No matter the size of your organization, the life stage you’re in or how much money your company is putting behind events, one common factor that must be dealt with is getting everybody internally on board with your vision and plan as an event marketer.
But as you already may know, this is no cake-walk.
Dealing with human beings in a business context comes with its challenges - no two individuals are alike, let alone two different functions within a company, making collaboration and ever-challenging endeavour - friction and resistance are sometimes just a part of the game.
So does this mean you just accept the fact that alignment is a bummer and run your event anyway?
Of course not. Without proper collaboration, succeeding in events is almost impossible.
In our recent edition of Event Heroes, we spoke to Ashley Maurus, Director of Experience Marketing at Quantum Metric. Ashley has been passionate about planning and organizing things since her childhood!
Currently, she is at the helm of all the marketing events that Quantum Metric runs in North America, and has a wealth of experience in collaborating with internal stakeholders.
In this article, we’ve shared 5 tips from our conversation with her that can help you run better events by getting that crucial internal buy-in.
Tip 1: Overcome Resistance Through Trust and Communication
When we asked Ashley why collaboration is difficult, she highlighted that it’s never easy to sync with different personalities, functions and goals, but trust and communication can go a long way.
"At the end of the day, buy-in is very much built on trust. " says Ashley. “When you're met in those times of resistance, maybe with somebody clashing with your idea, ask why - get to the root of where that resistance is coming from."
"Because so often, I think we finish that story in our mind for that person. It might be something completely different. [Getting to the root of resistance] is just a moment of connection to really bridge that gap."
Key takeaway: By actively listening and understanding your internal stakeholders, you can establish trust, laying the groundwork for a collaborative relationship.
Tip 2: Align Goals and Objectives
According to Ashley, alignment of goals is the key driver of event success, and it must be done well before the actual event. "It's doing that upfront work - getting everyone aligned, making sure that everyone's in agreement on the goals, the ‘why we're doing this’, and the ‘who's the audience’.”
Highlighting the core aspect of alignment, Ashley states: “I think it's just understanding what the goal of each of those departments will be, and understanding what they're trying to accomplish and aligning that goal with yours.”
Key takeaway: When goals and objectives are aligned, collaboration becomes smoother, leading to more efficient and effective outcomes.
Tip 3: Leverage Your Existing Customer Base
Ashley emphasizes the importance of leveraging existing relationships by pro-actively collaborating with your customer success team, an often overlooked internal stakeholder.
Highlighting their importance, Ashley says “In my opinion, they’re arguably the most crucial because they're responsible for getting your existing customers to your event, which means you know the people that are going to sell on your behalf - and that's where the real magic happens.”
“There's nobody that's going to be stronger at selling your product than your existing customer base so we always pepper in at least a few customer brands at our events - just to be an extension of our team and really that proof point sharing their real life experiences using the product in a way that we can't because they have that trust behind it.”
Key takeaway: Collaborating with the customer success team can help leverage existing customer relationships to drive sales and build trust at your event.
Tip 4: Engage Your Partnership Ecosystem
Another overlooked function, according to Ashley, is the partnership team and ecosystem which can really strengthen your brand when it comes to events. Of course, to successfully have them onboard with your plan, it’s important to understand what your partner brands’ needs are and why they would want to participate in your event.
“Your ecosystem, your partner network is so key in B2B Tech but especially in the startup world. It's going to strengthen your brand. Each brand really participating expands your audience reach.”
Key takeaway: Collaboration with your partner ecosystem can help you get multiple brands to participate in events, thereby expanding the audience reach and enhancing your event’s credibility.
Tip 5: Acknowledge Internal Marketing Efforts
Ashley points out that sometimes the internal marketing team is taken for granted, assuming they are already on board with your event marketing efforts, but that is not always the case. Without the support and cooperation of the internal marketing team, you could be left isolated and alone in your efforts.
“I mean I like to think everyone has events at the center of everything they do but that's not the case - you know there's other marketing activities out there. So I think just an acknowledgment of that sometimes with your internal marketing team or even if you have some sort of shout out system within your organization - just giving them those kudos every once in a while really goes a long way.”
Key takeaway: Recognizing the efforts of your internal marketing team and giving them the kudos they deserve can foster a positive and collaborative environment.
So you see, the right perspective can go a long way in helping you collaborate better with your internal stakeholders, and in turn, run successful B2B events.