How event planners can improve ROI by being more efficient
How do I improve ROI for my client (and myself) by making more money? Increasing ROI on events – as professional event planners, we live, breathe and sleep it. So, some days, this question may be all you can think about.
It’s a fairly simple equation: ROI improves when you either increase revenue or decrease costs (or ideally, both). Today we’re going to focus on the second category, with some tactics you can introduce in your day-to-day working life as a professional conference organizer or third-party planner to be more efficient and manage expenses.
Of course, there are many ways you can increase revenue for your next event, such as increasing registrations, bringing on more sponsors and introducing new revenue streams. You may even be considering how you can utilize virtual content as an ongoing revenue stream.
On a day-to-day basis, it is possible for event planners to be more cost-efficient, without being less productive. In fact, there may even be opportunities to become more productive.
Let’s take a look at two overarching strategies for being more efficient, with consideration to your time and your tools.
1. Conduct an event tech audit.
Find out exactly what you’re working with. Yep, it’s the dreaded “a” word: audit. You can’t make your overall working environment more efficient if you don’t know what’s there, what’s working for you and what isn’t.
Undertaking a tools audit is going to be especially relevant if you’re someone who likes to introduce new software or solutions to fight a crisis or fill an immediate need. This means there’s a better-than-average chance that you will have tools in your environment that you’re paying for, and not using.
Compile a comprehensive list of tech
If you’re not sure where to get started, try talking to your IT manager or whoever manages your corporate network. Your finance manager may also be able to provide information on what’s being billed to your department each month. Your goal is to build a comprehensive list of everything that is available to you.
Don’t forget to include on your list the tools that aren’t necessarily created for event planners, but could still be useful for planning events. The Microsoft and Google suites are a great example of this. Project management tools may even be included with your Microsoft 365 subscription.
Understand the capabilities and benefits
Once you have your list, it’s time to find out the capabilities of each and every tool. What’s included and what isn’t? If you have a team, you could turn this into a challenge: find something we’re paying for and haven’t used, give an example of how we might use it and win a prize.
Also consider what you might be doubling up on. As per the Microsoft example above – do you really need a standalone project management tool if you’re already paying for Microsoft Project?
At the end of this process, you should have uncovered the tools that are not being used; and have no meaningful use for you. Our recommendation is to be brutal, and get rid of them.
2. Understand your time allocation and resources.
Get granular with your time. Many event professionals create contracts based on how long they expect the project to take, so it’s essential that you’re completely honest with yourself when it comes to how you’re spending your time.
It doesn’t matter if you bill the client by the project or by the hour – either way, you need internal visibility of how your team is allocating their time. Why? Without keeping track of what everyone is doing, there’s no real way of understanding whether you’re devoting the right resources to each project.
Track your time seriously
It helps if you’re prepared to be rigorous with self-reporting on your own hours. If you’re working with a team, they will need to do the same. This level of project management also helps allocate work across the team, rather than one or two people carrying most of the load.
Of course, we don’t mean you need to sit there, minute-by-minute, ensuring every task is accounted for. But, you do need to understand your strengths, the strengths of your team, and where your time is best spent.
We know so many examples of event planners who have shaved time off a project by finding internal efficiencies across resource allocation. When your client pays by the project, that means better ROI for you.
Implement effective project management
Our number one tip for more efficient planning across the team? Ditch the Excel document that is probably serving as your playbook, timeline or schedule. Yes, Excel is a great tool with many uses. However, collaborative event planning isn’t one of them.
For that, you need a proper project management tool – and after you’ve completed the audit from above, you should know whether or not you already have one of those, or if you need to acquire one!
How can we help you deliver better ROI for your events?
At EventsAir, we understand the importance of selecting the right event technology partner – someone who can help you deliver exceptional events both today and in the future. Thankfully, EventsAir includes comprehensive budgeting tools to help you easily track your ROI.
As part of EventsAir Budgets, you can calculate different scenarios, such as how changing the number of attendees or changing registration fees could impact profits. You can even monitor and compare the actual financials to the established budget in real-time, generate reports, and ensure your ROI is tracking positively.
We have one simple mission: to help event planners deliver the WOW in their events with the world’s most powerful event management technology. We’ve delivered some of the world’s biggest events, and we’d love to help you too.