Leaders of Event Strategy: The Shifting Role of Event Planners

Event planners often wear many hats – from conducting venue research and negotiating contracts, to building event websites and program agendas. As a project management and logistics-heavy role, the opportunity is great for event planners to be able to leverage the data and insights they have into the run-of-show to make strategic recommendations for the business.

Yet, a recent report found that, despite being “one of the most crucial aspects of event growth,” event planners are only now beginning to understand that data is critical to realizing the full potential of their events. Still, we’re seeing event planners begin to embrace technology and data solutions now more than ever. According to the report, “the days of the technology-unfriendly planner are gone,” with over half of event professionals noting they consider themselves tech-confident or tech-savvy today.

In a recent post about event marketer careers, we talked about how smart event technology and data solutions are upleveling event marketers’ careers – helping them play a more integrated role in determining overall event strategy that will yield high return on investment (ROI) for the business. Now, we’re focusing on how the same approach to events is shifting the role of the event planner.

As we roll into this new decade of events and see more event professionals strengthen their tech savviness and data know-how, the role of the event planner is poised to shift into one with direct influence on strategic decision making for the business. Here are a couple of considerations for event planners to elevate their careers and become essential to driving overall strategy before, during and after events.

Use historical insight to drive the agenda

Setting an event’s agenda can be a daunting task. Before they even consider who and what to show on stage, decision makers are tasked with answering big questions like what the overall story is that the company wants to tell through their sessions, and which messages will land with the audience.

With loads of historical knowledge about the successes and trials of past events, planners are in a unique position to use this data to be a part of the decision-making process and inform the agenda’s direction – for example, utilizing survey results from past sessions to see how attendees responded to a certain speaker or topic. Showing off data know-how like this will demonstrate event planners’ value in driving strategic recommendations for bigger picture decisions like the direction of the overall event.

Share tech expertise to improve planning efficiencies

Event planners are often some of the closest people to the technology solutions used throughout the events process – from registration and check-in to attendee schedules and logistics. Event planners can use metrics – like how much time was saved during the check-in process, or how many meetings were carried out among attendees due to easy scheduling in an event app – to be able to contribute to conversations about the tech stack and what will ultimately improve the event planning process to create more ROI for the business.

In-person events aren’t going anywhere in the new year. Businesses continue to recognize the value of face-to-face human interaction even as our world becomes more digital. With the projected growth for meeting, convention and event planners expected to increase 11 percent in the US between 2016-2026, a sharper focus is being placed on how to make events and the event planning process more efficient. As a result, event planners in 2020 will have more opportunity than ever to contribute to essential aspects of overall event strategy – leveraging historical insight to contribute to bigger picture conversations, and their tech expertise to improve planning efficiencies.

Contact us today to learn more about how Certain can help take your events strategy to the next level.

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