Technology is a beautiful thing and, when we implement it in our businesses, it helps us to grow in otherwise impossible ways. Thanks to tech advancements, we can automate annoying tasks that take up our time, enhance the client experience, and provide seamless collaboration with our event teams.
But, wait. What if your creative partners don’t want to embrace the digital solutions you’ve implemented in your business?
Everybody deals with change differently. While many event pros are quick to adopt the latest tech, there are plenty who are perfectly content sticking with their old-fashioned business methods. After all, it has worked for them for years —why fix something that isn’t broken?
While old-school techniques aren’t “broken” by definition, they can hinder a business from reaching its full potential and, as a result, leave clients with a disappointing experience. Think about it: hand-filing might work, but it’s an extremely time-consuming task and one that will inevitably lead to missing files.
Likewise, paper contracts might have worked for decades, but with digital solutions available, they are now a tedious chore to put on soon-to-be clients. Nobody wants to print, sign, scan, and email it back —or, worse, put it in the mail! Why not save everyone the trouble by implementing an e-signing program that takes no more than a few clicks of a mouse (or smartphone)?
If you’re reading this, you’re likely already on board the virtual train. But, in an industry that relies so heavily on teamwork and collaboration, it can be challenging to bring our peers along with us.
Here are a few strategies to help guide your creative partners to the promised land of productivity, efficiency, and—most importantly—satisfied clients.
Be honest about your experience.
Put on your sales hat and start pitching your tech-averse partners about all of the benefits you’ve gained since adding a new app or software to the mix. In many cases, people shy away from new tech because it seems like too much trouble for a questionable gain. Let them know how easy it is to ramp up and how valuable it has been for you. When they see how your business has taken strides, they’ll be more inclined to listen to what you have to say. It’s hard to pass up an opportunity to have more time and profits.
Help them empathize with clients.
One of the greatest benefits of event technology is its ability to optimize the client experience to ensure the process runs smoothly for everyone involved. Encourage them to step outside of their comfort zone by showing how your clients have appreciated your digital approach. Today’s market demands digital competence, so make it clear that being stuck in the past can be damaging for their clients and, ultimately, their bottom line. Event pros are people pleasers at the core. If you make the transition about the client, your peers will see the value in trying something new.
Provide a helping hand.
Even if someone is willing to jump into the world of tech and automation, they may not be ready to be fully immersed. Instead, offer yourself as a resource to guide them through the early stages until they’re comfortable enough on their own. Fortunately, modern software tends to be very user-friendly—even for the luddites in the crowd!—so it’s fairly easy to pick up. However, even just the idea of knowing you’re there to answer questions and help them catch up to speed can ease the overwhelm of trying a new program.
While it may take some time and patience to get your go-to creative partners on board, it will be well worth the effort when you can collaborate effortlessly with one another. A little bit of guidance goes a long way in helping your peers’ businesses grow, making your life easier, and keeping your clients happy and engaged.
Nora Sheils is the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, the first software platform to bring together wedding planners, couples, and vendors into one system for managing and paying contracts and invoices. She is also the founder and lead wedding planner of award-winning firm Bridal Bliss. She was recently recognized by Portland Business Journal in its 40 Under 40 series.