Webinar: Own Post-Event Planning


Speaker 1: Hi, everybody. We’re so excited that you’re joining us today
for our webinar, How to Own Post-Event Planning. I am thrilled to have Allie Magyar, CEO of
Hubb joining us today. Pathable’s webinar series have really been
on a super high and as a planner myself, I’m always looking for incredibly great materials
and content that I can take back and use in my own meetings. This is our second most popular topic so far
and we are only in March, ladies so I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to have her come in. She is the founder of Hubb and so she has
all of these things in addition to being a CMP herself. She brings years of experience. Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Allie
Magyar. Allie Magyar: Thank you so much. I’m really excited to be here with you guys
today and the sun is shining outside which in the Pacific Northwest is a rare thing in
the spring time so it’s a good day. Today we’re going to talk about owning post-event
planning, how to hit the ground running after your event, and for the last 20 years, I really
have spent most of my career as a meeting planner so I have lots of experience with
what it feels like after an event and sort of the feeling of panic as you come back and
how you need to organize data at the same time of really taking care of yourself. For the past 20 years, like I mentioned, I’ve
been a meeting planner so I’ve planned and managed some of the world’s largest technology
conferences around the world. I also am a mom to two beautiful little kiddos
who are not so little anymore. My daughter is 10 and my son is seven so I’m
constantly trying to find that balance of working and being at home. My husband counts as my third kid as some
of you I’m sure can relate, but my career has been really spent in focusing on experiences
whether that’s through meetings or whether that’s through software and really learning
a lot about myself in the process and how I can use my skill set and the information
that I know that I uniquely have as a part of managing these events to be able to bring
value and to really show what’s happening onsite at our event. One of the things that always amazes me the
most is onsite, you come in to this enormous, almost city-like places at sometimes in Vegas,
or Chicago, or Orlando. It’s a completely blank canvas and it’ll take
us weeks to set up overtime, and as we setup then we have the event for a couple of days,
maybe five days and then the biggest part that amazes me is how quickly all of that
comes down so the things that we’ve spent weeks in trying to prepare and set up can
come down in a matter of hours. For me, that’s the bittersweet moment. It’s the moment of everything you’ve worked
on for usually at least a year coming together at the high I’ve seen that all come together
and then watching it rip down really gives me a mixture of emotion, but I think also
the thing that’s going through my head on that last day is that, “Oh, no” feeling of
what did I didn’t do, what did I not report on, what’s going to come up the next week
that I haven’t focused on but yet my brain is just pure mush. I call it show grain when I’m onsite. It’s that pure exhaustion and all the adrenaline
that really leaves my body at that point in time. That feeling really is in the past. We call it showdown so when I was on the agency
side, I was planning these events it really was something that we called showdown and
it was a mixture of emotions. It was after an event is over how do I take
care of myself? How do I take care of the team that I’ve been
working with and how is it that I can come out of this and recognize that it’s okay to
almost be in morning that the show is over, sort of happy that it’s over at the same time
and come out of that with some really good data and also importantly energy to be able
to continue to go. As I think about that energy piece, a lot
of times, as a meeting manager, you’re in charge of a really large group of people so
you’ve got your team that’s from the meeting planning side. You have all of your extended vendors, you
have this group of people that really comes together. I look at events as running your own little
company because it really is. You have to use all these different people
to get a job done, and so one of the things from a post event standpoint that we’ve seen
go really well is on the last day of the show, be sure to recognize your people and your
teams. I think this is a big piece because oftentimes
you’ve put your heart into your soul and to making the entire week happen and then when
you get to the end of it, it usually is just torn down and everyone is on to the next thing. One of the ways to really bring loyalty to
your team, to bring loyalty to your vendor sets is to make sure to take a moment to breathe
and to give some recognition. One of the traditions that I’ve had on every
event that I’ve ever worked on is to take that last day and we take our vendor team
meeting or crew meeting that normally would happen on the last day and we transform that
into a thank you event for anyone that’s been working on the show. There’s a couple of things that we’ve done
to bring that energy in. One of the things … The top right hand picture
that you’ll see is me looking at this absolutely crazy trophy. This was from a really large technology conference. It was about 30,000 people onsite in total. We had over a thousand crew members that were
working on this show so we had all of the show leads come together and during our normal
crew meetings, what would happen is we started off with a really basic trophy. It looked like an Oscar trophy. We had a theme for the year and so every day
onsite, we would pass the trophy to a new person that had gone above and beyond and
was recognizing their work throughout the week. What ended up happening was every day that
vendor would take the trophy and they would add a little bit of something so the AD company
added some AD cables. The transportation company put it on a platform
for a remote controlled car. Our networking people who never stopped drinking
Red Bull put a can of Red Bull on it and so throughout the week, this trophy became the
focus of each meeting of what it would look like who was going to get it and the recognition
that went behind that. On the last day of the event, we were able
to present this overall trophy and award to a company that had really gone above and beyond
that helped us to re-innovate what that entire event looked like. Again, it’s about giving purpose to what they’re
doing about making it meaningful for them. We also just do a simple cheer as we bring
in some champagne and we just cheer as people and really recognize them individually for
what they’ve contributed so the last day of the event even while you’re experiencing that
showdown and as you’re thinking about moving on to the next set of information, you want
people to recognize to feel valued and feel like they’re ready that next week to give
you whatever information that you need to help you with tying up those last bit of details. Then also they’re more dedicated to future
events as well. I think recognizing your people and your team
is a big piece of your onsite experience as you go into that showdown mode. For me, that’s a trigger to give myself a
chance to slow down and mentally transform or transition into that post-event period
because I’m sure all of you have experienced this where onsite, you’re walking 20 miles
a day, you have pure adrenaline running through your body so you’re probably not sleeping
much. Maybe a couple of hours and they’re fitful
with that. By the time the end of the show comes, you’re
just exhausted but you also have all this energy running through your body. However, you decompress from that moment is
the most important thing so to know yourself really well. I have some people where that night, all they
want to do is go back and order room service and sit in bed and watch a movie on TV and
go to sleep. Then there’s others and this is my tradition
where on the last night we have had our thank you, we rip everything down in a couple of
hours and then that night we typically have a crew party and I don’t normally drink alcohol
but I usually drink a bottle of tequila, have a really good time. For me, that next morning I wake up and I
wake up, and I usually schedule my flights for later in the day, so if I’m flying home
from somewhere I don’t schedule my flight for 6:00 am the next morning. I’ll schedule it for 4:00 pm in the afternoon
and this is very individual to each person but for me that works because I know that
I can sleep in without an alarm the next morning. I can order room service, I can take a leisurely
shower. I can catch up with friends or family and
then get on the plane ride home so that by the time I get home to my kiddos and to my
family, I’m feeling a little bit more like myself and like I’ve had a moment to take
care of myself. Again, that goes back to knowing yourself
so knowing how do you rest and recharge because for others it maybe that they’re on the first
plane home because where they rest and recharge is at home. It’s really about evaluating yourself and
being okay with taking time for yourself and I know that as a meeting planner and as a
woman personally and as a mom or a dad, that taking time for yourself can be one of the
hardest things but after you’ve put together an event and put your heart and soul in everything
into it, it’s really important to rest and renew yourself. That time post-event is one of the most important
in the planning process, and if you don’t take that time right after the event, you
won’t have time to do it later because something always comes up and so there’s three things
that I suggest to make sure that you have sustained success as an event manager. Those things and I know this is one of the
hardest things, one of the first things you need to do is recover. We say that over and over, and over again
because the key to sustain success as an event manager is that you can rest ad renew yourself
because I know in the agency world and in the meeting planning world burnout is one
of the number one things that we deal with, with a lot of our team members is because
you go hard and you go fast and you don’t make sure to take care of yourself. Once you’ve done that, you also have a much
brain. I know that once I’ve taken a few days to
rest and recover, I think so much more clearly. I can actually look at the event and instead
of just being in go mode with reactionary and pulling everyone to report, I’m actually
able to take time to think about the strategic elements of the event. What really went well? What was I really proud about? What do I think I want to tweak or change? That analyzing is really important because
by doing that, it allows you to think of all those things that you really kick ass at. That’s your time to shine. It’s your victory lap. Think of the things that really, really went
well and also that you want to change and document them. Usually, I have a one note document where
each year I keep all of my notes so take some time to write them down and to really think
without the pressure of having a meeting or pulling a report and think about the event
from a strategic plan. Then the next one is the plan. Get off on the right track. Sometimes there may be a few months in between
my events where an event ends, we do all of the reporting and then we have a couple month
break and then we pick it up again in three months and it’s amazing to me after three
months how much of that information that I have forgotten or remember it in a different
way that I have to go back to my notes. You definitely want to take time to analyze
and think without the stress and the pressures of every day and then to take that time to
put it in some actionable plans. Most of all you need a vacation. I know that this sounds like a complete pipe
dream but it’s really important and I think we’re going to take a poll right now of how
many people after an event are actually able to take a vacation. Speaker 1: Yes. Allie Magyar: I would love for you guys to
take a quick poll and let us know after an event is this really a pipe dream for you
or is it something that you’re able to do? I know that a lot of people try to take some
time but maybe it’s just the weekend that you take to recover. I’m interested if you do take a vacation and
whether you see that a value for yourself. Speaker 1: We’re almost … There we go. We’ve got almost 80% in. Allie Magyar: Great. A vacation sure sounds nice for me right now
too and I haven’t even completed an event but there’s just times when your brain is
fired. Speaker 1: I had to laugh a little bit when
she first brought this poll and question up. I was like, “Did I take a vacation after my
events?” I think it’s a great option though. All right. Here we go. It looks like not that many. Allie Magyar: Yeah. I think that’s the reality of where we stand
is in the meetings industry, it’s very much a one thing after another, after another. I think one of the things that’s really important
and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a vacation but just maybe an effective break. Maybe it’s the weekend after your events or
maybe it’s just one day and maybe the Monday that you take some time off and have a staycation. Sometimes those are even better than a vacation. There’s a few things that I found in my experience
of how to take some time for yourself, so maybe it’s not a vacation. Maybe it’s just the weekend or a day after
when you’re coming back that you’re at home, but there’s a couple of things that I found
that have helped me to be able to take that time because I’ve always felt pressured to
not take that time but once I did and saw the value of it, it started to become more
routine for me. There’s things that you can do. Communicating your intentions in advance. Typically what I do is with my team or with
my client, I let them know, “Hey, here is everything we’ve torn down. Here is the initial reporting package. I’m going to take the weekend rest and renew
and I’ll also be out on Monday but I’ll be there Tuesday morning. Is there anything you would like me to do
first thing Tuesday morning that you may need or should we schedule a call?” That right there helps to set intentions and
at first, I was really scared to say that to the team, to the reporting team, with the
clients but I think I found as I just verbally voiced that that everyone was 100% behind
it. They would say, “You did such a great job
this week, you totally need that day. Why don’t you go ahead and take some time? Again, it’s about communicating what your
intentions are and making sure everyone is on board. I set my out-of-office and I say, “I just
experienced a wonderful week onsite. It was a very successful event. I’m excited to get into the post-even analytics
and reporting and I’ll be back to the office Tuesday at 9:00 am.” The other thing I’ve seen really go well is
just set a appropriate expectations for all of that reporting for post-event in advance. If you go to you executive team or to your
clients and you say, “As the event is happening onsite, here’s the data that I’m going to
be providing on a daily basis to you so that you have your pulse on the event.” On the last day of the event, here is this
type of data that I’m going to provide. Then I usually layout a work back schedule
of when the rest of the event data is going to come, so for example session evaluations
may remain open for a week after the event whether it’s sessions or your overall evaluations. Several weeks before the event happens, I
have a meeting to talk about post-event and usually everyone is like, “We’re in the thick
of it, we’re only talking about onsite right now.” I’ve stressed over the years how important
it is for us to really have a plan of attack for after the event, and so a couple of weeks
before, we’ll get together. We’ll put together that project planning and
review it with everyone to say, “Here’s the dates. All the evaluations closed. Here’s the dates that all the content owners
will receive their reporting. Here’s the dates where we’ll have the overall
numbers for us to look at and then here’s the date where I’ll have your strategic recap
that we can do for the executives about the event.” Some of that is setting the expectation upfront
and letting them know here’s when the data comes in, here’s what time I need to actually
make the data meaningful and I think that’s an important phrase to be using is data can
be data but if it doesn’t have your commentary on top of it, that strategic piece of it,
it’s missing a large part of the report out so I think talking through that and talking
through the timelines is really important. Often times, I’ll get information where executives
say, “No. I need it on this day or I need it shifted
or changed,” but in having the conversation with them, I end up with a much more realistic
set of expectations in terms of timing versus coming back and on Monday they want everything
on Monday and they don’t understand why they don’t have it on Monday. At least starting those conversations and
setting the appropriate expectations. The other thing is disconnecting and I know
this was one of the hardest things in 20 years of being a meeting manager just in the last
six months have I been able to start to disconnect without phone and email. Just like probably every single one of you,
I thought that was going to be impossible to be able to do but it is possible. I started really small where at night I actually
set up my phone in the kitchen and I don’t go to sleep with my phone. I started doing this on a regular basis and
I can tell you it’s transformed my world because instead of waking up and looking at my email
and scrolling or going to bed and just checking one last time before I go to bed, I actually
have a sense of peace and calm in my room. The same aspect comes into play after an event
because you’ve been so highly connected and everything has been going on. After the event is over, allow yourself some
grace to be able to disconnect even if it’s just for that weekend. Try to leave your phone or leave it outside
of your room and take a break to be able to breathe without feeling like you’re constantly
on someone else’s schedule. I think find what recharges you and this goes
back to what I was talking about earlier of over the years I’ve experimented to say how
is it that I recharge myself and so every person is so far different. Some people like to be around groups of friends,
some people like to be silent. You think about all the different personality
types out there and there is no one rule fits all for people but if you find what recharges
you, you could spend two days in doing yoga nonstop and come back and feel instantly like
you’re reconnected and better and grounded but if yoga wasn’t your thing, you’re going
to come back after two days and feel just as exhausted when you ended the event. It’s really important for you to think deeply
about what recharges you. Often for me with a planner mentality, I also
want to make sure I don’t have a scary project looming over my return because if I know I
have something that’s due Tuesday at 9:00 am, and I’m trying to take the weekend off,
I basically will spend the entire weekend just stressing out about it and I won’t be
able to actually rest and recharge. This goes back to setting the appropriate
expectations and really thinking about the timing and really addressing that before you
go in to your recharge mode so that you don’t have that scary project learning will actually
allow you to be able to decompress. Part of decompressing and understanding what
restores you is, in my agency days was we actually interviewed and hired for a high
emotional IQ. There’s a lot of books on emotional IQ and
I think it really is a way of knowing yourself. It’s knowing how you interact with other people. It’s how you recharge. It’s being able to just really know yourself
well and so one of the things that’s helped me as a meeting manager, not only with decompressing
and understanding how I recharge my batteries but also in how I coach and guide a team,
how I lead out with our extended vendors, how I work with our executives or extended
marketing department executives is really to have that high emotional IQ because I think
it not only helps you but it can also help those around you to really understand what
they need, how they need to be communicated too, so this is a book a strongly recommend. All right. What if you can’t take a vacation? We talked a little bit about this while we
were talking about the vacation but be really proactive about recovering. When I come home often times, my kids have
sports or they have activities of friend things and so I work out with my husband ahead of
time to say, “You know when I come home, I really need some quiet time.” Again, it’s about setting those intentions
instead of setting those expectations with those around you so that you can be proactive
about recovering and recharging yourself. The other thing that I think often times goes
by the wayside is really thinking about how you take care of yourself. Self-care can mean a variety of different
things, and I know this is on so many of my friends that are meeting planners. This is number one on all of list but usually
self-care ends up going to the bottom of the list. I try to just create some simple goals for
myself. If they come back from a big show where I
got this showdown, one of the things is even after I rest and renewed, I feel a little
bit better, it’s hard for me to get back in that rhythm and to have the same level of
energy. There’s been cases where it’s taken me four
to six weeks to build that back up. For me personally, what I found that has worked
is some routine. When I say routine, it’s just something where
I know every day, I can expect to be doing the same type of thing. Every Tuesday, I’m going to do this. Every Wednesday, I’m going to do this. Self-care can be one of those things where
I love having a checklist and so if I create a checklist and I include some of these self-care
items, I end up getting back into a regular routine and through that my energy returns. Whether that’s exercise throughout the day,
whether it’s going to sleep at a certain time or making sure that you’re getting a certain
amount of sleep, spending time on your hobbies, I calendar all these things into my day and
the other thing that I try to do is refresh my work environment. I look at after a big event and I’m coming
back into the office and I’m starting fresh, it’s like starting school for the first day. I was always one of those kids that would
go get everything organized, everything packaged nicely and I do the same thing when it comes
to my work environment so when I come back I wipe off my whiteboards, I get everything
organized on my desk, I get a new project plan going for the next six months. It’s really about taking care of yourself
in terms of that checklist and that timeframe. Then once you have that brain and you’re ready
to go, you’re feeling re-energized, now is that good time to analyze. I mentioned earlier of we have all the data
coming in. We have all the evaluation results. We know how many people were scanned in the
sessions. We’re seeing all of the social media results
come out but that’s all data and we have to really turn that into information so we have
to think a layer on top of all the numbers that are coming in. The way that I often do that is I think about
it in a way of telling the story of why my event and me are awesome as a part of it. Events are always in the marketing organization
and sometimes I have to remember that that really after the event, what I’m doing is
I’m marketing the great work that we do and how we moved business forward as a part of
this event, and really when I think of it as a marketing project, then my brain changes
a little bit in terms of how I ease back in into that process and how I start to really
look at that data. A couple of things as I start to look at analyzing
that I do is I go back to that one note that I referenced, so onsite, when I’m onsite,
I’m always with my phone and as I’m walking around and as I notice something, if I didn’t
write it down, I definitely would lose it because there’s so much going on in the moment. I have one note always open on my phone and
so as I’m walking around and I see, “Oh, the flow of people is happening this way or the
session timing is a little bit off because of where this congestion is in this space.” I basically am taking notes all day long of
what I’m seeing as I’m walking around and I think that probably goes to the fact of
why I walked 20 miles a day when I’m onsite but I feel like you learned so much by getting
up out of your chair, walking around, experiencing from an attendee view in terms of what the
event looks and feels like and what you might be able to improve on that. As I come back into work, one of the first
things that I do with my fresh brain is I start to organize all of those notes and I
start to look at are there common themes, is there information that I feel like if we
made a small tweak and the experience that we would be able to fix. I get my own internal notes going and organized
and then I also look at focus group results so one of the things that I’ve seen work really
well is taking a small handful of people maybe five to 10 people randomly chosen and try
to have a 15, 30-minute focus group while you’re onsite to ask them about certain key
things. Did you meet your objectives? If so, tell me how you met them and if not,
tell me what would have needed to be different in order for you to meet them. What was your experience like onsite? Were you able to get to the sessions that
you wanted? Was anything oversold? Really just asking them and having a conversation
in a small group environment about what they’re experience was, while you’re onsite allows
you to gather some really great data that afterwards you can take your notes but that’s
from a very internal perspective. Then what you can do is take the focus group
notes and see the things that align and maybe see some of the things that didn’t align in
terms of evaluating what you might want to change. Then looking at the remaining results so the
evaluations, the social media, to really be able to think about what is happening from
a holistic perspective because oftentimes I feel like the only data we go off afterwards
is the evaluation and so the evaluations are a great tool for sure but they don’t tell
the story so I think you really need to think about how you’re collecting data to really
tell the story of what’s happening. Then part of that is doing the work before,
and so for those of you that have heard some of Hubb’s other webinars, we talked about
the attendee experience journey and setting up goals and objectives for your events that
works through with your executive team ahead of even starting the planning. One of the ways that I like to be able to
get in front of all of this data and to understand what I want to measure is by doing the work
before. If I have the objectives of the events, and
you could have two, you could have five, I wouldn’t recommend having many more than five
but you’ll know what that objective is. You’re able to set a metric to that objective
so examples could be that you want to increase engagement with attendees and create more
community so you could measure what they did on the show floor so you could say how much
time did they actually spend in interactive engagement versus in a traditional session? Is the content that we’re doing relevant to
the market shift or change, so you have these metrics that tie to your objectives before
and you can set your targets to say, “This is what percentage I’m going for. This is a score I’m going for or a number
I’m going for.” That really helps set the bar so that you
know why you’re having the event, you know what you’re going to measure that means success
and you know the number of measurement of the outcome that really says, “Yes, I did
this job.” Revealing those three pieces with your internal
teams and your executives before you get into the planning or while you’re in the planning
but definitely before onsite, really sets you up for success because then you can then
say, “Here is what I’m measuring,” and then you can figure out what the metrics source
is that you need to measure that. If you’re going to measure your satisfaction
with content, you’ll know which surveys are you doing, what tools are they located in,
what does the output of the reporting look like so that I can easily compare it to the
goals. The other thing that I would recommend doing
too as you’re looking through this think about your audiences. One of the other important ways of looking
at this is typically onsite at any event, you’re going to have a variety of different
audiences. If it’s a technical conference, you probably
have an IT professional maybe a business decision-maker, maybe a developer. The same thing could go for a food conference. You could have food bloggers or you could
have restaurants or you could have suppliers. If you think about how you bucket your event,
you actually … One of the really interesting things to do with this data is often times
the event objective is the same and the questions are the same but think about how you could
segment your data so that you are at a food conference that instead of just saying on
average we hit the market 4.2 individual engagements per attendee, now if you start to drill down
into that, you could look and see food bloggers are actually the most active people but I’m
seeing that the restaurants aren’t actually engaging so if you can start to segment your
data to say by your audience types, what’s happening that gives you a really strategic
viewpoint to be able to say not only as an overall group but here’s my audiences and
this is what I need to do differently. Next year with restaurants, I need to create
some separate programming for them to be able to have this level of engagement because they
didn’t have it this year. Really interesting things that you can do
as you think about doing the work before, setting your objectives and your metrics and
your targets and then being able to slice and dice the data so that you strategically
can look at that and decide where you want to implement additional effort and future
years. The other piece that really helps and this
is typically across the teams. When I’m managing an event, typically there’s
a different work streams and when I say work streams, I just mean different groups of work
that’s happening onsite and at events, so you may have your food and beverage work stream
versus your content work stream versus, your floor plan work stream so how you bucket your
work maybe different by your event but what I try to do is have each group that is individually
in charge that they get this template ahead of the event and that they know that a week
or two weeks, whatever you determine based on whether you’re encouraging vacations or
not, but you can let them know that two weeks after the event that you’re really wanting
them to fill out this post-event template that gives you any noteworthy data, success
metrics, KPIs that ties back to your goals and objectives, and then gives you some tactical
information in terms of what went well, what were we really proud about, what didn’t go
well and then what are the recommendations for the future events? This has been a really meaningful slide for
us. It seems very, very simple but if everyone
can fill out this information ahead of time and then you have a meeting to go through
these slides and have those discussions, you’re going to see common themes emerging so you’re
going to have all of your data that you have from doing the work before. You’re going to have all of those metrics
and then you’re going to have each strong lead in each of these areas that’s giving
you a really high level recap of the different areas that went well and what they want to
tweak so that you can roll that up into an executive dashboard to really tell the story
across the show. This also goes to how you’re capturing data. I really like to think, again, all of this
is done in advance and I think over the years I’ve learned that. In the past, it was always after the event
and so thinking about your data capture plan and really thinking about what are you going
to do onsite versus what can you do pre-event and what can you do post-event. I like to think about here are all the things
that we’re going to measure and then here’s the metric source and then I’m going to break
those into buckets in terms of the timing of when that happen. A lot of your are probably familiar with things
like the session surveys and the keynote surveys. One interesting thing that I am seeing happen
onsite at events now that’s becoming really valuable data is interactive polling during
the session a little bit like what we just did during this webinar but during the session,
it allows a speaker to ask a question so if you’re selling a product or a service and
you start to ask your audience in terms of questions of how experienced are they with
it or do they plan to buy it in the future, your speakers can start to collect that session
data but that’s also very valuable data for you to bring back to say, “In the AI track,
here are the five questions that got asked and these are leading indicators to the business
in terms of how the volume is going to change or scale.” Again, if you can break it down by audience,
being able to say that this audience was very engaged and has plans to do these types of
things, this audience does not. Session polling is a really knew interesting
data capture point that I think that can be a lot more valuable rather than just giving
your speakers the data, try to look at the type of content they’re asking and see if
that has any business impact or can tie back to your objectives. From a pre-event standpoint, obviously we
have our registration data. There’s a couple tips and tricks that I’ll
give with each one of these but with registration data, one of the things that I found that
makes a big impact is you always want to align, you’ve got your internal goals and objectives
for hosting the events but I think it’s really important that you understand the external
reasons of why people attend your event and so often times you get a very small percentage
of people that are filling out a post-event survey so I like to put this in the registration
form that says, “Please share with us your top three goals in attending our event this
year,” and have a preset list of what you think they attend for, give them five to seven
options or allow them to write in other because that data then allows you to look at that
and say, “Out of the 2,000 people that are attending, 80% are attending to meet other
partners.” Now, I can look at my agenda, I can look at
the timing, I can look at the experiences to say, “Am I providing the right type of
activities and experiences onsite that allows people to achieve their goals and objectives?” By collecting in a registration and making
it a required field is something very simple for an attendee to answer and it gives you
incredibly valuable data that allows you to look at your internal plan for your event
and whether that actually fits the external need or not. Speaker 1: Allie? Allie Magyar: Yeah. Speaker 1: Could I interrupt you for a quick
question? Allie Magyar: Of course. Speaker 1: David wants to know, he said that
the biggest challenge is getting intel from sales reps. What can you suggest is a best practice to
ensure representatives help marketing in events get this key information? Allie Magyar: I think there’s a couple different
ways of looking at that, David. A lot of times when a sales rep is involved,
that would have to do with some type of meeting onsite in my experience where a sales rep
is trying to facilitate a meeting between an executive and a customer essentially. In the cases if meetings, I think there are
certain processes that you can use in your meeting management software and I’ve done
this with a worldwide field where we were doing an executive meeting program where in
order to have the executive accept the meeting that the sales rep had to fill out and we
may boot the questionnaire pretty brief but it’s link to the sales force account, it gave
some information that was required prior to an executive accepting the meeting. The other way that I’ve seen collecting data
with the field is often times your field can be your most valuable resource when it comes
to driving registration but I think it’s also one you need the support of the sales organization. Oftentimes what we will do is we’ll create
a heightened awareness of a preregistration for any sales nominated accounts and of course
sales want to make their customers feel very VIP and so what we’ll do is say, “We’ll send
out a marketing message to this VIP list, it has to be turned in by this date and time.” They get first pick of the hotels or you can
come up with some type of incentive that doesn’t cost you money or if you wanted to incent,
you could create something that is a prize or a giveaway. Essentially work with your field team to nominate
their customers but have a nomination form. It can be a simple Google form, it could be
through your registration platform but have them fill out that data in advance to get
their customers on this VIP list and I found that that really helps in gathering that data
and that intel because they want to make their customers feel special so they have to fill
out an extra five fields that helps you to be able to segment the data better, that’s
a really great way of incenting them to get back to you. The other thing that we’ve seen work in sales
organizations is by setting up targets and working if there’s regional sales leads over
certain regions, making the reporting very friendly so that they can see X percentage
of their region is attending the event and here are the key accounts. There’s also some metrics you can set up ahead
of time at the regional sales leads in regards to data collection as well as numbers. That then helps give that visibility and that
transparency so when you’re giving your executive weekly updates having a slide that calls out
that information I have found accountability is the best way of keeping the sales team
engaged and so if you can come up with that reporting metric ahead of time and make it
clear that that’s going to be in your weekly update to your executive leadership team. Oftentimes the regional sales leads will stay
on top of their people because they don’t want that information being reported up and
not a pleasant view for them. The other way that you can look at bringing
value to your organization pre-event is in looking at doing a pre-event perception shift
survey, and so events really as we think about the ROI on events they’re using a sales motion
and we want to know that attendees are leaving feeling good about the product or the service
or the organization that’s putting on this event. In the past, one of the ways of doing that
is just been to look at the overall surveys but you may get a 20% response rate and then
you’re just saying how happy were they with the event. I think we need to be shifting our perception
to really think about how has their perception of the company or the product or the service
changed. One of the things that you can do is come
up with a set of five or six questions that say I believe that this food tour company
provides them the most unique experiences in the industry or I feel like this food company
is on the leading edge of gastronomy. You could come up with a couple of questions
and people can rank those bought from low to high and so you send that survey prior
to the event and so obviously, you’re the food company and you’re going to spend that
to any of your attendees. They’re going to tell you how they feel about
your company. You’ll have a baseline to say on a scale of
1 to 10, we’re a 5 right now in innovation. Then your event happens and you’re focusing
on showing them how you are innovative, how you’re adding all these new experiences and
how you’re leading the market. After the event, wrapped in to your post-event
survey, ask those same five questions again. How innovative are we? How are we leading in regards to gastronomy. You’ll find some really interesting data because
if your attendee rated you a 5 and then attended your event and now rates you a 7, that’s a
25 shift towards positive, in terms of how they view your company and how likely they
are to do business with your company. That’s been one of the most powerful things
that we’ve implemented onsite at our events is to take a baseline of people before they
attend and then take the baseline after they attend and be able to see, did their perception
of the company and the product changed and are we more favorable coming of this event
in terms of their likeliness to do business with us because that is one metric that every
executive is going to love. Not only did we have a good event and here’s
the data around it but more importantly this is how we affected people’s perception of
our organization and our business and how much more likely they are to do business with
us which can end up being a huge, huge impact in terms of the value of the event and your
value in bringing that information forward. Then post-event including other events or
other questions outside of that perception shift but of course you want to know overall
how the event did. Now, my recommendation with this is you want
to keep that questionnaire as short as possible to get the most response but still get the
data that you really want and so I always ask myself the question of do I really need
them to rate the food because if they rate the food and they don’t like, I don’t have
any additional budget to go from a box lunch to a hot lunch, so do I want to ask the question
on something that I know I’m not going to be able to change? When you’re thinking about your data capture
plan, all the way across the board, I think you want to be really careful and strategic
in terms of what questions you asked and how you ask the question to get the most relevant
information. Then if I’m looking and I think you guys are
… We have been in this mode many time and this is why it’s so important to have a fresh
brain is you really want to think through the type of analysis that you’re running. Like I mentioned before, often times we look
at evaluation as a whole, but if we really start to segment that whether it’s your audience
or maybe you can also look at job function. Maybe if you look at your C suite attendees
versus your middle market manager. Maybe they’re having different experiences
and maybe you need to look at that data. You really want to look at how you slice and
dice. The other thing that you want to look at is
your scales and I’ve done this many times over the years where the first year it was
on a 10-point scale, the next year was on 7-point … Some questions here, some questions
here and they’re all different. You really want to start to look at the different
scales that you’re using. Can you do the right year over year comparison. Do you need to be asking the question a little
bit differently. What information can fall off versus what
information do you need this net new? Again, one of the ways that you can start
doing this is looking at last year’s event and then putting together those best practices
for the next year in terms of things that you want to do new and differently and highlight
those. As you get all of your information and put
a plan together one of the ways again going back from marketing as you think about that
post-event analysis is to tell your story. I think about this in marketing our event. After the event, the first thing I want to
do with our executives is I want to get them excited. I like to tell our story through an infographic
and there’s lots of infographic tools out there which there’s Google Charts, there’s
Canva, there’s Visme. There’s tools out there that if you don’t
have a graphic designer, that still won’t prevent you from doing this. There’s some great tools out there that can
help you to really tell your story. Any of the staff that you have, the numbers,
what happened, you can create one that’s tactical about your event or you can also weave in
those strategic pieces of a 2% perception shift towards the positive in doing business
for us and make those items standout. I look at a events and telling the right story
and part of doing that also is going back to the data so having a big Excel spreadsheet
of data we need that because we need the numbers and we need the metrics but numbers really
are a boring story unless you turn them into something more special, and so I really believe
that using the right tools with that post-event analysis is a big piece of how to set yourself
on the right track. If you go into your executive meeting and
you just have an Excel spreadsheet, and you’re sharing the averages and the numbers, it doesn’t
tell the same story as if you were able to show the numbers but also gives some strategic
analysis. Often times visualizing that data whether
it’s in PowerPoint or another tool that’s visual, allows you to tell the story more
than just getting that straight data. Speaker 1: Allie, I have a quick question,
so when you’re putting together this PowerPoint and transforming that excel data into the
PowerPoint, do you have a specific kind of KPI scorecard or a specific components that
you’re feeling to help measure the overall impact and really effectively tell that story? Allie Magyar: Yeah. This goes back to this slide of do the work
before. Some of this is the first thing that I do
when I’m preparing these documents is I go back to what I had signed off with our executive
team of what were the objectives, what were the metrics, what was the target and so when
I’m creating that story, that first infographic slide that I’m creating, hits on every event
objective and target that we blew out of the water to really tell that story. I know where I’m getting my data because I’ve
got the metrics source here. I start with that infographic but then really
what I do is I share screens like this where I’ve got the objectives, the metric, what
the target was and what the actual was. Very clearly on a single slide you can see
how the event did and then usually what I do is have a big comment box over here on
the right hand side that gives the strategic feeling of this data. Not only maybe the combined target was 4%
or something and over on the right hand side, I’ll also have a commentary bar that says
our executive audience was very happy and exceed the targets for this year however our
mid level managers weren’t engaged with the content and so that’s a priority for next
year. I think it’s about going back to what you
said you were going to do, the metrics and then also giving the strategic data on top
of it. The other thing that tends to go well too
is when a debrief happens and it just depends on the level of the debrief, going back and
having these goals and objectives and there’s also images of highlighting those things maybe
pictures from the event, you can have a resources at the bottom of your deck but then give that
deeper level view and to each one of the elements of the work streams and the KPIs and the numbers
as a part of it. Doing all of this work really helps to having
a well-documented process and one that helps kick start your engine again for the next
year. I just went through this actually from managing
an event last year and then starting to kick off this year and everyone was like, “Oh,
I can’t remember. I need to get back into the group.” One of the first things we do is we picked
up that deck and we went through each work stream and we said, “Okay. Reminder of what went well. Reminder of what didn’t go well and our recommendations.” The first thing we brought to our executive
kickoff meeting was a list of all the recommendations that we enabled last year and how we were
starting to think about how those align to the goals and objectives of the event for
this year. Using these tools can really help you to have
the right foundation for starting to do the planning again for your next year and making
sure that you’re focusing on those right areas. I know this a lot of information that span
a variety of different things. We cover it off on the evaluation and the
data and how to turn data into information and really tell that story but I definitely
am passionate about making sure that we also are taking care of ourselves in the process
because in order to do that strategic work, and in order to really feel energized and
like we’re going to do it again, we also have to know how to take care of ourselves and
how to take care of those around us. I hope today, I brought you some helpful tips
and tricks in terms of that showdown and how you can move into that post event analysis. I know that we’ll have some of these templates
to be able to send out afterwards in terms of the infographics, some of the surveys that
we had talked about as well as some of the graphical templates in terms of being able
to create those slides for yourself, but I think we’ve got a few minutes left for any
Q&A that we might have in addition to the ones that have come in already. Speaker 1: Fantastic. Thank you so much, Allie. What do we have for questions today? We’ve had two really good ones. Thank you so much, David. She did do a phenomenal job, didn’t she? Anyone else? All right. I see a couple here, Allie. Are there particular themes or trends you
always want to take a close look at when you’re reviewing evaluations? Allie Magyar: Yeah. I think that varies a little bit by vertical
or industry, but I think one of the things that I will continue to talk about is when
you are looking at evaluations, it’s really the sub-segmenting of the data that’s really
important because I think an evaluation score and there’s a couple things that you typically
measure in evaluation. Most of the time you’re measuring the speaker
effectiveness and the content effectiveness but there’s also some questions that I’ve
seen that are trends in terms of how does this content help you to do your job better
or is this relevant to you in your job. As you really start to think about what the
relevant content is I think you really have to see what the trends are there but then
also dive in to that layer deeper to look by title or role or by audience to be able
to get some better information in terms of how you may change some of those experiences
onsite as well as content onsite. From a trend standpoint, I think the attendee
experience and how we’re personalizing everyone’s experiences onsite, definitely plays in to
that data. I think as our world continues to be more
technical and using technology to really get what is important to me out of an event, we
really need to think about how we’re collecting and analyzing the data that we can create
those personalized experiences. Speaker 1: With that in mind, what do you
think the top three metrics that a meeting planner should be focused on post-event like
what are the things they should be touting and waving flags about? Allie Magyar: I think perception shift survey
that we talked a little bit about in terms of being able to show how attending the event
increased their perception of the product or company or service. I think that’s one of the top things that
we should be waving our flag about because that shows major business impact. I think the other thing that we should really
be focusing on is how much business is actually represented onsite at events and so if you
think about … If you have a smaller event even if it’s for a couple hundred people,
if you can look in Salesforce or whatever CRM you’re using and be able to say this represents
$500 million of business onsite of this event, it really gives people the perception of how
important that event is. Then the numbers on the data starts to be
a lot more important. I think that in terms of actual metrics as
a part of that, I think there’s that affection with the content in terms of whether it’s
relevant to them and it helps them to do their day to day job as another metric that is really
important because when you’re attending an event, you’re investing time and so whatever
they’re spending the most significant amount of time on whether it’s the content or whether
it’s maybe matchmaking, you want to evaluate those specific key pieces to be able to show
how that lends to the business value. Speaker 1: Would you say for those that run
a professional development conferences or the more influence are driven, let’s say you
run an education conference and you have teachers there who aren’t necessarily the buyers are
going to be driving the business but they can make recommendation that how could you
adapt that from a business perspective to show perception? Allie Magyar: A lot of times if you’re having
an event for teachers and they’re not necessarily an end buyer but apart of what you’re trying
to do is influence to get more teachers there and grow your base in terms of your attendance. One of the ways that you can get some really
valuable data is by in your pos-event questionnaire is by asking them would you attend another
education conference put on by X company? The other thing that’s really important to
ask is would you recommend this conference to other teachers that you are friends or
professional acquaintances with and so if you can start looking at recommendations for
whether people are likely to recommend I think that’s another great way of being able to
show value because not only can they rate the overall event and maybe they rated the
overall event a 5 out of 10 but if they’re likely to recommend the event, that’s an interesting
data point to really look at and be able to show some value that they’re willing to come
back and willing to expand. Speaker 1: That’s fantastic. Do we have any other questions coming in from
the audience? If not, we get to get a little big of a time
lottery here today. Again, Allie, thank you so much for sharing
all of this information. I cannot wait to get my hands on some of these
resources. Be sure to check out hubb.me. It’s a software platform that helps conference
and meeting planners manage and market content for the events. They have some great checklists as well in
addition to the ones that Allie shared today and as always Pathable thanks you for joining
us for your professional development credit. We always want to be a resource that can help
all of us do better and help increase amazing attendee experiences. You can learn more about is at pathable.com
or learn more about Allie’s company at hubb.me. We will see you next month to talk about how
to increase sponsorship and the best ways to do trade-offs so that you don’t have to
pay for it but that your sponsors will help pay for you. Thanks so much, guys. We’ll talk to you soon.

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