The Journey To Exceptional: Time Obsessed
Walk-out music fills the room and the audience exits.
Clients exchange hugs and heartfelt congratulations with the production team.
It was a great event – well-conceived and beautifully executed.
The client-in-charge – exhausted, frazzled, elated that it all came together – embraces the executive producer and says, “We survived! Thank you so much!”
In my experience, this is one of the most common scenarios in the meetings and events business: a harrowing process that comes together in the end to produce a great experience for the audience.
But clients shouldn’t just “survive” their event.
At Broadstreet, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional experiences that elevate our clients’ brands and messages. But our definition of “exceptional experiences” goes well beyond what the audience experiences at the event.
To that end, I spend my days (and many nights) making sure that the scenario above never happens at an event we produce. Because a client who says “we survived” didn’t have an exceptional experience in creating this event. And to me, that’s every bit as important as what happens when the house lights go down.
While I love being part of the creative process (that’s so central to our business), at heart I’m an execution person. I enjoy the “what,” but I live for the “how.” And nothing makes me happier than having clients say that they enjoyed the process of getting to the event!
How do we deliver a great process? It starts with an obsessive focus on time.
Time is our most precious resource.
Time becomes even more valuable when there’s a limited amount of it; a finite resource. And that’s the exciting thing about live events, there’s always a deadline. Rooms booked, flights reserved, and save the dates sent. A line in the sand, a predetermined number of hours and minutes until the event begins.
So, if we waste a client’s time – if we’re inefficient or unclear – it’s as if we’re undermining the finite time we have to make their journey exceptional. Conversely, if we can save time for a client – even just a couple of minutes on the weekly status call – we’re giving them something priceless.
Our clients typically have responsibilities that extend well beyond whatever event or program we’re creating with them. The upcoming event may be the fourth or fifth priority on their list. A special project. Something they have to do on top of their full-time jobs. I instill that mindset into every person we hire. Our client has other things to get done; how can we save them time? By being smart and efficient, we can cut that hour-long meeting in half. That gives our clients 30 extra minutes to work on something else, or maybe to catch the second half of their kid’s soccer game.
But my obsession extends beyond the question of how much time things take; I’m equally obsessed with the quality of the time that clients spend working with us.
Every project needs to have a rhythm that drives the team toward completion. The rhythm should be predictable and comfortable for the client. Think of the feeling you get when listening to a favorite song: it’s familiar yet still exciting…you know where it’s going and can feel it build…when it’s over, you look forward to playing it again…that’s the dynamic we aim for on every project. The tempo and tone of the “song” will vary based on the nature of the project and the client’s preferences. By developing a cadence for communications and deliverables, we’re able to help the client feel confident about our progress. That confidence breeds trust, which in turn, helps the client relax and enjoy the journey.
Finally, let’s talk about fun!
Great execution isn’t just about saving time; it’s also about making the time spent on the project as enjoyable as possible.
Events are about audiences, energy, and maybe a little bit of showbiz. It’s a chance to create unique environments and experiences. This is fun stuff! We prioritize fun in our offices. We know that happy people do the best work, and frankly, we like being happy! We also try to bring this spirit into our client interactions. Fun builds camaraderie and trust, which in turn leads to better communication, better ideas, and a better experience for all.
So be warned, potential clients: you’re gonna have fun whether you like it or not!
Thanks for reading – in the next couple of posts, I’ll get more granular on some of the ways we keep the production process efficient and effective.
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