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How to plan a 2022 meetings and events strategy

Take a look at Event Travel Management’s (ETM’s) blueprint for re-energising your meetings and events strategy as we emerge from a period of lockdowns and Zoom fatigue.

Over the next 12 months, ETM has a constant workflow with clients across numerous industries, including retail, automotive and health and wellness to name a few. Despite the intricacies of each industry segment, the excitement of meeting in-person is unanimous for all.

Fiona Batten

“Virtual conferencing has run its course and although some customers will continue to select hybrid event models, we have seen a significant shift in our customers’ mindsets this year. It’s evident the appetite to meet face-to-face is back with most of our customers not electing to cancel their event or go virtual when lockdowns occur, but rather postpone until they can conference in person. The ‘Power of the People’ will be the focus of meetings for 2022 – face to face is coming back!” – Fiona Batten, ETM’s Director of Operations.

 

At ETM, our purpose is to drive strategic solutions that align with our clients’ business objectives. We work closely with them to create experiences that re-engage and reconnect their audiences through a shared vision to motivate, excite and inspire.

With business events poised for a strong return in 2022, we thought it fitting to share some simple guidelines for businesses to assist with their event planning for the year ahead. This advice has been curated by ETMs Director of Operations, Fiona Batten.

Read our four simple steps to help businesses kick-start their meetings and events planning in 2022 below.

1. Begin with the Who, What, Why?

With such a long break between events, it’s normal for businesses to lose touch of their event planning mentality. Breaking down the basic foundations of your event schedule will help keep your planning tactics on track to remain effective and efficient with the execution.

Some questions to ask include:

  • What is it?
  • Why do it?
  • Who’s involved?
  • What’s the goal?
  • What are your business objectives?

2. Provide a comprehensive brief of your business to your event management company

Once you’ve defined the basic foundations of each event, include a detailed overview of your business goals when you engage an event management company.

Include:

  • What has changed in your business over the last 12-18 months?
  • What is the most important message/s to get across at your conference/event?
  • What is the future vision, goals, directives for the company?
  • What are the key pain points and insights?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What do they THINK, KNOW FEEL about the brand/product/organisation NOW?
  • What do you want them to THINK, KNOW, FEEL after this experience?

3. Establish timelines and a budget

Now that you’ve engaged an expert event management team, work with them to gain a realistic perspective on timelines and budget constraints. Identify stakeholders both internal and external that may influence these factors and include them within the initial discussions.

Be prepared for the budget to fluctuate during the initial quoting stages until you confirm your final program inclusions and work with your agency to understand and agree on the critical path timelines.

Your agency should update you frequently as to any changes to the budget so there are no surprises. The critical path will outline key timelines around payments and attrition with suppliers which is important to be aware of and to adhere to avoid any financial impact to the budget.

4. Define measurements of success

What are the main deliverables when it comes to achieving a successful event?  How will you measure success?

AT ETM, we recommend implementing measures of success for each step of the process. You can do this by setting SMART goals, i.e. goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

Still looking for reassurance when planning events in 2022?

Our customers’ confidence in pursuing in-person events stems from ETM’s strong supplier relationships. We can provide customers with COVID-safe solutions, meaning minimal financial impact occurs if a postponement is required due to border closures or lockdowns.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of building trusted relationships both between ETM and our customers, but also ETM and our suppliers. When the whole industry is doing it tough, the level of understanding and ‘never-give-up’ attitude speaks to the strength of our people and industry peers.


Looking to reinvigorate your meetings and events strategy?

Take the stress out of event management with our expert event planning team.