The Thing About Fall
Shorter days. Crisp leaves. Back to school. Those might be the thing about Fall for many folks, but for us, it’s a return to the intensity of live events and meetings. Because that’s the best cap to a good, hot summer, yes? Sitting in a windowless room with hundreds of your colleagues, as PowerPoint slides take the place of “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” stories.
We’re excited, honestly, about the return to our busiest season. And as we’ve noted before, the Events industry has changed radically over the last two decades. Gone are the days of dreamy budgets and endless resources. Here are the days of tight budgets and select resources. This can be a real challenge, for clients and agencies alike.
To help mitigate that challenge, we thought we’d offer some of our tried-and-true ways to manage meetings differently—and save some budget pain as a result.
Our VP Client Services, Sandy Dizon, notes that sometimes the simplest thing to do is tap into the talent of your client’s team. When you know your clients well—which is what we all aim to do—you know that Peter is an amateur photographer. You know that Alexia would make an amazing host. And you know that Simon can take on whatever minor admin tasks there are.
For minor or less demanding tasks, talk with your client about using their in-house resources. Having one of their team pick music, take photographs, or host the event can save significant costs to your budget. Knowing the creative base your client brings also lets them draw on skills and expertise that they might not otherwise access in the regular day-to-day.
We know the value of professional videos. But it’s important to recognize when and where doing simple videos in-house is a realistic choice for coming in under the black line. Current technology—and our own tech savvy—has progressed far enough that most of us can use video template programs, for the simple videos (event teaser, walk-in loop, bumper video, “happy snap” video of event highlights) typically shown throughout a meeting or event.
iMovie and Animoto allow you to insert photos and video clips into any number of templates. You can build interesting transitions and create your own soundtrack from their collection of stock music. The great thing about these programs is that they’re easy to use (really! we promise!) and the videos look great.
Many major business meetings (NSM, GIM, etc.) have brand/franchise sub-meetings, which often means we’re designing an overarching theme for the meeting and separate individual themes for each brand. Those costs quickly add up, because the main theme and sub-themes need to be connected enough to, well, be connected—but different enough, in this context, to be distinguished. That’s 5-6 distinct event identities and designs.
You could do that. Or, you could create a “Master Theme” that sets a predominant tone and design, and cascade each brand session from that design Picking out colours or symbols from the “Master Theme” allows you to differentiate all sessions, while ensuring overall coherence. When we do it right, you get a consistent look and feel throughout the venue that persists from the moment your audience walks in.
In a world where we’re all trying to cut back on the things we don’t need and focus more on the things that really matter, these are some suggestions to “KonMari” your next meeting. We can’t promise that being on, or under, budget, is “life-changing”—but it is smart.