Adapting a Startup Mentality: What Event Planners Can Learn from Small Businesses

Event planners are very much like small business owners. They’re in-charge of (what usually is) a small team of professionals, and oversee multiple teams of outsourced specialists who each work on their own specific area of expertise – everyone collaborating with a common goal in mind.

So it should come as no surprise that stepping up your game as an event planner, may involve picking up a few tips from our entrepreneurial friends who have started up their own small businesses. Lessons such as these:

Hire multi-taskers

Employees who are only great at one thing may be effective in large organisations, but can be a liability in small and nimble event teams, where job roles are fluid.

If you have a creative designer who’s also willing to dig in her heels and help with registrations during events, or a procurement manager who also knows how to talk to and manage clients when needed, that’s a huge plus for your team’s flexibility, adaptability and speed of execution.

Spend wisely

When you’re running a tight budget, you need to know what expenditure is worth it – and what isn’t. Simply put, if you’re spending money and not getting a sufficient return on your investment, you need to consider putting your money into other activities.

Be sure to not only track where you’re spending your money is going (which is easy), but to keep an eye on where your returns are coming back from (this is the tricky part that many event planners ignore). This way, you’ll have an accurate picture of where and what to spend on to maximise results.

Use creativity to lower costs

With limited budgets, small businesses need to rely on more than marketing dollars to promote their products and services. This same business concept applies to event teams. Challenge your team to think of creative ways to get free promotion.

Have a great idea for a viral contest that could spread like wildfire? Try it! You’ll be surprised to see how far a little ingenuity can take you. Sometimes, the best ideas in life (and marketing) are free!

Spend on productivity tools

Small teams know how to get the biggest return on their time, and do so with the help of productivity tools. For event planners, there is perhaps no tool that’s more powerful than a comprehensive event app that greatly speeds up:

  • Registration processes

  • Information dissemination

  • Data collection

  • Report generation

Additionally, a good event app can be a lifesaver (as well as a timesaver) on event days – updating event participants of the latest agenda, directing them to correct locations, promoting interaction and much more. Sometimes, it takes spending a dollar to make two extra dollars.

And that’s exactly what a powerful productivity tool like an event app can do for you event team.