01 Sep 7 steps to digital transformation of your events
In an earlier post we provided insight in the result of digitally transformed events. By doing so, we started with the objective in mind.
Now let’s see how to get there. I suggest we follow the 7 steps that are used for digital marketing transformation in general and apply these to your events.
- Many organizations don’t have a digital marketing strategy yet. Having one will of course make it easier to develop the strategy for the digital transformation of your events. In absence of one, you may use the exercise for your events to drive the creation of an overall digital marketing strategy. In the end events are touching on almost all aspects of it.
You should treat, in this phase, questions about the objectives of the digital transformation of events: how you want to get there and how you want to measure and control.
- In the second step you review what is in place for your events and in how far digital tools are used.
At this point you need to ask yourself some fundamental questions: about your skills, resources, infrastructure and about your data management. Also it’s a good moment to review the overall event participant experience and the ROI of your events.
- Having done the benchmark you can define the structure and workflow for digitally transformed events. Obviously this doesn’t focus on digital tools, you will describe the optimized situation and see how digital tools can support you achieving it. You will not push digital for the sake of digital, but to reach your defined objectives.
- From the gap analysis that steps 1-3 delivers, you can distill the project plan, resources and investments needed to reach the optimized situation. Ask questions like: how can I optimize the events budget with new tools and resources, how will event ROI optimize through the investments I propose? What do I need to create event excellence and maintain it? This is also the step in which you will describe the functionality of event tech tools as well as the adaptations of CRM and Marketing Automation systems and processes that you need. It’s also a good time to get RFPs done.
- With the resource, investment and related action plan you are going to convince your co-workers and superiors. You will meet catalysts and inhibitors on your way. Make sure you have a supporter in the boardroom and that staff understands their role in creating the added value around your events by going through the change.
- In this step you manage the agreed change. This will for sure include technology, but that should be treated for what it is: a tool. Most important is to ensure adoption of the new way to organize, communicate and benefit from events. Make sure that you are aligned with the overall business strategy and watch over the impact of the digital transformation of events on your brand and other marketing aspects.
- The final step is of course about measuring the effect of the digital transformation of your events. In step 1 you laid the groundwork for that with KPIs and the way to measure them. We suggest an agile approach to ensure continuous performance improvement.
No matter the scope of the digital transformation of your events, or the event tech-tools you put in place, the above steps provide structure and guidance. Engaging external expert help might be useful to keep the pace, especially in those phases where internal politics come into play. Wishing you great ROI on your digitally transformed events!