Many planners today are members of their organization's events' team, but have you ever thought about what it takes to own and operate a successful, independent agency?
In episode 6 of the etouches Affinity Podcast, Marti Smith, the President & CEO of MS Management, LLC, takes us through her story, from what it's like being her own boss, the challenges that come with that, and how her and her team measure and define what success means.
Check out a few excerpts from Marti's interview and download the full episode below!
Being that you’re your own boss and make your own schedule, what challenges do you face when planning events?
I think the first thing is budget. Right now a lot of people are cutting back on their budget and I think you really have to be conscience of what their budget is and what the costs are for different technologies. There’s so many things you want to use to improve, such as your user-friendly applications to make it easier for attendees and exhibitors to work as efficiently as possible, however that’s going to cost money and that’s the catch 22 that you have to try to balance out.
Security is another challenge. With all the craziness that’s going on in this world, attendees want to feel secure and they’ll definitely ask you about it; did you update your security systems? is there going to be more police presence at the event? And it’s a shame that they feel this way, but it’s so important to make attendees to feel comfortable at your event.
When you’re planning events, what’s something that makes it successful to you and the partners that you work with?
The people that show up to events are your best bet to get the right feedback. The success of the show is what they see; if you can hide all the fun stuff in the background that’s not going well, then you’ll be successful. But the biggest thing that people will love to tell you is what went wrong first, and then the couple things that were good. But for the most part if you can get the attendees and the exhibitors back to future events, as well as their feedback then that is your best bet.
Tell me about some of the technology you’re using to make event planning more efficient.
There is so much out there. You need to really go through what it is you need and what works best for your situation. The "one stop shop" concept is ideal, to do as much as you can in one place, from registration to housing. And it’s hard to do all of it, but there are certain companies out there that do a good job of it and make your job a lot easier.