Part One: Speakers
It’s been a busy few months for team CadmiumCD UK. We’ve attended as many industry events, congresses, exhibitions and conferences as we can; all as part of our ‘soft-to-hard’ launch of the best event management software to be released on the world of events.
But, while the talk in the conference and meeting rooms is all about work, the chat in the bars and plenary’s is all about life, health and most recently wellness. The UK events industry is becoming increasingly obsessed with mindfulness. Who can blame it, with a recent article in Forbes magazine putting event professional in the top five most stressful vocations? It’s an issue that the industry cares about and is taking on.
This isn’t new to us either. It’s the combat of stress that spurs on innovation within the CadmiumCD business. This is a product that is now being used across more than 4,500 events across the US and North America. Its success has been so dramatic that it is expanding around the world; step off point one is the UK and Europe.
A Small Step to Reduce Anxiety
But the company started because two people spotted a chance to reduce the daily strain on events people. Starting with delegates, who were needlessly being asked to carry around complex delegate packs and marketing literature; from this point the founders of CadmiumCD developed the first delegate CD. They then quickly developed software as they got to understand the day to day anxiety of event organisers; from exhibition stalls to sponsorship activation; from delegate management to speaker management. If an event organiser feels stress, the guys get the developers on the case.
So, where better to start in our own journey here in the UK than the very same spot that the company started in the US and that continues to be discussed by event professionals to other event professionals. Mindfulness.
We’ve used our little sojourns around Europe, not just to promote the arrival of CadmiumCD – great news and hugely significant it is in its own right – but to understand how we can support event organisers across the territory, specifically to understand where their pain points are and the parts of their jobs that keep them up at night. This blog Is part one of a three part series on event organiser Mindfulness, we hope you enjoy it.
The Role of Event Tech
The event technology sector in the UK has thrived in the past few years; technology has been developed for every aspect of the event, from on stage to off stage, behind the scenes to outside of the event completely. However, the most abundant cause of stress mentioned by pretty much every event professional we spoke to was speaker management, and there are few examples of event tech that can lighten this burden … until now.
Most of the events we work with are major conferences, major congresses or major exhibitions, with a major conference programme included. Our customer’s events start from around 50 speakers and range as high as over a thousand.
Event organisers take pride in their content, they want to work collaboratively with every speaker, allow themselves to curate the experience for their delegates, and tell a story across their on-stage content. This is just about impossible when working with multiple speakers, from around the world; from the administratively compliant and high maintenance professor, to the laissez-faire MD, satisfied to turn up on the day with a USB stick and a smile. It’s no wonder speaker management causes so much anxiety.
Good news is that CadmiumCD has an answer and continues to develop software that can help support event professionals looking to herd speakers and speaker content. The software is excellent; a dashboard that easily shows every speaker and their progress from ‘approach’ to ‘fully briefed, presentation received’. The system is user friendly, it uses a traffic light system based on your timelines to understand who needs to be chased, and who is ahead of the game.
The system also allows for both mass and singular communication to the speakers, so circulars can be sent to explain logistical information, or individual notes sent to ask for more detail or to better understand how the content will be presented. How about that for event professional mindfulness?
It works both ways as well. Speakers love to be loved, and they want to know that the event is ready for them, understands their specific needs, and is aware of their desires from AV support of their presentations to which side they prefer the lectern to be on. They can speak directly to the organiser, and see their own timelines, allowing them to manage their own time more effectively, as well as that of the event organiser.
Most importantly, the software provides storage and distribution for presentations as well as speaker and delegate information. It talks to other marketing channels like websites and delegate management systems so the organiser can be confident that as they receive the speaker biography it can be approved and then immediately appear on the app and the brochure; that the presentation will go straight onto the screen; that notes and supporting information go into the digital delegate pack. It’s seamless and it takes the admin out of collating large amounts of information.
As an industry, we’re pretty good at adopting technology that makes our lives easier, but we also like our old and trusted systems; excel spreadsheets and the like. With speakers though, the process needs software specifically designed for that purpose. It’s too important to get wrong, and it needs constant supervision.
The Event Organiser’s Best Friend
CadmiumCD is becoming the mindfulness and spiritual relief software for event professionals and its speaker management software is designed through the study of the pain points of event organiser. Where it can, it has functionality and features that take on specific points. It understands time lines from the perspective of organiser and speaker and respects them both. It allows for communication both ways.
We’re not promising complete stress relief, and this series of blogs is a chance for us to show our own little contributions to better mindfulness, whilst not always completely solving it. But it is our chance to listen to event organisers, and for us to continue to develop software that makes the industry work better for everyone.
About the Authors
Established by the husband-wife team of Peter and Michelle Wyatt, CadmiumCD is located near Baltimore, Maryland and has been working within the meetings industry since 2000. Their focus is on creating online services that save time and are easy to use for event planners and attendees and they have supported #Eventwell17 with series of mindfulness blogs