Unless you’ve placed all Irish Titan communications on mute, you know the 2nd annual E-comm Forum was a few weeks ago. If you were there, we hope you enjoyed it and walked away with a brain chock full of e-commerce knowledge for your growing business. If you missed it, well, you must have been trapped in an elevator or something.
Event planning naturally falls into the laps of marketers. In this case, that was me. The 2nd Annual E-comm Forum was my first stab at planning a major event, and boy, did I need to buckle up.
Event planning involves about 100 microscopic details (attendance spreadsheets, table placements, lighting color, etc.) combined with about 10 or 15 massive ones (venue, food, lights, etc.) The big details are ones your attendees will actually notice and appreciate, but usually take the least amount of work. If this is your first rodeo, I highly recommend these steps that all involve using your co-workers for the amazing humans they are.
Coach Your Team
Take the time to educate everyone in your company about the WHAT, WHY, and HOW. What is this event, why are we presenting it, and how does it effect each individual co-worker? It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and forget that not everyone is as invested in this event as you are. (After all, event planning was voted the fifth most stressful job of 2016, right after Airline Pilot and Police Officer). Trust me that your experience will be significantly easier when you have the support of your co-workers. Host an office happy hour or host a lunch and learn with pizza. Just be prepared to answer questions and keep the energy high. If you are excited about the event your team will be too.
Take Advantage of Strengths
Don’t try and be the ultimate Superhero. This isn’t the “(Insert your name here) Show”, so you shouldn’t beat your head against a keyboard trying to figure out every single detail. Chances are that your team is pretty in-tune with what’s going on in your industry. Use that to your advantage! Designate someone to start writing a few blogs around topics relevant to the event, or sit down with a team of creative minds and chat about ways to brand the event. Not only will you start spreading out jobs and checking things off your excruciating to-do list, but you’ll also learn a lot about the awesome personalities and unique skills of your team members. I sure did.
Keep Yourself Available by Designating Jobs
Write down all the jobs that need to be completed the day-of, during the main event, and post event and designate them to members of your team. Do not, (I repeat) DO NOT give yourself one single job the day-of, because you’ll have enough to take care of. To prove my point, appointing a Social Media Guru was the smartest thing I could have done for the E-comm Forum. Having someone monitor our social inbox and hashtag while being the voice of Irish Titan was a complete game changer. It gave me plenty of time to manage the rest of the chaos. (Thanks, Brandon!) If there are too many team members and not enough jobs to give away, it’s never a bad idea to have designated “Networkers”. It will 1) spread out your team so you’re not clustered like the “cool kids table” in a middle school lunch room, and 2) allow an opportunity to meet new prospects and get a chance to promote your business.
My first experience planning a major event like E-comm Forum was nothing short of the most death-defying roller coaster ever built. Exciting, slightly terrifying, a little sweaty, and ended with a much needed sigh of relief and accomplishment. If you’re planning your first marketing event, remember that your immediate resources are the most important tools in the kit. You may be the one holding the baton, but your co-workers are the ones performing. So THANK YOU, Titans! I’m confident that next year will be bigger and better.
Missed the event? You can listen to the full event audio below.