How to Improve Communication for Successful Event Execution
Teamwork Ideas For Smoother Event Execution—And Celebration Ideas For When It’s Over!
A solid communication strategy among your team is vital to ensuring your event execution is a success. Often lack of communication is one of the main factors that lead to disastrous outcomes. As an event program manager, your role is the glue that holds all the working parts and fits them together: your event team, the venue staff, and all of your vendors. Successful event execution depends on how well you can communicate with the various people involved. Yes, this part of the process can be very overwhelming.
Proper communication takes time, which you rarely have enough of while planning events; you could be working with lots of different personalities with different strengths. If you need some help devising some event team communication strategies, here are a few tips that will lead to more impactful events.
Experienced Help During Crunch Time
Teamwork can break down with just one weak link. Inexperienced team members can prove to be more of a burden unless you account for strengths and weaknesses ahead of time. Assigning new team members to help veteran employees can give them valuable training experience while ensuring they benefit your event planning and execution.
If you are close to a big event and still need additional help, the best approach to fill your event gaps is to hire local experienced event planners who also freelance on their downtime. Contact your local MPI (Meeting Professionals International) chapter or ILEA (International Live Events Association) chapter. Reach out to the president of the chapter or post on their Facebook page with your request for help. If your event staffing budget is tight, consider hiring students from your local hospitality college. Pairing students up with an experienced event professional is a great way to ensure your student staff keeps up with the pace and understands the nuisances that may come up during the event.
Call to Action
Clear roles and responsibilities will make sure everyone knows what should be on their to-do list. Don’t be afraid to use a call to action to let team members know what they need to do next, what they need to fix, or what your expectations are. Some event managers think using a softer, indirect approach is more polite, but this can actually muddy your expectations. Firm and uncomplicated direction will cut down on confusion, giving your team members everything they need to create an impactful event for your guests.
Use The Right Communication Method for the Job
Email used to be the go-to method of correspondence for event team communication because it is quick and easy. However, using the right communication method for what you want to accomplish can make you more efficient when planning events. For example, productivity hubs like Slack and Crew are taking over event planning communication. Giving your event team an app for centralized information means everyone has the important details at their fingertips – not buried in their inbox. Apps and software offer collaboration and organization you simply can’t get from email, helping you communicate smarter.
If you want to brainstorm ideas with your team, hop on a video conferencing platform like Zoom so you can react to each other in real time instead of muddling through written responses. Sometimes an old fashioned venue visit is your best bet if you need to hash out all the final details with the manager. Ask to come by and discuss your concerns in person, so you can address any confusion right away.
Know Your Team
Members of a highly effective team should feed off each other’s abilities and be able to build a relationship from the ground up. This may seem like an obvious point, but many event managers take their team members’ individual strengths for granted. When you really know the people on your event team, your communication will naturally be more efficient. Get to know what motivates them, what their strengths are, and how they communicate. Although personality type gives off certain perceptions of abilities as the group forms, the actual contributions that each team member makes to the group redistributes the status of each member. Your team members need to have common goals and shared ambitions in order to be as efficient as possible. You can encourage a shared mental model within your team by setting out clear roles and expectations, or as a team member rather than a manager, clearly communicating and understanding your goals and intentions. This will help each team member understand how their part supports the bigger picture. It will also help each team member understand and respect the work of other team members. Make time for humor! Humor might not be such an obvious factor in the effectiveness of a team, but actually humor inspires trust and intimacy—which can lead to better team interactions. A highly effective team will stand the test of time. They will stick together through thick and thin. They will know how to celebrate achievements and how to readjust their efforts after defeats.
Address Conflict the Right Way
In an industry that cannot function without the efforts of hundreds to carry off any event, conflicts are inevitable. One of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of a conflict is to keep everyone on the same page. The best way to address this is through clear, constant communication. Event managers work in stressful environments.You can’t get away with sweeping conflict under the rug when it comes to event execution. Everyone involved in the event planning—team members, venue managers, sponsor representatives, suppliers, event staff—needs to work together; this means any simmering conflict needs to be quickly and efficiently addressed. Go with your gut and use confident but pleasant negotiation to catch small conflict before it grows into a major obstacle for event team communication. In the end, event management is an art. There’s never one right way to address any situation and no two situations are the same. Ultimately, the best way to go about resolving conflicts is to try to avoid them in the first place. Not by ignoring them, but rather by identifying potential sources and addressing them before they become full-blown problems.
Celebration Ideas After a Job Well Done
Teams need to feel bonded to work efficiently together. Each person on your team should trust the others’ skill and decision making. Holding a simple celebration after a successful event is a great way to show them you appreciate their hard work and let them build rapport.
Swag Bag Handout
Everyone likes a little swag bag, especially when it is handpicked for them. After the event is over, giving your team a bag of helpful and comforting goodies can be a thoughtful gesture. Mini emergency kits and portable device chargers will be helpful at future events. Delicious coffee, tea, and snacks are always appreciated.
Nothing is better after a long event day than a celebratory dinner to help you unwind. Mingle over some delicious food and decompress after the rush of executing an event. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a casual dinner should feel inclusive and fun while showing your team you appreciate their work.
One way teams feel bound together is by sharing inside jokes and common experiences. Help your team build these connections and see each other’s hard work by handing out superlatives at the post-event get together. Keep them fun and positive, pointing out when team members went above and beyond. Did someone swoop in and figure out the WiFi issue without missing a beat? Give that person the Tech Hero award. Was an attendee in a major meltdown until a team member charmed them into a better mood? That deserves the Guest Whisperer award.
You can’t plan memorable, engaging events on your own. Building an event team communication toolbox and knowing who to trust on your team will be important to your success. With the right communication strategies and the professionals at Omnience ™ at your side, your event is sure to run smoothly. Contact Omnience ™ today to discuss planning, executing, and analyzing your next event.