Last months tribe guide was all about dishing out the secrets when it comes to selecting the best event tech suppliers...we wanted this months guide to be a continuation of that. Great event tech is nothing if you don’t have a spectacular team to help you bring it all together - so this month we’re exploring the elements that make up a high performing event team.
You know better than anyone what that week before the event can be like….hectic, right?! A well-curated and managed event team will ensure things go smoothly, the inevitable speed bumps will cause minimal disturbance and possibly the most important factor of all: You won’t lose your mind during the process!
Over the years we’ve seen them all. The good, bad and the ugly when it comes to event teams...here’s our learnings and recommendations. Enjoy!
Hybrid teams are the best kind of teams
It’s all very well having an event team that’s comprised of your staff, but we think the best teams are made up of staff and suppliers. Having a key contact from each of your event tech suppliers integrated into your team means communication will be more fluid and less will fall through the cracks. After all, your suppliers are experts in their field - you might as well lean on their knowledge to ensure your event team is well rounded and efficient, right?
Your individual event tech suppliers should also be expected to work together - particularly those that are providing software that needs to integrate or play nicely with another tool in your event tech stack. That’s where the Tribe comes in! Our role in the high performing event team is to ensure that comms between your supplies (our partners) is happening behind the scenes in preparation for a seamless deployment on the day.
Start with a good kickoff
Bringing your team together on day one for a meaningful kick off will set the tone for your team and how they’re expected to work together for the duration of your project. Create an agenda and share it ahead of time, expect to assign responsibilities, and create a clear action item list so that you can finish the kickoff feeling like things are being handled and moving forward.
Tribe partner, EventOPS specialize in creating planning and logistics software for events. In their recent webinar: 5 reasons to #ditchthebinder in 2018 they dished out their secret acronym to help you keep on track when designing your kickoff: DAY ONE
D decide on team organization and responsibilities
A Align goals and objectives for all stakeholders
Y Yield Actionable Items
O Open communication for questions comments and concerns
N Navigate any difficult items before they become distractions
E Excite the team
Make information accessible
Even the strongest of teams start to crumble if information is not easily accessible. Keeping important information, contacts, and plans inside your head or in a paper-based binder creates a bottleneck that's only going to slow the process down and frustrate your staff.
Using software here can help enormously. It’s secure, automatically organized and is accessible on any device, anywhere at anytime. As the overseer of the event, this tip also gives you the added bonus of being able to have a clear birds-eye-view of your wider team and all the activities that are happening at any given time.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Building your event team should be looked at as an investment for many events to come. All too often planners look at their team as a group that will dissipate at the end of your event when you should see them as an asset.
Over time your team will build experience, get to know one another (and you) and they’ll learn from mistakes and wins made in previous events. All of those good team vibes are difficult to recreate, only really establish themselves over time and will be the magic X factor that sets your team apart from the rest.
Still not convinced? Think of it this way: your favorite athlete has just joined a new team. The team is alright, but they don’t win finals in their first year together. Rather than clean the slate and join a new team they instead decide to stay together, double down and build on their experience in year 1 so that they can win in year 2. Now take that mentality and apply it to your events...hey presto, you’ve got a kickass event team!
You’ve probably heard the saying ‘too many chiefs, not enough Indians’ - Well that’s true for events as well. Flat teams where hierarchy doesn’t exist is great for morale, but there comes a time when it’s equally important to appoint leaders within your group to ensure the different pieces of the puzzle are looked after.
Onsite registration is one of those puzzle pieces where it can all too quickly become a nightmare. Perhaps the queues are too large for your reception staff to keep them moving through, your lanyards have gone missing, or the printers stopped working. Whatever it is, it’s a nightmare and you as the event manager deserves to have the peace of mind that you have your best guy or gal on it.
Of course, those final few days leading up to your event are going to be huge and frantic - it’s just the nature of the job! When deadlines are less stringent and you’ve got breathing room make sure you allow yourself, and your wider team to make the most of that time. Relaxing and taking the time to get some shut-eye will keep your staff sharp when it matters and will generally improve the overall mood of your high performing team.
For a little more on creating work-life balance, check out this helpful guide by our partners at Hubb - designed to help you keep stress at bay when it matters.
Make sure they’re firing when it matters
Just like any machine, there is going to be the chance of burn out if you push it to 100 continually. Making sure your event team are firing on all cylinders when it really matters will ensure you get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.
The lead up to your event can be intense, but so is the day of. Particularly for those of you that run events that go for several days or event weeks - giving your team some cool down time the day before your doors open might feel scary, but will ultimately keep your team performing at their best for longer and will be the difference between a good event, and an amazing one where your staff are commended for their excellent service and organization...we know which scenario we’d prefer!