Reno Macri is a founder and director of UK based leading exhibition company Enigma Visual Solutions, specialising in exhibition design, event branding, interior design and retail branding. He specialises in experiential marketing and event productions.
Hire a Virtual Assistant To Maximize Event Planning Efficiency
Events are one of the best ways for businesses to showcase products, promote services and increase brand awareness, and one of the key advantages of event marketing is the ability to provide attendees with something memorable to link back to you. However, organizing events can be extremely complicated and time-consuming.
For example, a typical business or event company might need to research potential venues, enlist the help of expert speakers, organize catering, transport equipment, process payments and build an event team. This can be a lot to take on, especially if you are simultaneously managing day-to-day marketing activities as well.
One potential solution is to hire a virtual assistant who will be able to take over some of these responsibilities and offer their own expertise. Here’s how a VA can improve efficiency and make life easier.
In the early stages of the event planning process, it is important to make several key decisions, such as selecting your venue and identifying the event production services you need. Virtual assistants can be of great help in this area by carrying out much of the preliminary research, helping to identify the most suitable options.
Research is especially important when selecting your venue. After all, 36 percent of event planners spend most of their budget on the venue, and the majority of marketers are increasing their budgets year-on-year. Virtual assistants can take more time to research venues, increasing the chances of making the right decision.
A professional VA is also likely to have more experience in arranging things like catering services and entertainment options. As a result, not only can enlisting the help of a VA save you time personally, it can also save time generally.
Another area where virtual assistants can be extremely useful is in helping to manage communications. By providing them with login credentials for your social media accounts and email accounts, you can delegate much of the more basic communications work and ask them to only involve you in the more important or complicated discussions.
In addition to responding to communications from others, virtual assistants can also be asked to post new content on social media or to send out marketing emails to potential event attendees, guest speakers or business partners.
Successful event planning also requires careful organization. After all, there is no point paying for innovative exhibits or exciting technology to use at the event if you have not organized for those things to be transported and set up. This is an area of event planning that can be very successfully delegated to a VA.
Indeed, by delegating primarily the organizational elements of the planning process, you can ensure that you and your team are still in control of the big decisions. This then leaves your virtual assistant in charge of handling the logistical elements that are connected to those decisions, freeing up valuable time for your team.
Examples of some of the other tasks that fit into this category include processing bookings and payments, arranging travel for staff, arranging event production services and obtaining assistance with building exhibition stands.
Finally, a virtual assistant can help to take on many of the tasks associated with an event company actually making sales. This could mean, for instance, providing them with a list of leads or prospects to follow up with after the event and allowing them to actually handle the bulk of the post-event sales efforts.
“Sales support tasks – like generating new leads, following up and qualifying prospects or processing orders – can take up a lot of your time,” explain Oneresource, a company that provides VAs. “A sales virtual assistant can give you back that time by taking over many time-consuming sales and customer support tasks.”
According to Marketing Donut, 80 percent of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes.” This means you need to follow up with them at least five times, meaning a VA taking over this job can save you a lot of work.
Planning a business event is a multi-faceted, time-consuming process that can include everything from booking venues, to creating innovative exhibits and communicating with attendees. As a result, it can be difficult to balance these various tasks effectively, especially if you are also continuing your usual day-to-day responsibilities.
One of the best solutions to this problem is to enlist the help of a professional virtual assistant, who will often have specific expertise and can help with various aspects, from research and organization to communication and sales, maximizing your efficiency in the process.