Planning events is like fighting a hydra. If it’s not one thing, it’s another; and once one crisis is averted, another one soon rears its ugly head. Event professionals must be on top of their game at all times.
We are used to having an array of tech solutions at our fingertips. The problem is event planning software programs are often more trouble than they’re worth because they are limited in their flexibility, which means you end up doing even more work to compensate.There is no one-size-fits-all in the event world; every single event has its own subjective elements, logistics, and challenges.
Exhibit A: My friend (we’ll call her Sara) decided to make the traditional entrance at her bat mitzvah (coming of age ceremony) inside the mouth of an elephant. Yes — an elephant — you read that right.
Exhibit B: Sara the elephant-rider only did so to upstage her older sister Rachel, a musician, who was presented at her bat mitzvah a few years earlier while playing her violin accompanied by the Los Angeles Philharmonic…
You can imagine the logistical challenges concerning security, insurance, street permits, building capacity, liability, etc., that would be involved in planning these events. So, if anyone knows of an event planning software that foresees complications like these, please let me know. I will happily eat my words. In the meantime, I always suggest using a few simple tools in concert (no pun intended) over a larger universal system.
One of these tools is business texting, i.e. enabling your existing landline number to send and receive conversational texts. Texting is one of the most powerful tools a planner can have in their arsenal. How can implementing something so simple make such a big difference? Because texting flexible and customizable, just like we need to be.
The five major benefits of business texting
1. Use automation as your own personal assistant. It doesn’t matter how many times you publish the who, what, where, when, directions, etc. online, in emails, over the phone, or on the invitations it took your client literally five weeks to decide the color scheme for. You will get guests and vendors calling in and asking logistical questions you don’t have time for. Business texting features like Auto Reply, Keywords, and Scheduled Texts answer those questions for you.
2. Delegate, delegate, delegate. I have a really hard time with this, as I am a firm believer that if you want something done right, you must do it yourself. The problem with that methodology is that there isn’t currently a technology that allows me to do 50+ things at once. Until then, having my landline text enabled means I can hand over the conversation to a team member or volunteer for the event. I couldn’t do that if I was using my personal phone. You don’t have time to deal with every problem, so let someone else act as dispatch while you focus on the high priority items.
3. Organization and efficiency. To be clear, texting is not meant to replace email or phone conversations. Instead, it is a useful aid to keep the flow of communication running in real-time. Spend less time playing phone tag and waiting for vendors and clients to finally get around to answering your email. Text them instead so they can respond on their schedule. Save time and sanity by communicating general information through BCC Group Texting.
4. Keep your private life private. Everybody laughs and gasps at reality TV’s Bridezillas and Sweet Sixteen divas — except for us event planners, because we know the reality all too well. Using business texting keeps your personal phone number away from the crazies. Let them send as many 2am texts as they want to your Auto Reply… which will kindly remind them you are sleeping and can’t wait to get back to them just as soon as you get into the office in the morning ?
5. Client satisfaction. This is the big one. Texting enhances the client experience. Because they are able to text, you get the info you need on time and keep them feeling involved and in charge. As a result, you are able to do your job effectively and create a successful event. Your client is happy they had the option to text when their 80+ hour work week and other responsibilities made it hard to call you. When your clients are happy, you get referrals, good online star ratings, and in most cases, repeat business. There is nothing more valuable to your business than that.
Lindsay Field is an events and communications consultant with experience executing high end large scale events in the entertainment and professional sports industries, most recently as the lead Project Manager, Client/Sponsor Account Director, and Hospitality Coordinator for the Longines Indoor Grand Slam Series of Show Jumping. She is now bringing the world of business texting to event and wedding professionals at Zipwhip in Seattle.