Managing an event from start to finish over many weeks or months inevitably involves the need to collaborate with several teams of people – both internal and external to your organization.
Examples of internal teams include other marketing teams (creative, email, web, social media, etc.), sales teams, committee members, etc. Examples of external teams include vendors, speakers, sponsors, agencies, etc.
The frequency of collaboration also varies by function and the stage your event is in. Early in the event cycle, you are collaborating to plan and procure things. Later, midway through the cycle, you are collaborating with recruiting, staffing, marketing teams. Closer to the event, you are intensely collaborating with logistics providers, speakers, venue, etc.
Modern cloud and mobile-based collaboration solutions can simplify your work of collaborating with people, managing discussions, communicating with them, and managing the chaos of tracking documents and conversation threads. Here are some key benefits to be had:
- The biggest benefit is getting rid of insane email noise and shared drive updates (and more associated email noise) to a virtual portal where everything is securely accessible
- Related to this is the ease of finding all information (discussion threads, files, task lists, etc.) in one place vs. having to search through thousands of emails. This also provides transparency to all team members and builds trust and saves time
- Reduces burden (and lots of time) on event management team by enabling team members to self-serve information made available in the rooms
- Makes it easy to communicate with team members without having to constantly worry whether you missed out someone’s email in your CC list!
- If designed properly, collaboration rooms can keep the conversation contextual to the event and the activity within that event that is being managed. This will help planners who manage multiple events in parallel manage conversations and content in a much more easier way
A lot of new collaboration portal solutions are available in the market today. Regardless of the function or frequency of collaboration, here are some common requirements of collaboration tools:
- Ease of setting up a collaboration room and inviting team members
- Security of who can set up and administer rooms, vs. who gets limited visitor/contributor-only access
- Given the creative and visual nature of information commonly shared, ease of viewing and consuming information
- Posting tasks / to-do lists and assigning them to specific room members for follow-up and completion
- Publish reports and dashboards for team members to self-serve themselves vs. having to constantly ask you for updated information
- Automated email and push notifications and alerts for room postings, to-do list due dates
- Email response so team members can reply via email directly to the collaboration room
- Repository of all files shared that is accessible to the collaborating team
- Ability to retire older discussions, and remove members who are no longer required to be part of the team
- Archive all discussions for future reference
- 24×7 Mobile device access to creating and managing rooms, invitees, conversations, etc.
Goombal is one of the first most comprehensive Cloud and Mobile-based software application for event planning to create contextual event-specific Collaboration Rooms Portal. It incorporates many of the above capabilities (and some others).