A paperless event can save money, appeal to young, digitally-inclined attendees, and make it easier to share data and summaries afterward. But if you’ve been holding business events for years, you may find it difficult to switch everyone over to a paperless mindset. Here’s how to break habits, and get the results you need without the paper.
Assemble a Paperless Team
If you really want to go paperless, you need to start paperless, and that means creating an event planning team of professionals who support green events, are knowledgeable about digital communication, and don’t use much paper in their daily lives. Remember, if one of your team starts using paper or printing off documents, it will quickly snowball throughout the event. Your first paperless rule needs to be in the family – and the team needs to be okay with that.
Settle on Apps and Emails Early
We suggest you take a meeting to go through all the necessary types of communication you’ll need for the event (invitations, guest lists, ticket purchasing, manuals, study guides, etc.). Then discuss what apps or email solutions will work for each type of communication. Remember that simple is usually best and that email remains one of the best paperless solutions in the business world. However, communication apps, IM tools, and text messaging can also be used. Create an “arsenal” of paperless communication solutions and choose which you will use – then start using them!
Find the Right Collaboration Software
As event planning goes on and becomes more complex, you’ll have people both inside and outside of the company working on various projects. Again, email can come in useful here, but we suggest picking some kind of collaboration software that allows multiple people to work on a single document via cloud communication. Google Docs works well for most teams since it’s free and ubiquitous, but many different document creation suites now have options for digital collaboration, multiple editors, and so on. Just stay away from services that require payment to use, because not everyone will have access to those.
Use Invoicing Services
Recruit any digital invoicing services that your business uses, or ask your venue and suppliers about their digital invoicing options. Try to plan a green event and look for green venues that support going paperless – they tend to use online invoicing services, and then may be able to offer valuable suggestions, too.
Target Your Marketing Ads carefully
Most of your marketing will be done via social media and email, which means you’ll have to spend time considering who you are marketing to, and how you are going to speak to them. Create a strong online content strategy to make sure your marketing stays focuses. In every email and post, try to connect back to your business profile and event page – use these as “anchors” for your social media efforts.
Establish Social Communication Options for the Event
How do you make the event itself paperless? A mixture of online resources and mobile apps can do the trick. Select the most useful or successful apps used for past events and leverage them as a way to share all event information. Apps or livestream services that allow for messaging are particularly useful when it comes to presentations and increasing engagement.
Do you have a particular question about going paperless? Need a solution for that one problem that won’t go away? Contact Fourth Wall Events and let us know how we can help!