It's not always easy to change habits and work dynamics. When people know what works best and have a routine, it can be challenging for them to adopt new tools that will improve the outcomes of their work.
This is increasingly true for event professionals and their teams who may find it difficult to keep up with the constant development of digital solutions and their complexity. As Deanna Ting, hospitality editor at Skift, suggests, "Technology can be a benefit, but it can also be a pain point when it comes to organizing and executing an event." The fast evolution of planning and event marketing platforms is often the cause of struggles for professionals.
First, people would rather prefer to manually execute the logistic processes (because they’re used to it) than automatize everything. Second, new event technology requires learning how the new tools work and how to make the most out of them. Finally, the lack of initial expertise on how to integrate correctly a management platform or planning app into the workflow will most certainly cause frustration.
No wonder why embracing new event technology can be challenging for so many people, including your team. That's why it’s so important to know how to persuade the people you are working with into embracing event technology, which will ease their workload and boost their productivity. Here’s how you can do it:
Step 1. Map the challenges your team face when planning an event
Schedule an operative meeting with your employees or team members and discuss the challenges they face on a daily basis. Ask them for the solutions they’ve tried to apply and the outcomes they achieved. If the issues persist, since your team wasn’t able to find sustainable solutions, map the negative impact these problems have on the event’s ROI. Subsequently, analyze and articulate for your team the gains you’ll achieve if you eliminated the challenges everybody is facing.
Step 2. Present the benefits of an automated system
When showcasing the benefits of event technology, talk in terms of effort and time. Explain to your employees or team members how a digital system may accelerate the workflow and eliminate insurmountable challenges.
For example, let’s say somebody is responsible for manually collecting the attendees’ networking preferences. What if an event management platform or app could do that automatically by letting guests enter their own information about what they can offer or are looking for at the networking session? Let your team understand that the automation of certain processes and responsibilities frees them up for other tasks.
Step 3. Communicate the need for growth and innovation
It’s important to present the general vision and aspiration your agency or company has. If you are aiming for growth and sustainable innovation, make sure you strengthen the institutional communication based on these two concepts, which will prepare your employees or team members for changes.
Step 4. Set up a learning boot camp for your team
Often, people have a reserved attitude toward technology because of the new set of skills they must develop to efficiently navigate the digital environment. This can be overwhelming, especially when you have a constantly increasing list of event planning-related tasks. That’s why you may want to organize learning boot camps for your team. This can help people feel accompanied in the process of developing new skills, and feel less reticent regarding the new event technology they’ll need to learn.
Step 5. Empower your team members by involving them in the decision-making process
Your team’s opinion is important. People may offer valuable insights about the needs and the pain points they have when planning an event. Subsequently, this information can be decisive when choosing which event management software or app to purchase. In addition, you’ll transform your team members into active agents who feel empowered to choose what works best for them. This mere act of making a choice will make them aware of the involved consequences and the need to grow.
Call to action
If you are encountering resistance from your team in adopting the event technology, know that there’s a gap in your institutional communication. To get your team to embrace the digital solutions, start by listening to them. What are their challenges, and most importantly, what are their fears?
Then, focus on accurately communicating the added value this new event technology can offer and what are the gains your team will access. Make sure to involve them in the decision-making processes by always assessing their needs. Be honest about your growth vision, and transform this potential conflict into an opportunity of strengthening work relationships.