If time is the ultimate commodity, why do we waste so much of it?
I recently had a conversation with a meeting planner friend who described her rather arduous process for selecting a speaker and collecting abstracts for the twice-annual conference she managed. This process was time-consuming – collecting submissions via email, wrangling those submissions amongst and between her review committee, cutting and pasting text and photos into a template for printing – and would take her a good 40 hours of work twice a year. Needless to say, it was a frustrating part of her job, but she was proud of the end product and resigned to the fact that it “is what it is”.
As a technology consultant, I pride myself in recognizing ways that technology can help people solve problems. My friend had a problem I like to call “Time Melt,” which could be solved by a number of event management software providers. Their platforms automate this very process and she could accomplish this same project in about a tenth of the time, possibly saving her more than 70 hours a year – or almost a full TWO WEEKS!
The irony of this story is that when I pointed this out, her response was that she was too busy to learn another system.
As I talk to and get to know event technology providers, this is a common theme that they also hear from meeting planners – “I’m too busy” to save time. Yes, meeting planners are busy people. They have a lot of responsibility, and often scarce resources to help accomplish what they need to do. Finding the time and energy to discover, research, vet, and then learn new technologies can be time consuming, and often ends up at the bottom of their To-Do list.
But the problem with being stuck in a “Time Melt” is not only that you’re potentially wasting time in a process that could be done more efficiently, you also could be doing other things with that time (that’s called “lost opportunity time”). Could you be thinking more strategically? Could you be getting more done? Being more creative? Taking a day off now and then?
So take a step back from time to time. Examine your processes, search out and analyze technologies that could help make them more efficient. Ask fellow planners what they’re using, seek out conferences and educational opportunities to learn more. It can be scary, but if you do your homework and choose the right provider – there’s a ton of great ones out there – it will be well worth your time.
And if you need a hand, or a guide for your journey, give us a shout at The Event Guys. We’re happy to help!