by Devin Carver February 09th, 2023
The events industry is one of moving parts. From the moment an organization commits to hosting an event, countless wheels begin spinning, and every aspect needs to work together at the same time. That’s why collaboration is so important. Whether it’s a committee at a business, another vendor, or an event planning team collaborating on a specific aspect of a much larger event, working together is essential. That doesn’t always mean it’s easy.
- Why Corporate Event Planners Need or Want to Collaborate
- Challenges to Collaborating With Other Event Partners
- Benefits of Collaborating with Other Event Partners
- Five Tips for Successful Collaboration
Why Corporate Event Planners Need or Want to Collaborate
At nearly every stage of the event planning process, you will need help. Even if you have an amazing team of event planners behind you, memorable events are never the work of one person and rarely the work of one small team. Instead, often multiple teams must come together to handle the various layers that create a successful event.
Collaboration can be required between an organization’s event planning team and an event planning company. The size of the event and the labor-intensive nature of planning are what make collaboration so important. For example, even tasks in the early stages (building a website and app, sending invitations, and making a marketing push) take a lot of time and effort.
This strikes at another important reason to collaborate: the skill/expertise gap. Corporate events require specialized skills and knowledge from creative design to technical support, and while internal team members may have a flair for these elements, hiring a team with the knowledge, experience, and expertise you need to support your event is vital.
It goes without saying that every decision takes collaboration and communication.
Challenges to Collaborating With Other Event Partners
While there are standard collaboration challenges, such as establishing communication channels, there are other challenges that are avoidable, provided the planning process isn’t rushed.
To start, one of the biggest challenges revolves around creating a shared vision. Whether there’s internal disagreement or simply a failure to connect that vision to what’s reasonable (given the budget or other constraints), clarifying expectations regarding an event and its goals can be difficult.
This is especially true of first-time events where there are no guidelines or previous experiences to build on. Starting every aspect of an event from scratch can be an overwhelming and challenging experience, especially when trying to communicate a vision and create an action plan.
Another frequent challenge occurs when roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined. At best, this results in someone feeling as if their toes have been stepped on; at worst, it creates friction, duplicated efforts, and wasted resources.
Finally, one issue that is often overlooked but can create significant challenges is when an event planner doesn’t professionally align with or understand you, your business, or your industry. Finding an event planner who has a similar creative sense, communication style, and work ethic as your organization is vital. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your planners, so “getting along” is an often overlooked and undervalued component.
Benefits of Collaborating with Other Event Partners
Challenges aside, there are very real benefits to working as part of a team with third-party event professionals. The first of these is the ability to shift responsibilities to team members who have different strengths from you. In fact, lower stress is one of the biggest benefits of working with experienced event planners.
Additional benefits of collaborating with other event planners or an event planning agency include:
- Shared responsibilities
- Improved problem-solving
- Expanded skill sets
- Access to experience and expertise
- Leverage established from vendor and venue relationships
- More resources
The saying is “more hands make light work,” and when it comes to collaborating for a corporate event or meeting, that’s true. But, as we said, it comes with challenges. Thankfully, there are ways you can make sure the process works smoothly and effectively.
Five Tips for Successful Collaboration
For small organizations without large teams to pull off crowd-pleasing events or for agencies tackling events that require specialized skills or more resources than they can provide (due to size), collaboration is the answer. Still, it can be daunting to throw your hat in with someone else, especially when the event reflects on you and your business. At Bishop-McCann, we’re no strangers to collaborating with both internal event planners and a slew of different vendors, and we’d love to share a few tips to ensure event success. (For a recent annual sales meeting, we collaborated with 12 diverse and cross-functional event partners and more than 400 team members to flawlessly execute the program!)
1. Transparency and honesty are key
Being able to be open and honest is essential. There will be choices and situations that require clear communication regarding what’s needed and what’s possible. Either team feeling as if they’re on the “outside,” divided, or running parallel operations rather than a single operation can create problems. This requires transparency and effective communication.
2. Choose your partner wisely
Referrals and reviews are great, but what works for one team might not work for another. Interview, meet with, and perform your due diligence when it comes to selecting an event planner. Yes, you want to look for experience and expertise, but choosing a team you can communicate with and who understands your vision takes precedence.
3. Be upfront about resources
While this goes along with transparency, be honest with your partner about the level of support your team can provide and your expectations regarding the level of support you need and expect the event planning team to provide.
4. Clearly define communication channels and expectations
Communication in general is essential. Effective communication that happens on schedule via clearly established channels is vital. There are few things more frustrating than someone communicating on a channel no one is checking or someone who doesn’t adhere to scheduled updates. Many events hinge on timelines and deadlines, and as those milestones approach, communication can make or break your event.
5. Clearly define roles and responsibilities
As we said previously, there are many moving parts to planning and executing a corporate event or meeting. You need to know that specific tasks will be taken care of and that everyone understands who is responsible for what. Duplicated work, uncompleted tasks, and confusion in general can doom an event. Successful events are much like a well-choreographed dance with each person performing their role to contribute to the overall production. You need to know where everyone is moving on the stage, so you can adjust as needed and ensure that tasks are completed.
Collaboration is key to producing the event you envision, but collaborating successfully isn’t always easy. Events take a team that has experience in event planning and collaboration. Bishop-McCann is that team. If you’re ready to discuss your next event and need help along the way, reach out today. We’re here to help!