According to a study by CNBC, event coordination ranked #6 among the most stressful jobs in America last year. Needless to say, Event and Meeting Coordinations do not have it easy. They are constantly on their toes trying to manage multiple tasks, and making the most out of difficult situations. In this blog, we take a look at the five most pressing challenges that event and meeting professionals come across at trade shows and conferences.
Spreadsheets are great for a variety of tasks and can be used across many different applications. Without spreadsheets, we’d probably still be in the Stone Age. So why exactly is it our number one challenge.
Spreadsheets are often used as a calendar to keep track of hundreds of scheduled meetings at events; a task that is as cumbersome as it is error-prone. And analyzing data about the event using spreadsheets takes a lot of effort especially while trying to establish event ROI (link to ROI paper). Additionally, spreadsheets are not secure. When sharing spreadsheet-based calendars with requesters and internal attendees, all of the information is included rather than just the relevant details, exposing confidential information too broadly. Without an automated solution to cut down on these challenges, it can be hard for companies to reach the next tier in maximizing their profits at events. In a nutshell, this is what separates employees attending an event and professionals looking to make strategic business decisions that involve heavy collaboration.
2. Manual Meeting Management
We briefly touched on this in our first point, in that spreadsheets involve a high level of manual input. In today’s environment, it’s not uncommon for an event/conference/convention/symposium to host hundreds or even thousands of attendees. Sales teams send email requests to Event Managers to schedule customer meetings with company executives or Subject Matter Experts. Meeting and event professionals are actively seeking a way to manage these requests. Unfortunately, most are struggling due to the sheer volume of potential meetings or fail to support all the requests from Sales. They may require Meeting Admins or more time to coordinate agendas, purpose, attendees, locations, and availability.
We all know that the effort needed to even get one meeting together with three people is hard enough. This is exactly why more and more companies are turning to software solutions that automates the manual workflow. As with many other modern problems, we turn to cloud-based SaaS platforms to take care of the issues for us. Once configured properly, the Meeting Automation Platform takes care of all the heavy lifting for you, so that you can focus on the actual decision-making.</p>
<p>Turns out humans are still our best option for making business decisions…for now.
3. Inability to measure event ROI
It is a well-known fact that Event ROI is not easy to prove. The number of new leads gathered or assumed increase in brand awareness fails to convince C-level Executives to sponsor conferences. How does one calculate the profitability of a particular event or conference? What are the factors that dictate whether investing in a conference is successful and how do we increase that? These are the types of questions that companies are constantly asking themselves. Executives know that meeting real prospects and building relationships with existing customers at events produce the best results. But trying to track these without relevant opportunity size data is challenging. Through the use of software with built-in parameters and metrics you can tell exactly why meetings provide better results than others. Certain software can capture the value of opportunity for each meeting scheduled and track the total influenced revenue. Also meetings are more successful when SMEs or decision-makers are present.
There are simply far too many factors to process while scheduling meetings. This is exactly where Meeting Automation Platforms come in.
4. Insufficient customer meetings
We’re picking up right where we left off from our third point. The whole idea of using a MAP software is to help maximize ROI by increasing the number of meetings and including the right attendees. This isn’t something an event management software (EMS) can tackle, which is really designed to register event attendees. There are always those folks in meetings that are present but do not actually add much value to a business conversation. What if all meetings are pre-scheduled using a Meeting Automation Platform that enables right participants to attend based on opportunity and purpose. And during the event walk-ins that are qualified as real prospects can also be scheduled with the right expert with time and location.
Having a software solution as one version of the truth, that eliminates scheduling conflicts in a clean and efficient way, is an absolute game-changer for event professionals.
5. Time management
Having effective time management is everything in managing pre, in and post-event activities. While budget issues are a common reason to avoid attending events as a company, executives and experts do not find value in attending events because their time is not used efficiently at events. By setting up meeting schedules in a more efficient manner, event managers can quickly can have the right participation that produces best results. By attending a business meeting and talking with prospective customers for a pre-scheduled time at a specified meeting room or demo station, all pre-managed through an automated platform, executives and experts are able to attend more meetings while also preparing for the meetings and their outcomes.
These are the kind of tasks that you need no longer worry about because you shouldn’t have to. It’s your job to focus on the actual important decisions being made, and not whether your VPs will attend the event.
To simplify, streamline and increase the scheduling of strategic meetings at conferences, conventions and symposiums while creating a better experience for event attendees, more companies are investing in Meeting Automation Platforms (MAP). With more and more customers attending events in larger numbers to engage with companies they wish to consider for solutions, not having a MAP solution is an unnecessary business risk.
MAP (Meeting Automation Platform) is a category of software that enables event professionals automate workflows associated with pre-meeting planning, in-meeting management, and post-meeting analysis and follow-up. A comprehensive MAP increases the number and quality of strategic meetings by enabling sales teams to easily request more meetings at events. The software is especially effective for enterprises that need to manage high volumes of strategic meetings at events, briefing centers, roadshows, executive travel, and training forums.