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Productive Event Planning

Friday, August 28, 2009 by Slaughter Development

Many people have worked long hours on event planning. If you’ve struggled to process registrations and track down attendees, take four minutes and five seconds to watch a video from Cannonball Communications.

The video does not support embedding, so you’ll have to view it on Cannonball’s website:

Professional, high-end event planning software like Cannonball often seems like magic. Most employees involved in a large event spend hours writing individual emails, tracking down lost registrations, processing checks and entering in data from paper surveys. Pulling off a successful conference requires incredible amounts of legwork, so clicking and dragging across a warm green background feels like a dream.

Software tools can make the event planning process easier. Watch the video carefully, however, and you can see how the true value of Cannonball is the rigorous structure of information and workflow. You can do this without fancy software. Note the following:

  1. Work as a Visual Schematic - The essential components of event marketing are not just talked about or described in written form, but represented as diagram. The circles and arrows are a form of Business Process Modeling Notation. You can instantly tell how each subproject connects and how the entire event is structured.
  2. Characterizing Information - About 48 seconds into the clip, the presenter explains how the city of the event is an “attribute” of the attendee. He types this text into a grid, along with the first name, last name and email address of the contact. Essential data is mapped, connected, and well-defined.
  3. Tracking Choices - Interesting work, whether done by an employee or a customer, requires decisions. You cannot plan events completely via checklist. The video outlines how decisions are made based on data, such as whether or not someone has responded to an invitation or what kind of marketing they want to receive.

Systems like Cannonball may be right for your organization, but more important than the software application is the idea of well-defined workflow. If you want to increase productivity, satisfaction and overall organization, try drawing pictures, organizing data and thinking consciously about available choices. Learn more about how to work smarter by reaching out to Slaughter Development.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Planning Goals In 2012 - As crazy as it might seem, 2012 is right around the corner. And if you’re thinking man 2011 really flew by, we couldn’t agree more! The fact is, we can’t stop time from ticking away. So, as we wrap up accomplishing the goals we set forth in 2011, it’s time we begin thinking about what we hope to satisfy in the new year. Read on »
Profit Improvement Event - Simons Bitzer & Associates is hosting an interactive workshop on profit improvement planning where the overall message is clear. Even small changes in key variables can have a profound impact on your bottom line. Read on »
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Want to learn more? Register now for the 2011 Productivity Series

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