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How Our Team Plans Events with Percolate
Since the start of 2019, Percolate’s field marketing team has undertaken four sporting game mixers, eight VIP dinners, three conferences and four roadshow events. So, how does a small but mighty team do it? The answer is pretty simple – we use Percolate!
It might seem unexpected to use a content marketing platform (CMP) for event planning. But if you think of events as a type of content, it makes a lot of sense.
Any marketing team will have a number of campaigns running in a given month, quarter or year. Within each of those campaigns, there could be tens or hundreds of pieces of content. The reason most marketers use a CMP, like Percolate, is to manage and centralize upstream marketing processes. This enables marketers to better collaborate, organize and leverage historical knowledge in one place. All three of which are essential to planning an event.
Let’s be honest, event planning will always be a team effort. Whether you have two people on the team or 20, collaboration is essential. On our team, we use Percolate as our central location to brainstorm, plan, and execute on details in real time. This lets us cut down on multiple emails going back and forth (and the potential for mistakes and missed details). For example, when I create a piece of event collateral and send it for approval, my teammate automatically gets updated with a notification to either approve or make further revisions. When she approves it, I get notified, and I can get it into production with no time to waste.
We also use the collaboration tools to work with internal thought leaders and subject matter experts. When we have built out an event, but need an expert opinion, we can tag them directly in the campaign. By doing this, they are able to see what is already planned and where they are able to fill in the gaps with their background knowledge.
As with any big project, events have many moving parts, which is exactly why we use Percolate to stay organized. If we break the campaign down into two sections, we have our content section and our workspace section. I like to think of the content section as where we store our deliverables. This is where our posters, tent cards, name tags, social posts, and venue contracts go. We use the workspace section for brainstorming and logistics. Think of this as the intangible tasks; the venue info, email templates, menu selections, etc.
These designated spaces for each component of a campaign allow us to be organized for every event and to replicate that organization for subsequent ones. One of my favorite aspects to using Percolate to plan events is that you can clone an entire campaign and edit the details accordingly, making it so that all events campaigns are neatly organized.
As someone who is relatively new to the marketing team, I often find myself needing information about how past events were planned and executed. Luckily, the Percolate marketing team has used Percolate since, well, the beginning of Percolate. Because of this, I am able to look at campaigns from previous years to gain insights, even if the team is completely different than what it was in 2011.
If we’re planning to host an event in a particular city, one of the first questions that comes up is usually if we’ve done an event there before, and what the details were. A prior event may have been planned by someone who’s since moved on from Percolate, which would normally make it hard to get those details.
Fortunately our team has been consistently good about using metadata and taxonomies when we plan events in Percolate. I can search by that same metadata and taxonomy information to find when the last time was that we hosted an event in a particular city, the venue that we hosted it in, and the overall theme. Within minutes, I can usually find what I need for my answer.
From strategy to execution, event planning does not have to be hard. There will always be hiccups along the way, but using a centralized tool like a CMP helps teams like ours to collaborate, organize, and preserve knowledge, even without past experience.