5 Ways To Demonstrate Your Value as an Indispensable Driver of Growth
As an event professional: manager, planner or coordinator, it won’t be news to you that events aren’t treated very seriously in the business world. Too often they’re deemed merely a frivolous way for the management team to schmooze clients while enjoying the perks of a night out or weekend away. Yet as the events professional responsible for these events, you’ll know that when an event is done well, it can have a significant impact on an organisation’s bottom line.
If you’re tired of feeling underappreciated for what you do, then listen up. It’s time to elevate the perception of your value so you can finally get the respect and recognition you deserve. After spending the past 30 years managing AV for some of Australia’s most glamorous events, we have seen first-hand the astronomical growth that can be achieved from a single event. And now we’ve developed five ways to help event managers and event planners to demonstrate their value as an indispensable driver of growth and development within the business or organisation.
Here’s what you can do:
Dig Deeper Into What You Do and The Impact You Have
It’s not uncommon for people in your organisation to think, ‘Here we go, it’s that time of year for the annual event.” And even event managers can fall into that trap, because when you’re hired to perform a certain function, it’s easy to get bogged down in the detail and forget to assess how it fits within the broader objectives of the business. But the thing is, if you want your work to be taken seriously, you’ve got to delve a little deeper into what you do and the impact you have.
Ask yourself: What is my role and why is it important to the company? Ask yourself a series of ‘Why’ questions until you get to the crux of the matter.
Here’s an example:
Why are we doing this event? To engage with existing clients.
Why is this important? To improve the relationship.
Why is this important? So they keep coming back.
Why is this important? So they spend more money.
Why is this important? To grow our business.
It might take five, six or seven ‘whys’ to hit that nugget, but when you do, you’ll see that events are not just for show. They’re a crucial, revenue-boosting element of your organisation’s sales and marketing strategy.
Get “Buy-In” from the key players
When it comes to running an event, the buck might stop with you, but it takes a village to make it successful. In your organisation, you need buy-in from a range of departments and key players, including sales, marketing, the CEO and even the IT crew. For example, the marketing team (or outside consultancy) will want to use the event for social media purposes, the sales squad is likely to be your first port of call for a guest list and your CEO will want to prepare a speech. In any business, whether small or large, there are many stakeholders who will gain from the event, so we recommend that you get to know them. Start by simply writing a list of people who have a vested interest in the effectiveness of the event. If you know the stakeholders then you’re in the best position to help everyone extract every bit of value from it. A bonus is that you’ll get a better understanding of the business as a whole and what drives each department.
Conduct a Stakeholder Briefing Tour
You’ve written the stakeholder list, so now it’s time to go on a briefing tour to get to know each stakeholders’ ‘why’. It helps to knock on doors and meet with people in person as part of this process. And all you really have to do is ask them this: What do you want to get out of this event? It may not be a question they’ve asked themselves, so this is a great opportunity to encourage them to think more deeply about the event’s purpose. It’s likely to trigger a brain-storming session and the upshot is that each of your stakeholders will start considering the value they get from the event.
Create a Post-Event Effectiveness Audit
Now that you’ve identified what everyone wants to gain from the event, you can set up a simple table to audit the event’s effectiveness. At Pro Light & Sound, we’ve found this to be an extremely useful tool in measuring the event’s worth. It simply includes three columns: a list of stakeholders, the expected outcomes for each and then a list of results. The matrix is a guide for measuring the outcomes, so everyone can look to improve the next event.
Reveal the Audit Results
Now the event is done (and you’ve taken a moment of respite!), it’s important to complete the audit and circulate it amongst your stakeholders. It gives everyone a chance to review the results and provide some feedback. This is where the seed you planted in point three starts to bear fruit. By asking the question (What do you want to gain from this event?), it triggers your stakeholders to look out for results. It could a hundred more hits on Facebook. Or four or five extra sales immediately after the event. Suddenly, the cause-and-effect becomes far more visible and it goes
from running an event because they’re fun to something more measurable. Plus, this audit is something you can use to track an annual event’s effectiveness over many years. And the secret sauce here is that it becomes a way for you to show your long-term impact on the broader organisation.
If you are looking for an event partner who is able to empower you to make an even bigger difference within your business or organisation, Pro Light & Sound are much more than AV. Get in touch with us to how we are able to work with you and your business or organisation to gain great results and increase the ROI for your next corporate event.