Second online #eventprofstalk hackathon: FULL BUSINESS PLAN

Our first online #eventprofstalk hackathon took place in April 2020 and was a huge success – a fantastic and inspiring collaboration of our worldwide event professionals community, at a time when the industry was first feeling the effects of the global pandemic.

Since April, we have seen multiple industries devastated by the commercial and social impacts of COVID-19, and none more so than that of meetings, incentives, conferences and events.  In classic gung-ho response, the summer saw the worldwide #WeMakeEvents movement gather stride in appealing to governments to provide financial support to our industry, and it is positive forces for change such as this that will see us survive beyond COVID-19.

With no support in sight, we will need to continue providing ourselves with the tools for resilience, agility, flexibility and success; and with this in mind the second online #eventprofstalk hackathon took place from 22-24 October. The challenge this time was to ‘Develop a 12-month sales and marketing plan for an event agency’, adjusting the current business offering of an event agency and their partners for the post COVID-19 world. This meant: rethink, reevaluate, redesign, readapt, reinvent and recreate all the existing sales and marketing processes. The group needed to work collaboratively with fellow #eventprofs to develop a concrete action plan for the next 12 months, with actionable outcomes.

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First online #eventprofstalk hackathon: WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT + FULL BUSINESS PLAN

After reading and hearing the unfortunate news of event businesses having to furlough employees or close down, businesses losing income for multiple months and clients keeping contracts on hold, we had to do something about it.

There is no time to look backwards. Instead, we need to work collaboratively as an industry and think about solutions that will make our businesses more secure, robust and agile in the future. 

The way we work and communicate will evolve and take place increasingly online when businesses reopen and travel resumes. That knowledge means that it will require adjusting and evolving the current business models of the entire events industry. 

That’s how the idea of the online #eventprofstalk hackathon was born. 

From 23–25 April 2020, the first #eventprofstalk hackathon took place with the challenge to ‘develop a 12-month business plan for an event agency affected by COVID-19.’ The ‘agency’ was a fictitious entity for this challenge, but when working on this, we suggested that participants also think about it as their business. 

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