The rules for building events are changing — and honest collaboration is more important than ever before.
I have to admit, the past six months have been the most surprising period of time I’ve had in events
… maybe ever.
And by that, I’m talking about our extraordinary opportunity to re-imagine what events are – and as importantly – how we prepare for them.
A year ago, producing an event meant taking a brief from a client, going away, and developing creative, production and staging. There was definitely a clear line between “production agency” and “client.”
These days, I find our team is thought of more and more as an embedded part of a client’s team. So many have used the phrase “we’re an extension” of your team over the years. Now, it seems like this idea is becoming a reality. Part of it has been the way we’ve grown and crafted our team. We understand our clients’ business, not just their event needs – and that helps us to help them.
That reality is coming with lots of new learning. We are learning, for example, that we are redefining what it means to trust one another.
Trust used to mean that you met your budget and produced what you said you could. These days, trust is coming to be a two-way street where it feels a lot more personal. Clients are trusting us to bring thought leadership to the table, and letting us further into strategic conversations. In turn, those conversations are allowing us to dig deeper and deliver events and experiences that are more relevant and deliver higher impact.
Most importantly, it means that we are giving one another the grace to learn together – both internally and with clients. We are quickly learning that budgeting and timelines are different in online and virtual. There’s more time preparing content that can best engage. Costs that were once allocated to hotel, are now being used for technology. Even the way we present and pitch is changing – less “sell solutions” and more “teach one another best practices.”
What’s allowing us to help our clients thrive through it all is to embrace the redefined rules of collaboration. I truly believe that this new way of working together is a benchmark for brilliance. And we will all be better for it.