What it Takes to Manage a Successful B2B Event | BIGBEAT

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2019.2.12 Column

What it Takes to Manage a Successful B2B Event

At Bigbeat we have managed hundreds of events over more than twenty years here in Japan as well as in Southeast Asia. From that experience and expertise, we have built up a large company with an infrastructure, using people, process, and technology, that help our B2B clients every step of the way with their events. If you knew how much went into the preparation, promotion, and management of a successful event, you would better understand the value of working with a marketing and event management agency like Bigbeat.

So what is entailed in managing a successful B2B event? Let’s take a look at our internal processes and proprietary software that we have developed to give you a better understanding!

The versatile system that we introduce below is the exact same one that we use to produce over 50 event sites every year of all sizes – from small seminars to large-scale events with attendees in the thousands. 
 

Event Onboarding

Most companies will put together a project team as they plan their event, and often they include Bigbeat as part of it. In order for us to fully support our clients, we first begin with an event onboarding survey on our internal website that allows the event organizers to include all relevant information about their upcoming event.

Because we have been managing events for decades, we have mastered all of the steps required to successfully manage events large and small. By having all project members input every aspect of the event, including who is in charge of what on our website, we can then all successfully project manage the event together, even if there is a change in personnel on either end.

The other advantages of event onboarding on our site or a 3rd party project management application site include:

•    No additional emails are needed as everyone can see all of the information in real-time on our website
•    All correspondence from all team members are kept in one place
•    New team members can easily join
•    Different people can have different permission levels to access different information
•    24/7 access to all of the information

In all honesty, there are many 3rd party event management ASP software out there, but we couldn’t find one that met all of our requirements – so we developed our own in-house. Before you ask, we only provide this software to our clients for our own events. Sorry!

Note that the names in parentheses are the names of our internal software products which correspond with the functionality described.

Registration Management Service (B-Square)

These days, all events have some sort of an online registration service, and this is a critical part of the event management process.  However, while there are many general event registration systems that exist online, we have come to realize that a successful registration management service requires the following components:

•    Registration Website Creation, customized for the branding of each of our clients and their unique events
•    Event Office Staff registration, so that all people who need to both manage and attend the event have proper credentials
•    Personal Information Management for all attendees
•    Session Registration Management, so that it is clear which attendees registered for which sessions
•    Admin Panel for those managing the event to be able to confirm information should there be an inquiry or change of information in the system when new sessions are added, etc.
•    Inquiries and All Correspondence via phone or email, with our staff handling these inquiries on behalf of our clients
•    Registered Data Management to ensure that data is secured
•    All Email Delivery of confirmation emails as well as other correspondence that organizers can send out to some or all attendees

Our system monitors attendance in real-time and thus can, for instance, inform salespeople (up to 5 email addresses per attendee) when their customer checks in. Little features like this can add a great deal of ROI to your event!

One of the optional services that we offer is the printing out of a bar code on each attendee’s registration badge that they bring to the event to easily and efficiently check them in to the event with an accompanying barcode reader. This can reduce check-in time for each attendee from one minute to literally seconds!


Sponsors Management Service (B-Circle)

Similar to an online participant registration service, most events these days have sponsors which require management and various correspondence as well. To ensure that invaluable sponsors are not forgotten in the process, we created a separate software system to ensure that sponsors receive the care and attention that they deserve. The requirements for sponsor management include:


•    Gathering and management of all exhibitor and sponsor information
•    Creation of exhibition requirement for sponsors
•    Creation of a sponsor’s program
•    Communication related to exhibition, arrangement, and the transport of materials in and out of the event
•    Invoicing and collection of exhibitor fees
•    Overseas exhibitor correspondence
•    Inquiries and all correspondence via phone or email, with our staff handling these inquiries on behalf of our clients
•    All email delivery of confirmation emails as well as other correspondence that organizers can send out to some or all sponsors

Speakers Management Service (B-Circle)

Attendees? Check. Sponsors? Check. Now don’t forget about your speakers! Speaker management is also something that sometimes falls through the cracks, but we know from experience that speakers require a similar amount of dedicated attention like sponsors do. In order to ensure that speakers are properly managed, these are the things you need to do for a successful event that we handle for our clients through our B-Circle system:

•    Speaker Information Confirmation, such as title and description of presentation, professional title, equipment usage, etc.
•    Presentation Materials Collection & Distribution
•    Accommodation Arrangement
•    Transportation Arrangement
•    Payment Agent for Remuneration of Speakers Fees (if applicable)
•    Inquiries and All Correspondence via phone or email, with our staff handling these inquiries on behalf of our clients
•    All Email Delivery of confirmation emails as well as other correspondence that organizers can send out to selected or all speakers
 

Creative Works Progression Service (B-Creative)

Events often require creative works, such as booth design, custom logos, panel graphics or on-stage banners or popups, that are essential to both your branding and the event experience that you want your attendees to have.  It is important that all creative content that is necessary for the event, including ones that may come from your sponsors, are included in your planning and are managed properly. They also need to be checked against guidelines before approval, so it is important to have all of the content in one place where they can be managed.

Another aspect of our B-Creative software which is critical in managing the creative works is to understand the progression of the work for each creative as well as for all creatives together at a glance. If there is one area that needs to be strategically managed from a timing perspective, it is often the creative works. That’s why we created a separate service to help our clients (and our staff!) keep an eye on this so that all parties can rest assured that the creative work is progressing on schedule!



Materials Management Service (B-Palette)

Many events have items that they and/or their sponsors would like to hand out to the attendees. Management of these materials can be challenging, so we created a system for logistics which includes physical inventory management of materials that might be used over multiple events throughout the year.

In addition to the physical and online management of the various materials such as catalogs, novelty items, etc., there is also a need to be able to assess the current inventory (How many of what item are actually physically at the warehouse before and even after the event). This is something which our B-Palette service offers.

Finally, there are specific instructions for shipping and warehousing that must be communicated for each vendor, warehouse, and event. This can get quite complex once you need to manage the logistics of multiple items from multiple vendors with the narrow cut-off timeperiods that event spaces or exhibitions normally have.


Conclusion

There are other elements that your event management will need, such as email marketing automation for all correspondences that will send different emails to different types of attendees at different times. This is offered in our B-Square product.

As you can see, we know firsthand how time-consuming and nerve-racking event management can be. Like many other corporate functions, it might be time for you to consider partnering with a company like Bigbeat who has unique and specific expertise in events.

Regardless of your event management, we do hope sharing our internal systems and experience helps you manage a better event in the future!