This post will be addressing Event Directors and Event Managers, offering them some real life examples of the Events-as-a-Service implementation and food for thought on how they could apply it to their strategy moving forward.
We firmly believe that the future of the events industry is relationship-orientated as opposed to ROI-driven. You might be asking yourself how is that even possible – but we assure you it is and YOU can do it. All you have to do at this stage is to carry on reading…
How to Use Events-as-a-Service in Your Business
Every business, regardless of an industry, needs a B2B relationship to survive. Be it with a supplier, an advertiser, a manufacturer or literally any other business – no organisation is 100% self-sufficient and, at the end of the day, we all rely on each other. The Event Industry is no different: we need one another to stay afloat and prosper, and we are well aware of that.
So, this raises a natural question: if we know the basis of our success are relationships, why do we see businesses still prioritising revenue and individual needs over nurturing those relationships? To fix this, we came up with the Events-as-a-Service model – so we can start achieving greater things together.
Events-as-a-Service, or just EaaS, is a business model that runs on the basis of working with a single event provider on a fixed-pay, long-term contract. The core of this approach is within joining efforts and building a relationship that drives results through working towards achieving mutual goals. From a B2B perspective, such partnership makes budget management easier as it goes to one company as opposed to being distributed across multiple vendors. Additionally, working with a single provider long-term creates firm business alignment and seamless communication.
EaaS prioritises the success of the partner over your own – because you are only successful when they are. This philosophy also translates into a changed approach to the audience. Their needs become the priority as opposed to ROI since the revenue will grow naturally as you build trust and loyalty with your audience.
At Showcase, we have always been relationship-oriented in everything we do. We love our industry and our clients, therefore we care deeply about their success. The EaaS model is built based on our values. We believe that passion, genuinity and a burning desire to enhance the lives of those we care about is what drives excellence. This is why we believe the selfless, relationship-driven EaaS model is revolutionary and will shape the future of the Event Industry.
Is This Model Suitable For Your Business?
Short answer – yes. Even if your values differentiate from ours, EaaS is a universal approach. The foundation of this model is building, nurturing and strengthening a relationship. In fact, Events-as-a-Service is a mindset before it’s a strategy.
Business size, sector of operation, the size of a budget: none of these are the criteria determining whether you can implement the EaaS approach or not. The one requirement is prioritising trust-based relationships over one-time-offs. If you are capable of ticking this box and strive to achieve long-term business goals: the EaaS model is definitely suitable for your business.
Our Implementation of EaaS
It’s not like we came up with the EaaS methodology just to preach it to others: at Showcase, we’ve always lived by it. When you look at our clientele, we have multiple companies we’ve been working with for years. The relationships we’ve built with them allowed us to provide in-depth guidance as we understand their goals, as well as tackle challenges more effectively due to mutual trust and two-way communication.
The reason behind us finally giving our philosophy a name was down to the pandemic. As we have been re-evaluating our approach to see how we can seize the opportunities such as Hybrid Events, we were able to collect all of our insights in one place. That gave us visibility of the fact that, historically, relationship-based strategies are the most successful and beneficial to every party involved in the long run. And this is too important not to be shared with our beloved industry.
It would be unfair for us to claim we are already using the EaaS approach and it definitely works, without providing an example to prove that. This is why we will now talk about a specific client to illustrate the practical use of this methodology.
When McCarthy Stone approached us for the first time, they were hindered by budget constraints. Additionally, McCarthy is a regional business that required a uniform approach to ensuring consistent brand representation across the whole business. This was the reason why they couldn’t spread through multiple suppliers and decided the best course of action was onboarding a sole provider. We were honoured they chose us and therefore focused on delivering value – we have educated the client, consulted them on the best approach, designed a uniform brand message and reduced budgets across all events.
By entrusting us with the whole event and us going an extra mile to live up to their expectations, we laid down a foundation for trust that would gradually deepen. This was 7 years ago. All in all, to this day McCarthy Stone can call us as we’re, before anything, their friends. And friends are happy to help one another.
Valuable Insights and Growth
We have learned that the more we worked together with our partners, the smoother the communication between us and the better aligned we would get. Which, in turn, led right into delivery of better, result-driven events. Long-term relationships build rock-solid understanding of each other’s thought process, therefore enabling assessing challenges from different perspectives.
For example, one of our long-term clients, Verint, was very specific about their event partner having to understand their products. They’ve put trust into us to gather that understanding, which was the cornerstone of a successful event. We’ve proven to them we are worth the trust put into us, once again using that as the foundation of our relationship. As we worked with Verint further, our understanding of their products and business goals would deepen organically, allowing us to find new, creative ways to build bespoke event experiences.
What we’re getting to is that we have become successful by delivering success to our clients. Having aligned goals also helps both parties to grow alongside each other. Ultimately, the one can only be successful if the other is.
Audience is the King
B2B relationships and commandery are, undoubtedly, important. But you must not forget that the end goal of the partnership is to reach the audience. With that said, let’s look at EaaS from a customer-centric angle.
Events-as-a-Service is a joint effort between a business and a supplier to deliver a unique and seamless event experience to the audience.
Attracting, Engaging and Delighting
What’s the point of building a superb event if no one’s going to attend it? That’s why event marketing begins: from informing the audience about the event happening, to giving them the reason to attend (laying out the value they will get from it), this entire cycle is built to attract the audience.
During the event itself it’s time to engage them. You must strive to accommodate your attendees the best you can, from offering catering services, through thought leadership content to providing valuable networking opportunities.
Finally, you need to follow-up and keep providing value and delighting them AFTER the event. And that’s where things get a little tricky – but not if you’re relying on the EaaS model.
Diving into Virtual and Hybrid Events has taught us a lot about virtual event platforms and how to use them for addressing different types of audiences, simultaneously. Even with the Live Events coming back, these platforms should not be disposed of: if anything, they should be repurposed for the EaaS approach.
Simply put, with all the interactive features and ability to distribute on-demand content, virtual event platforms can become a perfect accommodation for community building and management. It’s a great outlet for building meaningful relationships with your audience that stretches post-event – the very core of EaaS.
When your audience has had a flawless experience before, during and after the event, not only can you count on seeing them again – they will bring others along too.
Events-as-a-Service is not just a business model: it’s a mindset. The essence of it is building meaningful relationships with your clients, your partners and your audience. Although the prospect of handing the entirety of your event to one supplier can sound daunting, it lays the foundation of trust that is the basis of long-term relationships focused on delivering success.
As an industry, we’ve spent too long caring about the numbers. This is the time we shift our focus and start caring about each other.
Curious how would EaaS work for you? Talk to us.