Event Industry Best Practices for Improving Internal Communication
Do you know what more than 50,000 clients across the globe and 30 years of experience in the events industry will buy you? Among other things, insight. This kind of unique vantage point makes it possible to spot the common patterns in the business processes of the most successful organizers and organizations in the industry, and it’s one of our strongest selling points at Ungerboeck (if I do say so myself).
We regularly put this knowledge to great use by building what we learn about best practices right into our software. But, fortunately for our clients, we don’t just keep all the spoils for ourselves. Sharing these secrets to success is just another one of the valuable services we provide and in the spirit of the season, I’m happy to pass a little of it along today in hopes that you can use it to help you work smarter, not harder in the new year!
Event Business Optimization Says What?
If you’re not entirely sure what “business process optimization” means, I can’t blame you. It’s a little business-speaky (which is also a super technical term). The idea though, is pretty simple. When we refer to “business processes,” we’re referencing a specific series of steps that get us from a stated goal to the achievement of that goal. For example, everything that happens between “I want to sell exhibitor booth space” and “I sold exhibitor booth space!”
There are many ways to get from Point A to Point B, but they aren’t all created equal. And that’s where “optimization” comes in. Business process optimization is defined as the most efficient series of steps to get from Point A to Point B.
Clear? Good! Now we can move on to the juicy stuff.
Internal Communication Strategies
It’s a basic fact in any business: If the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand’s doing, there’s going to be trouble. This is particularly true in the events industry where frequent changes are just a standard part of the process. What follows are three ways we’ve seen real organizers and event organizations tackle the issue, along with our take on what appears to be the best way forward.
The Hard Way: Face/phone/email time
This is probably the most common strategy businesses use to encourage collaboration and effective communication between departments and even if you adopt one of the “smarter” strategies I’m about to suggest, it’s still probably a good idea to meet face to face once in a while (no one knows the value of face-to-face interaction more than an event organizer, am I right?).
However, this can also be one of the biggest productivity killers in the business. Research suggests that up to 31 hours are spent in unproductive meetings over the course of a month. That’s 31 hours not being spent on new business development or customer service!
This method is also nearly impossible to do effectively. If people have to pick up the phone, send an email or call a meeting every time they need to communicate something to another department, you can bet things are going to slip through the cracks!
The Smart Way: Internal message boards, social networks or collaboration tools
Technology can go very far, very fast in terms of being able to recover time wasted in meetings, on the phone or via email. Things like a company intranet, a dedicated social network like Yammer or collaboration tools like Basecamp create one central space where people from every department (or office) can go to share information, easily and quickly.
The Smartest Way: Integrated software
The only way to improve efficiency even further is to have every department working on the same system to begin with. In this scenario, you immediately eliminate the requirement that everyone in the organization actually utilize the company intranet or Yammer or Basecamp and then also check in regularly to see what’s new – which is a BIG limitation of standalone systems like this.
If everyone is using a really powerful integrated software solution that encompasses everything from A to Z, tracks changes in real-time and sends automatic notifications, it takes compliance out of the equation.
What Else Could You Improve?
Tightening up your processes for internal communication is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re interested in learning more about additional business optimization strategies that could make your life easier and more efficient, check out our latest Ebook, Work Smarter, Not Harder. Have any tips, tricks or best practices of your own to share? Share the love in the comments!