“If necessity is the mother of invention, adversity is definitely the mother of innovation!”
The unprecedented times followed by the global lockdown made every business pivot its business model to accumulate to the digital world. And so did the events industry.
After a period of zero events, the event industry gained pace by adapting to the new normal and organising virtual events. There were virtual concerts, virtual conferences at companies, virtual family functions, and home weddings attended by guests virtually.
While we all applauded the new way of conducting and participating in events, not many focussed on the hands and brains behind making any successful virtual event. Coming up with this new model of hosting events are none other than the event managers.
When people thought that nothing could be done to organise events during global lockdowns, event managers managed to work from homes with remote teams to conduct successful events and change the face of the industry forever.
The Emergence Of A Hybrid Event Model
Things were easier when everything was normal and events were managed on-site. But the lockdown made them accustomed to the virtual world and event managers learned to work with remote teams. However, as the rules are getting eased out further, people are gearing up to have a more hybrid model of events. Such events would comprise a physical event with limited people along with virtual attendees.
As there is a cap to the number of attendees, it wouldn’t be right to take up a percentage of their guests with just the on-site event planners. Hence, you need to bring the virtual and physical elements together to execute successful events.
Managing Remote Teams For Events
Managing remote teams isn’t easy but the lockdown has forced everyone to sit back at home and work remotely. Being in the events industry, managers have some special set of challenges that make it even more difficult. But worry not. There are several remote working tools for collaboration, communication, and other things to make things right. In addition to that, they can also follow some simple tips listed below to work successfully.
Use Tools For Collaboration
When you are in remote locations, not in close contact, there are very high chances of messing up the tasks, missing deadlines, misunderstanding timelines, and much more. Things were different when you could instantly pass away a checklist of to-dos for different members and personally monitor their progress. And even more difficult is to manage the pre-event preparations and brainstorming.
Earlier everyone could sit together and share their own ideas, inspect the venue, and whatnot together and the pandemic brought it all to a halt.
But today, technology has made event collaboration location agnostic. There are different collaboration tools that you can use to assign tasks, reveal deadlines, set priorities, and other things.
From event planning to collaboration, execution, and more, the Azavista all-in-one Event Management platform powers you with the right technology to host a seamless and successful event. Whether it’s a single event, multi-track event with unparalleled break-out sessions, or a recurring event series – this product helps to manage everything efficiently. Azavista lets you assign teams with flexible user management and create templates for the creation of content, personalised email campaigns, or complete events. Integrated custom reporting ensures your team has a complete collaboration software, well beyond the planning and execution of your event.
This is a great project management tool that lets the event planner manage teams, different events, and even make announcements for everyone at a single place. You can have different groups for teams and create different projects for different events. Here, one can add permanent stuff like the details sheet by the client or the main event plan for everyone to look at. You can assign to-dos and get notified on completion and any progress through comments.
Another project management tool that one can use to collaborate on any event is Jira. The best part about Jira is that you can set up priorities for the task to let the assignees know what to take up next. Each event can be considered as a separate project and the manager can obviously raise tickets for any new task that crops up.
Delegate Tasks As Per New Roles
While an event director, marketing coordinator, experience designer, on-site lead, event operations manager, and planner are some of the common roles, there are several new roles emerging as a result of the event industry going the virtual route. The event manager or the planner needs to not just be aware of the role but also find the best fits for them. These are some of the roles that are emerging:
- Event Technologist
This person is responsible for managing the technological strategy of the events. They are responsible for managing each tech need and plugging any tech gap to conduct virtual events smoothly.
- Tech Support
The next expert that you require for managing your remote event team is a tech support expert. With more focus now on virtual events, the risk of technical issues has exacerbated. Even the slightest glitch can halt the event. You need technical support who can troubleshoot any issue quickly and provide instant solutions.
- Virtual Lead
While on-site leads are a common thing in events, the virus might affect the number of people on-site to conduct events. This gives rise to the role of a virtual lead. This person would handle everything happening in the event (whether physical or virtual) virtually.
Use One Single Tool For Communication
Being in physical proximity means you can easily reach out to them or sit together and reciprocate the thoughts. But today, it isn’t that easy when you are stuck in different cities but have an event to host.
Imagine if one of your members used Whatsapp, another used mails, and yet another sent across text messages. It would cause instant chaos. It is important to keep a track of everything and having a single tool for all of that can make your life much easier.
With a single tool, you can keep a track of every message that you send and when. This can help eliminate a lot of misunderstandings. Everyone is on the same page and can expect the reply quickly.
There are tools like Slack that can help you even more with communication. You can create groups and channels, have group calls, and much more with just a single tool.
Voicemails Or Voice Messages Can Prevent Misunderstandings
Another quick tip for event companies working remotely is to send out voicemails when sending out longer messages. Explaining things on messages can be pretty difficult and time-consuming. Moreover, it is very easy to misinterpret written words. Either you share the context with the text or let the other person infer something totally different.
The tonal difference is also missing from text messages. The emphasis on things and the way you say the words can help in assuring that the message is received by others with the right intentions. In fact, interpret the tones in the voices to fill in the void of face-to-face interaction. The patterns in the tone can say a lot in explaining things.
Not just that, if the other person is not available on call, voice messages can help in cutting down an hour-long chat discussion to just a 5-minute interaction.
Stay Organised And Keep Tracking Everything
Being organised is very important for any event manager, irrespective of the type of event. A disorganised event manager means a disorganised team and that is the biggest fatal flaw behind any failed event. Keep updating your remote teams even if there are no updates to make. Make sure they are aware of everything.
If you are organised, so is your mind. And with a clear mind, it will be easier to manage the team and host a successful event.
Don’t forget to bring technology to your event management process to make everything smoother, simplified, and more transparent. With every industry becoming digitalised, it is important that the event industry embrace this revolution and come out stronger from these dark unprecedented times.
About the author:
Tanya Kumari leads the Digital Marketing & Content for Classic Informatics, a global web development company. She is an avid reader, music lover and a technology enthusiast who likes to be up to date with all the latest advancements happening in the techno world. When she is not working on her latest article on tech dynamics, you can find her by the coffee machine, briefing co-workers on the perks of living a healthy lifestyle and how to achieve it.