So often we need to understand how something might work for us by hearing how it’s working for others. Again, the old “don’t tell me – show me” adage we’ve mentioned before. It’s interesting when something is born out of necessity, and even more so when it’s provable based upon other case studies AND your own!
EventCollab isn’t a tech company that found a niche in the events industry, it’s a company of events people who had a NEED. We had a need for a project management tool that makes it easier to involve everyone who’s working on the events we’re producing. We had a need to have one collaborative space online where we could take a lot of our workflow out of email and into one central space. And so EventCollab was born.
CEO had a need. Built it.
Our CEO and Founder Tommy Melancon has had his own technical services production company for more than 20 years. With dozens of employees all over the country, and different layers of clients including agencies and end clients, he was in search of one tool that could enable them to work seamlessly with everyone. After using several project management tools they tried to make fit, they realized it just didn’t exist! So, he hired a developer (or three) to build a tool his team and clients could use.
After using it with their clients with much success – including “surprising and delighting” the CFO of one of their clients with a speedy turnaround of their show budget from the previous year – something he indicated would have take two days to get internally… He decided to make it available to the industry. He took the leap to start-up an event technology company and produce tools he knows we all need.
Hours saved now. Hours saved later.
Level 2 Design is Tommy’s other event company, and they’ve worked on thousands of meetings and events over the years. Most recently they’ve worked on a couple of conferences for very big technology brands that were especially successful, in part, because of EventCollab.
By keeping a close handle on labor using this online tool throughout the show, Level 2 was recently able to save a client 13% on labor over the previous year – $107K in savings under budget!
Tommy shared a few of his thoughts on using EventCollab with Level 2. “We also save a ton of time internally as a team because we’ve removed any issues with version control from our workflow using EC’s integration with Google Docs and file sharing. Level 2 saves about 50 hours per week not having to email documents internally or look for the most recent versions. If we need to review info with another person on the team, we simply go into EC, click on the event, open the document, and start working in real time.
It’s important to focus your show information to the right team. Both in pre-production and onsite, so often the team gets too much info or none! We’ve built a process using EC to provide the info that is important to the needs of the team. For example, we’ll give the tech team the daily schedule, and not a master schedule with too much info… The lighting or audio teams do not need to see all of the videos that team is editing.”
Time saved means money saved.
Another power-user of EventCollab is Russ Callahan, and his team at PRG in Las Vegas. They handle many different kinds of events, and one was a large booth build for Airbus Helicopter. He was able to realize a $60K savings for his client by using EventCollab.
When asked what sets EventCollab apart from other tools, Russ had this to say: “It is simple. It is made for the industry by people that have experience in the industry. The makers are always willing to listen to suggestions, and are constantly improving an already great product.”
When asked what issue EventCollab solved for him / why he chose it, he said: “How to communicate with multiple aspects of the show (clients, technical experts, suppliers, logistics) all in one place. I don’t have to send them to other programs for information and hope they remember to comment or send updates as to their changes. This is a product that you can work through, not report to. There is a huge workflow difference.”
And his favorite feature is the Google Drive integration. “Everyone is using the same forms updated on the fly, without having to leave the app.”
Process change is hard, but worth it.
Getting “buy-in” isn’t just about getting a financial commitment — that’s the easy part! Implementing process change in an organization of any size is difficult, and we get that. Using a CRM is a perfect example of a tool that everyone wasn’t using, but now if you aren’t, your organization isn’t harnessing its leads well. But! It’s garbage in and garbage out if it isn’t being used to its proper potential. Using an event project management tool is no different. The beginning will take a little bit of work in figuring out your “standard operating procedures (SOP),” but as you’ve seen in this post, it will absolutely be worth it.
Managing the core of your work in email just isn’t efficient. Sending email requesting files, then receiving them back (hopefully), and having to put them somewhere, or having to forward them to someone else… Is that working for you? Aside from the reduced frustration of having to manage less email, saving your company (or your client’s) a considerable amount money is reason enough to make a change.
Process change is necessary as we all evolve in our work. Take some time as we approach a new year to evaluate whether you’d like to make it easier to work with your event teams. Think through whether you’d like to look like a hero by saving your client’s money. Those who have will tell you — it’s more than worth it!