Many events depend on the successful collaboration of sponsors, vendors and presenters to succeed. When you plan an event like this, it is up to you to create value and attract the partners you need to succeed.
Here are six steps you can take to foster collaboration at your next event:
Invite all of the stakeholders to join in planning the event. If you will be working in person, get everyone together in one place, have some refreshments ready and get to work. If you will be collaborating remotely, use an online collaboration platform like Google Docs, GoToMeeting or join.me to make participation easy.
Start by describing the event in simple terms. Solicit feedback from similar events in the past as you plan this event. The goal here is to get people on board with planning the event.
2. Inspire Participation
There is one simple rule here; make participation easy. You have already started the process in step one; now it is time to go a bit further. Consider incentivizing greater participation. Work with your sponsors to offer prizes for good ideas.
Now it is time to gather as many ideas as possible. Do not worry about whether the ideas are good or not, just get them written down. When it comes to choosing a platform, pick something that is easy for everyone to use. For small businesses, a dedicated social media account is a good tool for online collaboration.
4. Eliminate the Clutter
Now that you have a lot of ideas written down, time to start eliminating the ideas you don’t want to use. Make sure this is a collaborative process; your participants need to feel like all ideas are being considered equally if you want them to continue contributing to the process.
Decide the maximum number of ideas to send to the next step ahead of time, but be flexible. You do not need to limit yourself at this point.
5. Focus on the Value
Now make the shift to finalizing the event. Your co-creators are aware and onboard with the plans. Take the best ideas you have and start to flesh them out. Before, the focus was on general ideas; now you need to be specific. The participants who are the most active at this point will be the ones you lean on as you move forward. Make sure you make their needs a priority.
6. Make it Happen
The last step in successful collaboration is turning the plans into reality. There were numerous stakeholders involved in making the plans; part of this phase is delegating responsibilities to them. Make sure that all tasks are accounted for; you do not want anything to slip through the cracks.
It takes a number of resources to pull off a successful event. Working together with vendors, sponsors and other stakeholders is essential. When everyone is involved in planning an event, everyone will be invested in seeing it through. Next time you plan an event, use these tools to inspire collaboration.