In the past decade, technology has advanced the special event industry by increasing efficiency and providing enhanced solutions for collaboration. Some people are early adopters—you know, the ones who pre-order new devices and are always on top of the latest apps. Then, there are the luddites who would live the rest of their lives out on pen and paper if they could.
Most of us, however, fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum and we each have our own relationship with technology. Regardless of where you fall, we can all appreciate the fact that technology has transformed the industry for the better. This is especially critical today, as Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z rely heavily on technology in their day-to-day lives and are hesitant to book vendors that don’t seem to be on the same page.
If you tend to lean on the early adopter side, it can often be challenging to get your not-so-tech-savvy peers onboard with the changes. However, with enough guidance and support, bringing your whole event team into a collaborative tech solution can be extremely rewarding — not just for you and your team, but for your client as well.
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Here are a few tips for catching your creative partners up-to-speed and finding a common place online.
Promote the value of technology
For many, switching to a digital method can seem overwhelming, so the ends really must justify the means. It has to be worth it for them. Show them how the event and planning process will run much smoother when everyone is connected, on the same page, and with access to all of the same documentation. Not only does this prevent consistency errors, but the streamlined process will also save time for everyone in the long run.
Lean on the client
At the end of the day, utilizing technology automatically makes you appear more professional and competent in the eyes of a client. It enhances communication about expectations, timeline, next steps, and potential concerns. Thus, try to onboard a peer by sharing with them that the client has requested them to use a certain app or platform. Most wedding and event professionals are team players and want to do what is best for the client.
Walk them through it
Be prepared to hold their hand a bit in the beginning and let them look to you for guidance as they explore the features of a new program. Nowadays, new software tends to be pretty user-friendly, so they’ll likely pick it up fairly quickly. You may also need to cover your bases for a period while your vendor team catches up. For example, if you start having Zoom meetings but some are still figuring it out, follow the meetings up with an email recap to keep a paper trail.
Change is hard, especially for creatives who are focused on their craft rather than those tedious business aspects. Don’t make it a requirement or else you may risk a positive industry relationship. Instead, gently nudge them in the direction and see if they’re willing to give it a try. The bright side is that, once you do get them to try something new, they’ll see that their lives are easier and they are typically hooked!