Initial analysis of **** events <ul><li>William Thomson </li></ul>
Overview - positives <ul><li>Very good interaction between policy team, and their ideas, and events team delivering those ...
Overview - negatives <ul><li>Lack of a current marketing function or strategy </li></ul><ul><li>New skills needed for even...
Initial focus – conferences, seminars, workshops and elearning <ul><li>Processes  </li></ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul><ul><...
Processes <ul><li>Introducing timelines as a basic tool for project management  </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing new budget l...
Events <ul><li>Making sure a conference is billed as a conference and not a ‘seminar’, or a ‘forum’ </li></ul><ul><li>Focu...
Marketing <ul><li>Upload current conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Review of past marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing a ma...
Sponsorship and exhibitions  <ul><li>Commercial contacts added as a separate searchable criteria in database </li></ul><ul...
Choosing the correct events Senior management Top / mid management Middle management Lower management Strategic Tactical B...
Senior management Top middle management Middle management Lower management a. b. a. c. d. a. Annual Conferences  b. Evenin...
Do what you do but do it better <ul><li>Focus on cost reduction for upcoming years events schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Disti...
Do something new next year <ul><li>Launch an ‘annual conferences’ brand </li></ul><ul><li>Launch a ‘technical seminar’ bra...
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Waht the right event consultant can do for your organsation

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After spending a week with the events team at a large trade association I delivered this presentation to the management team.

Everything was introduced over a period of months, and in 12 months, they had increased the profit from their events by 54% with customer satisfaction also having increased.

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  • I am very pleased to have this opportunity to have 20 minutes in front of so many of you. I believe the commercial products that we can all develop together will help to solidify the foundations of the CML and also to add real benefit to our members. I would like to briefly explain the position of the commercial business of the CML as I see it. What I have identified as the priorities so far, and in a bit more detail what and why we have done what we have so far. I’d like to finish by covering what our plans are for the rest of this year and 2009. This is an analysis along the lines of a benchmarking exercise. As some of you may know I have in the past had similar roles at the National Housing Federation, The British Bankers’ Association and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, which are all membership, either personal or company. I’ve listed what the positives and negatives are as I see them. Some of you might think that things are much better or worse than I would say, but I am trying to benchmark the commercial activities from my experience against similar organisations so I hope it’s a fair reflection of where the CML is at this point. And maybe what the future holds.
  • For product development we are vey lucky to have such a well regarded and active source of experts. The relationship I inherited was quite good and I hope that it’s developed since then. We are very conscious that helping develop commercial products is only a part of most of your roles, and that we have to make sure we ask for your time only when it’s necessary. I am lucky to have inherited two staff who know their jobs extremely well, and who are both open to the opportunities to learn new skills in order to develop personally and professionally. Having an online booking system that works is a wonderful thing! The IT systems are very important to the success of the commercial business, especially as we move towards online payments and booking as well as online delivery of more training. After a few meetings with policy officers we have a provisionally strong programme of events for 2009. Considering the difficulty in the market place, the size of the team and the size of the CML, relatively speaking 2008 was a good list of events. We have some good relationships with well know brands such as N4, IBM as well as commercially partners such as Centaur, ATL etc. This is a good place to start when we look at these relationships in a more strategic way.
  • Very basic marketing indeed. No marketing or sales skills in the current team; although an expressed desire in part to learn Our Small pool is drying out! Database is seen as external rather than crucial to commercial success Evidence of a natural growth of the sponsorship and exhibition area rather than a planned implementation (similar to marketing) and this is indeed natural; but with a more planned and implemented growth it can hopefully be more fit-for-purpose
  • In the coming months I will be focussing on the other commercial areas, but for the past couple of months the focus has been on our events and training. The next four slides show briefly what we’ve done to improve these areas.
  • Most of the commercial products we will take to market have to managed by a project management process. The easiest and most effective tool is a timeline, which everyone agrees and signs up to. We have introduced a simple one for each of our new conferences. It will hopefully become very common to everyone involved in our product development. Budgetary control is fundamentally important to any commercial area or business. Our new events budget is signed off at the start of the planning process, making sure that they event is managed within the confines of the profit margin agreed; what it makes at the end is a function of the process rather than just an outcome. A few of the policy staff have already seen the ‘client briefing document’ and I think I am fair to say it’s been received positively so far. It’s a more detailed way of making sure that the objectives, viability and process for a new product is accepted and understood by all involved. It should also allow the deliverers to deliver as all the most relevant information should be on this form, rather than in someone else’s head. The database is crucial to the success of all commercial operations and I would like to take that opportunity to stress that the more information on Integra and detail allows us to target our products in a more effective manner. I’ve done a 2 page handout that explains in a bit more detail the process for taking an event to market as an example of the structured new business process which we will have to adapt in the coming years. It’s the pages titled ‘objectives for CML Events’
  • This can seem pedantic. But a conference should be just that. Calling a seminar a seminar avoids confusion in the marketplace. It’s fairly standard and agreed what each of these events should look like. A conference is normally a full day with 7 or more speakers for example. In the past we would have called such an event a seminar. The programme is the most important part of the majority of events we organise and we should focus on that as much as possible. That commercial IP is worth a lot, so we have to show that. Our other events, dinners and lunches are well attended and well run. We may look at pricing but overall it seems like a very good product line. We must be careful though not to dilute the ‘networking and socialising’ with too much of a focus on ‘learning’.
  • In the past we have marketed each individual event is a very similar way. Identifying this weakness in our commercial business has been the single most important move we’ve made. This slide is really the list of what we’ve done so far, it’s just a bit more detail which I think is useful considering how important this area is. I think it’s very important that we all know and share the idea that it’s a different world for our commercial business and I’ve done an extra couple of pages as a handout which I’d appreciate if you would read through.
  • Anyone who expresses an interest in exhibiting or sponsoring one of our conferences can now be highlighted on integra. Many of you deal with loads of people who I will never meet, and some of them may well have an interest in giving us some money. It’s now easy to simply highlight this person as a commercial contact on Integra and when I run a report all their names appear like magic! We don’t charge enough for our sponsorships and we give far too much away for free. We don’t explain clearly enough what benefits sponsors and exhibitors get from an association with CML. We don’t manage the sales process well enough and we have little client management capability in the team. However this will all change next year. Agi is redrafting our proposals along more commercial lines and I believe we will see a substantial growth in this area next year. Agi, incidentally is a fantastic sales woman and is a resource which I’ll be relying upon.
  • Michael, sue and I have agreed that a major task for my team in 2009 is to engage, commercially, more layers of our member organisations. This chart, for simplicity, is based on ‘training events’ and shows the different level of learning we need to cover to attract people from each level. We also have both soft skills and business learning and is something we are looking to cover next year.
  • This chart shows how we can use different products / events to tailor our delivery to target each level more effectively. For example. A technical half day seminar highlighted as c. on the chart would be used to cover a training demand within the lower to mid management. An annual conference could target middle to senior.
  • So in summary and briefly this is what we’d like to do next year. We should be able to do this as we are spending a bit too much in certain areas, and I don’t mean things like providing tea and food for delegates but other things like reducing what we spend on AV, venues and other support services etc. Sherri has already started to brief designers on what we are looking for to differentiate our marketing We have an event on the 25 th February in the market place, and one booking already! So that’s already in action. Discussions with Jackie and Matt have already identified how to target more effectively. As mentioned, Agi’s review should start the ball rolling, if we can follow up on commercial contacts that you find using Integra that will develop even quicker. I hope explaining the strategy and process in forums like this will help raise the profile of what we do. Having striking marketing and fantastic content will raise the profile externally Next year’s conference I promise will be unmissable We have some commercial relationships which duplicate effort or skills in the team, or wider across the CML and we have to be more choosey of what we spend money on and who we work with. This is the most important point, especially in the current climate. This will all be done without demanding more of your time or the time and effort from my team.
  • 1 and 2 We will have an umbrella events brand and our different style of events will sit under that umbrella. 3. The Annual Training brochure is something I am particularly excited by. We hope to have a list of 30 – 40 workshops which we can market in one brochure before the endof the year. This should hopefully allow us to get in to training budgets much earlier and hopefully increase quite substantially the income from this area of training. It will include technical and softer skills. 4. Executive networks are the future of senior executive event delivery and our first Executive Network will be delivered through the Opinion Leaders’ Network 5. I believe it’s fundamentally important that we use our commercial IP outside of our membership base. We have IP that is worth something to others outside of our membership. We have to develop products which allow us to earn from other sources. We have to market / sell successfully to a non-member constituency next year and we are looking to do that by running an event for the social housing sector 6. Again the future of events is moving towards some ‘free to attend’ events. And we will offer this through the Mortgage Technology Forum. This doesn’t mean no income events, it means the income comes from sponsors, not from members, a win for us and a win for our hard up members. 7. I would welcome thoughts and suggestions on how and where we can best do this next year.
  • Waht the right event consultant can do for your organsation

    1. 1. Initial analysis of **** events <ul><li>William Thomson </li></ul>
    2. 2. Overview - positives <ul><li>Very good interaction between policy team, and their ideas, and events team delivering those ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Current staff and resources fit for immediate purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Online booking system fit for purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible IT support structure </li></ul><ul><li>Strong initial calendar of events </li></ul><ul><li>Good working relationships with partner organisations </li></ul>
    3. 3. Overview - negatives <ul><li>Lack of a current marketing function or strategy </li></ul><ul><li>New skills needed for events staff </li></ul><ul><li>High opt out rate of contacts (approx 25%) </li></ul><ul><li>Historical problem regarding IT and event integration </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of a commercial underpinning for sponsorship and exhibitions. No pipelines, CRM strategy, sales strategy etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Your organisation is the weaker partner in most of our commercial contracts </li></ul>
    4. 4. Initial focus – conferences, seminars, workshops and elearning <ul><li>Processes </li></ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsorship and exhibitions </li></ul>
    5. 5. Processes <ul><li>Introducing timelines as a basic tool for project management </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing new budget layout </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing a speakers database to separate the working programme from the actual programme </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing a ‘Client Briefing Document’ </li></ul><ul><li>Testing and stretching database / web site / ebooking etc. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Events <ul><li>Making sure a conference is billed as a conference and not a ‘seminar’, or a ‘forum’ </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the programme as being the most important part of the event </li></ul><ul><li>Initial overview of dinners and lunches is positive </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrating on upcoming conferences already in the planning process </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of proposed events </li></ul>
    7. 7. Marketing <ul><li>Upload current conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Review of past marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing a marketing strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Database analysis to give an idea of number of ‘hot’ and ‘warm’ contacts we can contact directly </li></ul><ul><li>Centralise marketing of events </li></ul><ul><li>Test and stretch email marketing capacity and capability </li></ul>
    8. 8. Sponsorship and exhibitions <ul><li>Commercial contacts added as a separate searchable criteria in database </li></ul><ul><li>Redrafting your sponsorship proposals for each style of event </li></ul><ul><li>Cold calling and searching out new targets </li></ul>
    9. 9. Choosing the correct events Senior management Top / mid management Middle management Lower management Strategic Tactical Business learning Soft skills
    10. 10. Senior management Top middle management Middle management Lower management a. b. a. c. d. a. Annual Conferences b. Evening presentations and dinner c. Technical half day seminars d . Free to attend conferences Segmenting the market
    11. 11. Do what you do but do it better <ul><li>Focus on cost reduction for upcoming years events schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Distinctive marketing strategy for each style of event </li></ul><ul><li>Longer lead in times for events </li></ul><ul><li>More targeted events </li></ul><ul><li>Increase revenue from sponsorship and exhibition </li></ul><ul><li>Improve internal and external perception of your organisations commercial products </li></ul><ul><li>Have a true ‘flagship’ annual conference </li></ul><ul><li>Identify strategic gaps in event delivery and resource appropriately </li></ul><ul><li>All of the above will allow us to increase margins, without increasing resources </li></ul>
    12. 12. Do something new next year <ul><li>Launch an ‘annual conferences’ brand </li></ul><ul><li>Launch a ‘technical seminar’ brand </li></ul><ul><li>Launch an ‘annual training brochure’ to include technical and softer skills </li></ul><ul><li>Run a fully fledged Executive Network </li></ul><ul><li>Market an event successfully to a non-member constituency </li></ul><ul><li>Run a ‘free to attend’ sponsor events </li></ul><ul><li>Run an e-event or events with an element of e-delivery </li></ul>

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