Honorary Achievment Chapter Award

Dear Virtual Events: Don’t Forget Your #EventProfs!

Dec 7, 2020, 14:21 PM by Blair Potter
When the best option forward is a fully virtual event, are independent planners finding themselves without a seat at the table?

As we’re seeing in so many cases, the show is going on. The need for events and gatherings, the sharing of ideas and celebrations, hasn’t gone away. When the best option forward is a fully virtual event, though, are independent planners finding themselves without a seat at the table?

We would argue that our contribution is more vital than ever. Here are some tips to communicate your immeasurable value so you can earn that business.

Focus on Strategy

Successful events require contributions from many parties, but the bus still needs a driver. Your expertise as a planner is grounded in strategy—in understanding stakeholder needs, defining KPIs (key performance indicators) and putting together a plan to ensure goals are achieved. Plus, you know how to analyze all the amazing metrics that virtual event platforms can offer. Make sure your clients know you bring this value to the team.

Don’t Neglect the Basics

To be successful, virtual events must be professionally planned and produced. Creating compelling content and designing exquisite broadcasts are a piece of the whole (and please don’t misunderstand—it’s an absolutely enormous piece). But who is keeping up with the budget? Who is managing your sponsorships? Who is tackling project management, monitoring the timeline and leading the team? Hint: It should be you.

Fill in the Gaps

Sometimes a client or a production partner has a lot of the key areas covered, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for your talents. Is there someone who can build the registration, ensuring the right questions are asked? And what about when those registrants have questions of their own—is there someone who can field inquiries with your level of customer service? Is anyone monitoring those registrations for special needs? Has someone been tapped to draft and distribute critical pre-event communications? The value of your event planning expertise and support cannot be diminished. By tackling these needs with professionalism, you are freeing others to better manage their roles.

Get Creative

Just because an event is virtual doesn’t mean it can’t be filled with all the delightful extras you’ve so expertly incorporated with in-person programs. Do you have an opportunity to plan a fun networking or team-building experience? Can you design a gamification and participant engagement strategy? Would it be of added value to send participants swag boxes or giveaways? These are all areas where you can shine.

Collaborate

Join forces with other independent planners to bolster your collective skill set—and your combined value to clients. Do you know a peer whose expertise is registration, and you are a master of event strategy? Team up! Or offer your services and expertise in planning to your partners on the production side of the business. There are so many options for a winning collaboration, for you and your clients.

You’ve had to do a lot since February—adapt and evolve, learn and grow. But you started putting in the work a long time ago for this moment. You have all the tools, knowledge and expertise to be an essential component to any virtual event. Your responsibility now, as an independent planner, is to make sure your clients and contacts know it.

We encourage our fellow planners to continue to seek support if you need it and reach out in the Independent and Small Business Owners forum group. Stay well!

Plan On Friends, Plan On!
Qualena, Heather & Tess

Our series “The Independent Perspective” returns next month with a new topic. 

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Happily

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