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How to plan effectively for B2B tech marketing events

Jessica Nickels

By Jessica Nickels
May 10, 2024

How to plan effectively for B2B tech marketing events

As a project manager who supports our B2B technology marketing clients at events big and small (mostly big in this industry), I've learned a few things about keeping cool under pressure. When everything but the event date can change at the last minute, flexibility and forethought are your best friends. Here are some strategies you can use to cope with the complexities.

Develop patience and flexibility.

Maintaining patience is crucial when so much is outside your control. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the details and pressing needs. Take a breath, keep a level head, and focus on finding solutions.

Being flexible is equally important. Sometimes, you have to shift gears at a moment's notice to tackle changes smoothly. Even as you watch your carefully laid plans topple like dominoes, seeing obstacles as opportunities makes them more manageable.

Communicate clearly with all parties on statuses and next steps. Remember that everyone else is dealing with their own stressors. You and your team will figure it out together.

Rely on your team for support.

No one person can handle every detail alone, especially since you’re likely to be preparing for multiple events at the same time. That's why it's important to leverage the expertise of your team. Whether it's designing graphics, ironing out logistics, or dealing with last-minute shipping, someone on your team has the answer.

Asking for help ensures all the bases are covered and prevents burnout. Being able to count on my teammates for backup has saved me from many a near-crisis. It also fosters cross-training so anyone can cover seamlessly when someone is out. The support of a well-oiled machine is invaluable for maintaining your sanity!

teams working together at event booths

Anticipate needs through experience.

With each event, I’ve learned something new that helps me better anticipate things the next time around. Small things—like ensuring photo release forms are printed—go a long way toward cutting off problems before they happen. As I've grown familiar with various processes, systems, and preferences, I can often predict questions and concerns clients will have.

History has also taught me when to gently guide by offering suggestions from prior projects, and when to focus on actively listening to customize our approach to their preferences. That level of understanding builds trust that we have clients' best interests at heart. And trust develops great partnerships.

Implement systems for organization and visibility.

Clear communication among your team is a vital ingredient of excellent service. It’s easy for the back and forth of email threads to become disorganized and confusing while supporting an extensive series of event deliverables.

marketing team working with computers and whiteboards to organize ideasTo avoid this confusion and foster much clearer communication amongst our internal team, we developed a dedicated dashboard within our project management software to track outgoing and incoming event shipments. This keeps the whole team on the same page.

Now anyone can log in and immediately understand what's currently in progress versus already completed. This takes the guesswork out of status updates. It also eliminates version-control issues and, more importantly, ensures nothing slips through the cracks. This has been transformative for our client success—and our peace of mind.

Think ahead.

Reacting as issues arise is normal and common. But things run more smoothly when you can picture how elements might interconnect and impact one another. Take the time to ask thoughtful questions in advance, identify potential risks, and develop backup strategies. Being prepared will help you roll with any surprises and make every event a success.

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