In an earlier Cvent blog post, Our Journey to 21st Century Conference Innovation, I explored our 20th-century roots and how innovation is rising as a priority for 21st-century conference teams.
Keep in mind - while a healthy dose of innovation is in order to survive and thrive, if you had a team full of innovators, you'd be cranking out great ideas, but you'd struggle to get anything off the drawing board.
Truth be told, success comes when you assemble a talented team with the right mix of like-minded and different-minded people. A Dream Team, where each member respects and appreciates the contributions of others and together they work to create something better. And they do.
"I don't need a friend who changes when I change, who nods when I nod; My shadow does that."
Drafting Your Conference Planning Dream Team
While we all share the common pursuit of creating exceptional events and conferences, we're coming at this from different perspectives. We're serving different audiences, different masters. We have different missions, different marching orders. Different demographics, resources and budgets.
Your Dream Team might look very different from mine. Granted, some of us are operating with "legacy" players, too. Have you ever imagined what your ideal conference planning team might look like? If time, money and talent were no object, who would you recruit for your conference planning dream team?
Here are a few player profiles you might explore:
The Innovators: We've already covered this one. Keep in mind, you don't have to staff this function all from your own team. In fact, it's better if you "borrow" a few innovators from other teams, both inside and outside your organization. A diversity of perspectives and experiences feeds the idea engine.
The Implementers: They take the great ideas created by the Innovators and design implementation plans. They'll scrutinize, measure, evaluate and pore over a myriad of details your innovators might miss.These two groups are Yin and Yang - two polar opposites who together, create magnificent conference breakthroughs.
The QACIs: These are your Quality Assurance Continuous Improvement agents. They're keen observers, studying people, processes and technologies to fine-tune and perfect outcomes. These folks are excellent at leading customer service and call centers, too. If there's a snag, get a QACI on it and you'll have it solved in no time and at a modest cost.
The Wooers: Wooers connect with the right people in the right way. They're generous go-givers who nurture powerful networks. Many deals are brokered in the conference world. Keep the Wooers at your side during negotiations and everyone will be smiling. Wooers can also help grow attendance, sponsorship and exhibit sales.
- The Futurists: Similar to your Innovators, but they're hyper-focused on technology. Sometimes this player might be a "loan out" from your IT department. On the other hand, if you're working in a high-compliance culture, IT will not be your go-to source. Futurists like to hang with Innovators and are particularly good at pairing up new technologies with new ideas.
That's just a start. What other profiles would you want to recruit for your Dream Team?
Looking for more performance tips? Check out these Cvent Blog posts: 6 Tips to Help Event Teams Play Nice in the Event Sandbox or The "E" In Event Is Also In Team.
(photo by Makena G via Flickr)