic situations.
“Templatizing” events can streamline planning and execution, reduce costs and ensure consistency across jurisdiction. We believe this is the essence of “working smarter” in the events industry. If you have international or domestic events that need execution across offices throughout the country (or the world), give us a call. Our team at Anna Marie Events would be happy to assist.