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A Guide to Preparing for Your Mid-Year Digital Audit

Can you believe we’re nearing the midway point of 2021? After what felt like the longest year on record, it seems like this year is flying by, which means it’s time to get started on your mid-year digital audit. You might have evaluated your tech at the beginning of the year or during the downtime of COVID, but as always with technology a lot can change in a little bit of time.

The market continues to evolve as we navigate the late stages of the pandemic and, as we approach recovery, it’s essential to reevaluate your virtual solutions to ensure they are optimized to meet your clients’ expectations.

We’re in for a busy second half of the year. With postponed events on top of scheduled events, and maybe even some new events – your business needs to work seamlessly to ensure client satisfaction and keep operations organized. Set some time aside in the next month to follow the below steps and revisit your company’s digital environment to ensure you’re ready to go when business picks up.

Easy steps to get your tech in full gear in time for the busy season:

Start where you are.
It can be tempting to dive right into experimenting with new project management platforms or signing up for a new inventory software. However, as with most things in business, rushing doesn’t solve the matter. You might end up spending a pretty penny on a solution that ultimately doesn’t work for your business model. Or, you may spin your wheels ramping up on a new program only to find a better, more streamlined alternative available.

So, instead of going full steam ahead, begin with the systems and processes you already have in place. You may find that you have a great foundation but need to dedicate more time to maximizing the platforms you already use. On the other hand, you might identify roadblocks in your workflow that can be overcome with the right digital solutions. But identifying these needs first will solve you many headaches down the road.

Remain open to new ideas.

If you need significant upgrades, prepare for a learning curve. Transitioning from a notebook or a spreadsheet to a robust system can be a lot to take on, but recognize that it is an investment in your business and your client experience. The modern event client doesn’t just want a tech-driven process; they demand it. After all, they spend a large portion of their waking hours on their smartphones! So they expect their planning process to be just as accessible.

Set aside the time to request a demo or training session. If there isn’t one offered, hop over to YouTube and educate yourself on the systems before diving in. Nothing is more maddening then signing up for something new and having no clue how to use it. Educate yourself to make the process of adopting new technology smoother.

Plan for a transition period.
You might be a fast learner and ready to pick up any new software once it’s implemented in your business. However, don’t make this assumption about your team members or clients. If you bring others on board, prepare for it to take a few weeks to get everyone on the same page. Consider developing an easy-to-follow manual or tutorial video that shows clients how to use the new platform.

You might host a training session for employees to walk your team through it and offer one-on-one meetings for those who need additional support. This might seem like a lot to do just for a tech upgrade, but it’s worth your time to know that everyone is fully immersed in a solution that will grow your business.

The reality is that the special events industry tends to be a bit antiquated in our tech use, but COVID has really brought to light how much we need to embrace it. Event pros need to embrace technology and incorporate it into their business both in the front and back ends. It will not only bring in more business, but it will keep your clients and colleagues happy!

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Nora Sheils is the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, the first software platform to bring together wedding planners, couples, and vendors into one system for managing and paying contracts and invoices. She is also the founder and lead wedding planner of award-winning firm Bridal Bliss. She was recently recognized by Portland Business Journal in its 40 Under 40 series.

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