When I get asked what I’m about professionally I say I’m passionate about events and marketing, and particularly how communication manifests itself between the two. I’ve worked in sales and marketing since 1998 (prior to that I was a technical writer), and through the work I did from 2006-2012 I grew the most personally and professionally because of my work in live events… I grew primarily because of the people in the industry with whom I built relationships, and because of all the work that went into the events that I planned and sold — not to mention the thrill of seeing an event come to life after SO MUCH work being put into the planning (more on that later!).
I’ve been working as a marketing consultant for the past two years. What does that mean? I help companies with any facet of marketing they need help with. I’ve developed sponsorship packages for an association, developed social media strategies for startups, provided technical advisement & Website development for an event planning company, managed community for three restaurants (all social communication and reputation management), executed marketing strategies, and developed blogs. If it involves marketing, I’m in!
Okay, so I’m not always in. I’ve learned the power of saying no. Saying no to taking on too much work… And to individuals or companies I had an inkling might not be a good fit. It was terrifying and empowering at the same time.
When I met my client Tommy Melancon to chat about his new venture EventCollab, I knew right away that I wanted to get involved. Planning events is an incredibly involved process. Events have planners, venues, producers, graphic designers, social media marketers, sponsors, exhibitors, audio-visual equipment providers (sales people, account managers, project managers), event producers (sometimes also the AV co.), freelancers, volunteers… and on. Making sure all of these people are collaborating efficiently is something we’ve all been trying to do forever. EventCollab excited me because it was a solution to a problem I knew existed–a problem I have experienced first-hand. There had to be a better way.
How many times do you have difficulty following an email trail that’s been going around-and-around? Keeping track of what the latest schedule is, and who still has what to do for the event? It’s exhausting. Most of the event management apps that are out there (more than 100) are attendee-facing apps dealing with registration, scheduling, speaker management, etc., but there are very few providing the ability to have logistics and planning pieces under one roof. The solution under the EventCollab roof is fantastic! I sincerely wish I had a program like this when I was working in event production. The opportunity to collaborate with my clients in this way leading up to a show would have been a dream.
I have the choice in who I work with, and I’m truly excited to be working with EventCollab. Working with a start-up being funded by someone who is still running his event production co. (EventCollab was created out of necessity because nothing else existed like it when they began development) is a challenge. And marketing a product that’s not really in competition yet with another product (there are few that exist, and they are very different) is also a challenge — we’re basically competing with “the same old way” everyone has been doing things… So we’re tasked with challenging the events industry to perhaps step outside of their comfort zone.
Getting out of our comfort zones can be hard at first, but in this case the payoff will be more collaborative and efficient teams, which will save money in the long run, and make planning repeat events more seamless. The potential excites me!
I hope the work you’re doing excites you also. Doing what you enjoy, with people you like, in a way that satisfies you will feed your soul. I’ve been told that I’ve never seemed happier, which is a direct result of following my gut, and only working with people and products that I believe in.
If you’re an #eventprof, you need to give EventCollab a whirl – challenge yourself to do it better. For real.