Although we’re well into February (when did that happen?!), I can’t stop thinking about what went down in 2014. I had a challenging, yet incredibly rewarding year, as I found myself staffing events in a capacity in which I hadn’t done in a really, really long time.

The randomness that comes with being on event is both unpredictable and comical. My favorite moment on event last year was when I got this instruction: “We may have some bad weather coming our way. I need you to grab a megaphone, a box of trash liners and whole bunch of paper towels. You need to go stand inside an empty gym at a school that is waiting for us in case we need to pull participants off the route.”

My biggest lesson learned last year was that being on event made me a better teammate, manager and employee. It energized me and challenged me in ways that you I could only learn by being on event. It brought me closer to everyone I worked with. And I was reminded over and over again, that a schedule is a wonderful thing and that it oftentimes goes out the window when you’re doing event work.

I decided to reach out to some of my Event 360 teammates and asked them the same question:

What was your biggest lesson learned in 2014?

The themes, social media, powerful partnerships, great people and quality vendor relationships, may surprise you:

Ali Finkel, VP, Susan G. Komen® HQ Accounts
Event participants are active in social media and eager to interact with the event and share event content. To illustrate this point, look at our stats from 2013 to 2014:

 

  • 100% increase in interactions with official 3-Day social media pages
  • 76% more unique users
  • Generating 753% more impressions

 

Investing in staff to generate and cultivate social media content had a significant impact on our social media presence. We began last season with a goal, generating and enriching our participant community in the social space and increasing organic awareness of the program to boost recruitment. Our results indicate that we did exceptionally well with the first goal and had solid performance on the second one.

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●
Jillian Schranz, Director of Business Development
My biggest lesson learned from 2014 was the value of a powerful partnership between organizations and their event management teams.

 

In working with not only existing clients, but especially new ones in 2014, the Event 360 team had the opportunity to establish new partnerships with organizations that developed trust in our team. New relationships are tough. There is a period of learning on both sides – understanding what our team brings to the table while we learn about a new organization and their mission. Without proven, direct experience working with our new faces, it’s tough for a team of fundraising experts to trust someone else with the crucial details of their event.

 

However, each relationship we entered this year developed into a true partnership where by the time an event rolled around, our clients trusted us as an extension of their team to not only create a fantastic event overall, but with the little details that previously kept them up at night.

While our expertise is what sets us apart from other companies, the biggest lesson I learned is that a trusting partnership with an event management company leads to a smooth and successful event overall.

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

 

Rene Tamayo, Event Execution Manager, Susan G. Komen 3-Day®
Great Staff = Great Events

 

Last year,, we made significant changes on how we operate and execute the Komen 3-Day event series across the country. One change was updating the event staffing structure. Instead of hiring an outside team of event staff for the series, we updated the staffing model by replacing 10 of those positions internal staff who work in other capacities full-time.

This brought up all sorts of questions: Would their lack of outdoor event execution experience hinder the overall team’s performance and more importantly the participant experience? Would they become frustrated with the high level of expectations needed to execute successful large scale events? While there were some bumps, I learned that working with “great people” really is the key to an event’s overall success. More specifically:

 

  • Great teammates will amaze you! Whether it was the feeling of new and fresh energy amongst our team or the strong, passionate and committed will of our new team members, it was amazing to see them jump in and make the events happen.
  • When your event leadership team is great, you will be great. I am fortunate to work alongside a strong event leadership team. We motivate each other to take on the challenge of always improving our participant and event staff experience.
  • Expect greater things from your returning veteran staff. Trust your veterans to create new and more efficient processes for the events success. Involve them in the process of training your new staff!
  • Great training equals great people. Pre-event staff training is key. Whether it be over the phone or via a webinar, or with documented work checklists and processes, or in person training prior to the event, a comprehensive training plan will make a difference in the success of your each teammate and your event.

 

We are fortunate to have great people who are dedicated, hard-working and committed to teamwork on the 3-Day®.  In a year of significant change, it is these people who were the key to the successful execution of the 3-Day® events across the country.

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

 

Jake Geiger, Event Production Manager, MuckFest® MS

Developing new, quality vendor relationships is vital to a national event series like MuckFest MS.

We identified a national vendor for our event medical staffing needs and learned very quickly in our working relationship with EMSS (Event Medical Staffing Solutions) that outsourcing these services was worth the return on investment. Not just from a cost perspective, but also with the knowledge and experience EMSS was able to bring.

We also partnered with Al Emerick Productions. Al was one of the best additions to the MuckFest MS series last year. Al brings not only a great presence to the event, but provides a consistent event experience. His value can’t really be quantified because of the unique experiences he creates for the participants.

It’s easy to resist making vendor changes because the transition can be bumpy. But I learned this year that reevaluating and introducing new vendors helped keep our events entertaining and safe.

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●
As you can tell, it was a busy year for my Event 360 colleagues. I hope the lessons they’ve shared can help you as you move forward for the rest of 2015. Check back on Thursday where we share a longer lesson learned from our Director of Information Services.

In the meantime, please take a moment and hit the comments below to share some of your own professional lessons learned last year. We’d love to hear- and learn- from you!

Share Button