ALEXANDRIA, VA – One-half (49 percent) of event planners surprisingly report marketing departments at their respective companies are always or often involved in the planning and execution of events, and an overwhelming majority find value in this type of partnership. The GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with Cvent, released new research that explores the prevalence and types of collaboration between event planners and marketing departments.
“Like any cross-company collaboration, getting to a good working relationship often comes with challenges along the way including lack of communication, control issues, budget constraints and delays,” said Kate Vasiloff, GBTA Foundation Director of Research. “While there is no single roadmap to successful collaboration between marketing and event planning teams, establishing clear lines of communication, demonstrating an openness to fresh ideas and accounting for time and money spent is a good place to start.”
“Events are critical to business’ bottom line, so marketing and event planning functions must be in sync to ensure that events deliver on the marketing department’s goals,” said Stacey Fontenot, Vice President of Platform Marketing. “Business-to-business marketers rely heavily on events, so event planners can create significant business value by collaborating with their marketing peers, elevating the importance of the event planning team within an organization.”
More than half (53 percent) of event planners feel setting objectives to support overall business goals is the most important factor to consider when planning a meeting or event. This happens to be an area event planners excel at and are well-equipped to handle. The design and content of a meeting or event, often less familiar for event planners, can be equally vital to its overall success. This is where collaboration across departments comes into play and can help companies enhance the success of their meetings and events.
When you look at the opportunities for collaboration, currently the highest level of collaboration (59 percent) is around email communication. During the planning stages of the event, marketing teams and event planners frequently work together to determine the event’s theme (49 percent), logo (49 percent) and color scheme (37 percent). A majority continue to work together on-site with signage (54 percent), but collaboration drops off when it comes to post-event communications (41 percent) and the event debrief (33 percent), showing opportunities to continue collaboration to determine event success.
Challenges identified among those currently collaborating across departments include lack of communication (43 percent), control issues between departments (42 percent) and budget constraints (41 percent). Those interviewed shared best practices to tackle these challenges such as identifying one person from each department to serve as a main point of contact and formalizing a partnership between departments with buy-in from leadership. For better budgeting purposes, planners recommended tracking meeting and event spend, including marketing efforts, to better understand the sheer volume of resources going into an event.
This study is based on 10 one-on-one, in-depth, phone interviews with individuals with large-scale event-planning responsibilities who reside and work in North America. In addition, a supplemental online survey of 157 travel buyers in North America who have some level of involvement in planning or overseeing meetings or events for their organization was fielded in February.