If your business is doubling down on meetings, events and business travel, your in-house teams are likely juggling more tasks than they had been during the height of the pandemic. As a result, you’ve probably considered the advantages of outsourcing some of that extra work to an agency partner.
But how do you know whether it’s the right time to make that change, or if your teams could actually benefit from this type of partnership? Here are four signs that can help you decide if it’s time to find a meetings management partner.
1. You need help with virtual and hybrid events
Virtual and hybrid events aren’t going away anytime soon — but not all teams are up to the task of producing these complex events.
Has your company been struggling with the shift from in-person to virtual events? Are you lacking the audiovisual (AV) equipment and technical support it takes to execute a successful online meeting or omnichannel conference?
If so, it’s time to enlist the support of an experienced virtual event production company. Their team can take care of all the logistics, from supporting concurrent sessions to ensuring you’re using the most reliable streaming service.
2. You’re spending too much time and energy on planning meetings
Due to pandemic restrictions, your in-house event marketers, travel coordinators and other staff members have likely transitioned to take on other responsibilities over the past year and a half. Now that your company is investing in business travel and large-scale events again, are these teams having a hard time fitting all of their old responsibilities in alongside their new workloads?
If your in-house travel and event planners are juggling too much at once, the quality of your meetings and events will start to suffer. If decision-makers are stepping in to offer support, they’re being prevented from keeping up with other key activities, responsibilities and business objectives.
It might seem like you will need to do a lot of hand-holding to get an agency on board, but the right partnership can actually lighten your load. Once you brief your meetings and events partner on your goals and priorities, they can get to work building a strategic meetings management (SMM) program. This will take everything into account, from budgets and policies to schedules and workflows.
With that SMM plan as a blueprint, your agency partner can get to work bringing your event and travel ideas to fruition — providing you effortless events and saving your team members countless hours.
3. You have some compliance issues
When you’re scrambling to simply get business meetings and events off the ground, important details can slip through the cracks. It may not be easy to admit, but is it true that your policies haven’t been looked at in years, your company isn’t effectively mitigating risk and duty of care has become an afterthought?
With the risk that comes with hosting large-scale events and supporting global business travel, these essential compliance considerations and safeguards can’t afford to collect dust. The right partner can audit and rework your event policies to ensure your company isn’t negligent and at the risk being sued for damages.
4. You’re shifting your approach to meeting and business travel
As your business has pivoted amid the pandemic, you may now be taking a completely new approach to business travel, meetings and events. But if you’ve been pouring your energy into bringing your new event vision to life, you may have forgotten a step. Have you articulated your new strategy? Is your SMM plan well-documented? Or are you simply taking it one day at a time?
If your business is in the midst of reevaluating and shifting its approach, it’s a great time to involve an agency partner. You don’t need to have all the answers before outsourcing event management. In fact, enlisting third-party support during a time of transition can actually lead to building a stronger SMM program.
Once your meetings management agency knows how you used to do things, how you’re operating now and what goals you’re working toward, they can piece together a solid SMM plan that meets your needs and maps out a smooth transition.
This can be especially helpful if you’re attempting to overhaul your meeting, event and travel strategy across the organization. The right partner can bring together historically siloed teams and roll out a comprehensive program that brings all departments up to speed.
The right time to outsource might be earlier than you think
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your business is act before you feel totally ready. When you don’t have all the answers — when your SMM program is in transition and you don’t know how to reach your goals — that’s when partnering with an experienced meeting management agency can make all the difference.