Many of us make New Year’s resolutions for our personal life, but few people make resolutions for their work life.
However, making commitments to change the way you do things in the workplace could make a real difference to both the success of your events, and your overall career satisfaction.
Check out these 7 New Year’s resolutions for EventProfs and add your own in the comments!
- Attend more events for inspiration (that aren’t your own)
Keeping your events fresh and exciting requires incorporating new ideas. These ideas don’t always have to be 100% original. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs are those who ‘borrow’ ideas from one industry and introduce it into another.
You can take inspiration from all sorts of sources, but especially from events that aren’t in direct competition with yours, so try to attend a good selection in 2017. They don’t even have to be the same type of event as yours, for example a festival could provide the perfect idea for catering at your conference. You never know where inspiration will strike!
- Keep on top of developments in technology
Attending a range of events will allow you to see trending technology in use, but to stay ahead of the curve in this fast-paced sector you should also keep abreast of tech news.
Good sites to monitor include TechCrunch, Recode, Venture Beat and Wired. Subscribe to their daily/weekly newsletters or have the news aggregated into a tool like Feedly. Simply save the sites of interest to you and view all the latest headlines in one clutter-free space.
Don’t forget that tech can not only enhance your live events, it can also improve your backend management and processes. If you’re not already making use of CRM (customer relationship management), team communication and event registration tools (such as Eventbrite), now is the time to get to grips with them.
- Improve one small thing every week
When we make New Year’s resolutions it’s often tempting to set ambitious goals, but this is probably the very reason 42% (according to StatisticBrain) of us fail to keep them.
A better approach could be making a commitment to many, small improvements. The concept is known as the ‘1% marginal gains theory’ and was popularised by Sir Dave Brailsford, Performance Director of British Cycling.
He helped Team GB to Olympic success by improving every element of their performance by 1%. This included the things you might expect like the nutrition of riders, the aerodynamic of the bike, and the weight of the tires, but it extended way beyond this to discovering the pillow that offered the best sleep, introducing the use of antibacterial hand gel to cut down on infections and testing the most effective massage gel.
They searched for small improvements everywhere and it added up to incredible results. Look for little adaptions you can make each week and these gains will quickly accumulate into something significant.
- Be more customer centric
Being customer centric is about creating a positive experience for attendees before, during and after the event, in order to drive repeat business and word of mouth marketing.
Look at each customer touch point and consider if there are ways to improve this or make the transition to each point more seamless. From the usability of your website, through to your pre-event communications and post-event follow-ups, how can these be tweaked to enhance the overall experience for your attendees?
- Ask for feedback (more often!)
Identifying areas for improvement is sometimes better done by those outside your business – namely your customers. They’re the ones who can really tell you if you’re doing a good job, so seek their opinion frequently.
It’s not just about post-event digital surveys; talk to your customers! People aren’t always motivated to complete online surveys but if you call them up or ask them for their opinion in person they’ll likely be pleased to share it. Explain that you respect their opinion and push them to be critical for really useful insight.
Consider also organising a moderated usability session to see how customers interact with your website and identify any sticking points. Your website is often the first touch point customers have, so it’s vital to get it right.
- Ask ‘why not?’ instead of ‘why?’
Keeping an open mind and never ruling anything out is what makes entrepreneurs like Elon Musk so visionary. You can apply the same way of thinking to your events by never stamping on an idea – however crazy it might seem at first glance – until you’ve fully considered its viability.
Musk asked, ‘Why can’t cars run on electricity?’, ‘Why can’t we establish life on Mars?’ and ‘Why can’t we travel at super-speeds in a vacuum-based transportation system?’ Sure, challenges stood in his way but he set about finding solutions and is making great progress in the process.
Adopting a ‘why not?’ mindset can help you be more creative and bring a new level of innovation to your events.
- Use the word ‘No’ more often
Resolving to say ‘No’ more in 2017 might seem at odds with the above resolution, but it’s not about being closed-minded to good ideas. Rather it is about having the ability to prioritise them and stay focused on your long-term objectives.
Once you have your goals in sight it’s essential to stay focused in order to achieve them. Therefore, it will be necessary to turn down some requests. In addition, learning to delegate can free you up to work on the projects that have the potential to really take your events forward.
Good communication is key; make sure everyone in your team knows what you’re working towards. That way, when you tell them, ‘No’ or ask them to do something, you’ll get buy-in.
New Year’s resolutions don’t just have to be for you – they can be for your event and your entire team. Why not sit the team down this week and ask for everyone’s suggestions? It’s a great way to shrug off the January blues and get everyone motivated for a successful 2017.