When a company that doesn’t specialize in events is getting ready to throw an event, they often seek out an event agency. There are big and small event agencies, and they exist for several different reasons, but they’re a huge player in the events space. This month we’re spotlighting this event industry powerhouse, highlighting how they use event management software, and how Swoogo has developed functionality specifically to help with agency needs.
We love agencies. They make up a sizable portion of our clients and, because they in turn serve so many of their own customers, they’re always a challenge. In a good way! They push us to learn more and to expand Swoogo’s offerings and depth of customization. In order to spread the know-how we went right to the ultimate source of knowledge—our agency customers—to find out how they use event management software the most, and which features let them pass more value on to their customers.
What rose to the top?
Agencies exist to serve multiple customers with varied needs. But before we get into all of that, let’s start with some basics.
Why use an agency?
Many SMBs both want and need to make use of the immense potential of event-driven growth … but they’re not quite big enough to have their own event team. This is a gap event agencies can step in and fill. Take PlanIt, for example, where no event is too big or too small. Many of the customers our agencies serve grow bigger and bigger, and eventually get an events team of their own. If we’ve done our job, these are companies that graduate from an agency and become Swoogo customers. Or maybe you love your agency and keep partnering with them. The point is, agencies help small companies harness their event-driven growth.
Agencies generally have contracts and/or partnerships with a multitude of companies that all offer different services in the events industry. Signing up with an agency can get you access to not only the agency’s Rolodex, so to speak, but often great deals on the very best services the industry has to offer. It consolidates many of your efforts to one person, or small team at the agency, who cut through all of the communications and red tape, so you can focus on creating the content and strategy for your event. Swoogo’s agency partners have so many areas of expertise. BW Events Tech, for example, specializes in curating a perfect tech stack to match your event goals, by setting you up with exactly the right integrations. That’s usually a big company move.
You have very specialized needs
There are event agencies that specialize in green events, non-profit events, digital and virtual events, or white glove events that require massive security. And those are just the specialties I came up with in five minutes; there are loads more. Like Social Enterprises, which focuses on social impact events. Or DuFour, with their expertise in designing beautiful events.
(And yes, they are all Swoogo customers, how did you know?)
The takeaway? Agencies serve a lot of different companies, with a bunch of different needs. And what does every single one of these events need?
A custom event site! (Complete with registration, website, automated emails, analytics, and more.)
Cloning events: A solid foundation
In any area of business (and life), when you find something that works, you want to use that thing over and over again, right? Same concept. When an agency finds a great foundation (maybe think of it as a template) for building events for their clients—a good workflow to their registration forms, or maybe a useful series of pre-set up automated marketing emails. Add to that an already-customized selection of reports, and the set-up for when to send them.
Got that all set? Save it—clone it.
You’ll need to input your customer’s specific information, needs, and numbers, of course, but by having a foundational event set-up (and maybe two or three based on your client demographics) you’ve literally saved yourself 2-10 hours per event.
If you’re an event agency and are either not using event management software, or using a platform that doesn’t allow cloning events (for no extra charge!) … may we suggest this excellent event management software for agencies.
Cloning a clone
Once you have that solid foundation, you essentially have a template. We all know how templates work. In event management software, each template you develop represents hours of work you don’t have to do. So what’s the difference between clones and templates? There are two that we think are key.
The first is simply that you make your clone. No matter how in-touch an event management platform might be with the needs of the events industry, no one is as in-touch with your customers’ needs as you. Templates are awesome, don’t get me wrong. But they are, by nature, generic. An event base that you build specifically for a particular demographic of customer—or even a single customer, we’ll get to that in a minute—is absolutely personal.
The second difference is that no matter how many times you clone an event, it’s still completely customizable. With templates, there are usually several aspects set in stone, and then you must build on top of that. Instead, when cloning events with Swoogo, if you need everything in a previous event set-up except one thing, no worries! Clone the event, and then go in and adjust that one thing. No problem.
Cloning events for field marketing
Field marketing is an aspect of events that is growing like mad. Why? Because it’s an excellent way for companies to reach out and be in the same place as their field of prospects—digitally or in-person. What that means for agencies is that their customers may want a lot of event sites. A LOT. With field marketing in particular, these events are going to be 90%+ exactly the same. Same event and registration set-up, same branding, same speakers, same message, same design. When cloning events for field marketing, what you might be looking for is fast cloning. If you need to make 50 events for a national field marketing push across the country or globe, an event management platform that can clone your events at the rate of five minutes per event … is going to take hours. So as you’re looking at and weighing different event management software, and you know your clients want to take advantage of field marketing, ask how quickly their software can clone full events.
(Swoogo can do it at a rate of six events per minute. Just saying.)
Cloning internal events
This is similar to cloning for field events, in that you can copy all of your design and branding choices. The more complex aspect of this kind of event is often in the registration. Segmenting company-wide employees using registrant types can take some time to set up effectively, so that the correct employees, in the right departments, at multiple locations, get to their assigned trainings and meetings. Once you’ve done all the work to arrange that, you certainly don’t want to do it again, maybe multiple times a day. Nightmare!
And not just because of the tedious manual work. Complex registration forms are one of the best reasons to consider cloning. When you get all of those little buttons and questions and levels of conditional logic (not to mention automation) in place, it’s a beautiful thing! Cloning events will keep you from making small mistakes, or missing tiny details, in those complex set-ups that can result in big problems. The more complex your reg system, the more you should clone it.
Cloning events for customization
One of the challenges in the event world is the pressure of wanting a super-customized, bespoke event experience, while also needing techniques and procedures that are proven to work.
Cloning events lets you have both.
Build a base that has all of the registration tricks you know work the best, the basic drag-and-drop widgets every event site needs, and set up the pre- and post-marketing emails that you want sent out automatically. The essentials.
Then, customize away. Try new things, build big ideas, design with bright colors, whatever makes you or your customer happy. And then push. Push boundaries, push the envelope, push your attendees to experience something new and wonderful!
You can feel confident trying big, disrupting new things, because that solid, tested base that you cloned to begin with, will help them (and you!) feel assured that even if the neon, multi-colored chat theme doesn’t really land … at least everything will work. And hey, maybe it’ll totally stick the landing. You won’t know till you try it.
Especially for agencies
All the advice above applies to any event team—not just agencies. But cloning events is especially crucial to agencies. Why? Because they are serving so many customers. Some of Swoogo’s agency customers employ thousands of people, who turn around and serve hundreds of thousands of clients. Swoogo has helped our agency customers run events hosting two attendees, to almost 200,000. More than any other single aspect of event software, agencies benefit from cloning capabilities to offer their clients a bespoke, stable, robust event experience.
If you are an agency or agency team member looking to offer your customers more, we highly recommend a robust event management platform, but especially one with fully customizable event cloning.
Giving agencies a helping hand
One of Swoogo’s biggest goals is to save event profs time and money, so they can focus on the most important and effective aspects of their events. Cloning events is a great way to do that for all of our customers, but it’s especially useful to agencies, who have event planning customers of their own. They’re tasked with making more individual, customized single-events than many of our single-company clients. So yes, cloning benefits everyone, but it’s the Swoogo MVP for agencies.
Next up in our Agency Spotlight Series: How agencies can give their customers more, for less.