Let’s have a look at common bad habits impacting our event planning decision making.
Carrying Massive Paper Binders
Why event professionals keep carrying gigantic paper binders is a mystery. Nobody understands why, but most keep doing it.
While this was acceptable in the early 2000s, let me break the news to you: there is a nice tool on the market called tablet.
It is a cool device, it’s made of apps that help you plan all stages of your event. Calendar, Gantt, Team Collaboration, On site Ticket selling, you name it, there is an app for that.
Leaving Wi-Fi to the Venue
Six years ago, if Wi-Fi was not working, it was acceptable.
Three years ago, attendees would start mentioning it on social networks.
If it happens today, you are effectively subtracting vital connectivity to most audiences. That is especially true in a conference, trade show or corporate meeting environment.
Reasons number one for bad wifi is relying on venue. The amount of event planners who ask the venue if they have good wifi and then tick the box if they get a ‘yes’ is disheartening.
Do not take yes for an answer!
Leaving Social Media to the AV Guys
The AV guys are traditionally seen as the geeks of the event. They are indeed, but they have a specific mission, they provide tech tools to make the content travel faster and in high resolution.
They are not in charge of content, marketing or customer satisfaction.
Yet there is a disturbing amount of colleagues leaving, for example, moderation of Twitter walls in the hands of extremely talented technicians who don’t have a clue about what is being discussed.
You and only you (or direct staff) should control all social media channels selected for the event. Such a crucial activity cannot be delegated outside of your circle of trust and competence.
Checking In Guests with Print Outs
You know what’s funny about waiting in line to get into a medium sized conference? Nothing.
There is nothing enjoyable about waiting in line. Of course for some it is a fantastic opportunity to advance a couple of levels in Candy Crush, but truth is we want to get in, fast!
Searching through long lists of attendees on unreadable print outs does not work. And most of all, how do you coordinate check-ins when you have very long registration desks? Shouting names at each other like you are playing battleship.
Electronic Check in is a technology available to everyone. You can get it free or you can spend a premium and get fancy stuff like face recognition or social media integration.
Getting Attendees to Fill in Evaluation Surveys
Attendees don’t fill in surveys, live with it. If you get a 0.5% response rate, you did awesome.
There are much better ways to collect feedback. Social media monitoring being a great example. If you keep an eye on social, chances are that you are not going to need any form submission whatsoever. You will know exactly what went wrong and what was awesome.
Opinions are not to be asked anymore, they are usually expressed publicly whether you like it or not.
There is no reason to keep doing things the way we used to if results harm the success of our events. Thinking critically over what we are trying to do helps to get rid of bad habits.
Shortcuts can sometimes save us a lot of time. Some other times they just jeopardize the success of our carefully planned project.
The key is to realize that there is no right or wrong, there are good and bad decisions and your ability to evaluate situations rationally will make a difference.