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Madison ShepherdMar 18, 2024 10:23:40 AM7 min read

How to Manage Events With a Lean Yet Efficient Team: The Event Associate Approach

Join us as we explore strategies for effectively managing events with a streamlined team.

In this episode, Katie talks about the event associate approach and how this team member plays a crucial role in event management.

Katie will also provide insights on crafting top-notch events within resource constraints and the importance of maintaining a lean yet highly effective team.

About the Expert: Katie Moser

Katie Moser is the Director of Marketing and Business Development at GoGather. She has an extensive background in creating content and branding for events, working with speakers, and managing agendas for conferences. When she's not updating blog posts and sending out social media posts, she helps clients identify areas of opportunity for their events from branding to communications. 


Katie Moser: Hello everybody. Thank you for tuning into this episode of Gather Gurus. We're really excited to talk to you today a little bit about events and managing them with smaller teams. We see this a lot with companies. Events teams are always lean and mean. Sometimes you have people managing events who that's not their full-time job. So we're going to chat a little bit about that. Some of the solutions that we've found have been really effective and talk through how we've seen some companies manage their events when they only have one person on staff who really can manage it. So thanks for tuning in and excited to hear all of your thoughts about this conversation. 

Madison Shepherd: Yeah, great topic, Katie. So to start us off, how do you manage events with a scaled-back team? 

Katie Moser: Yeah, it's definitely difficult to manage events with a small team, especially if you're a company that hosts a lot of events. Not only do you need a lot of hands-on deck to execute the event, but actually planning the event can be a lot of work. We see a lot of companies come to us with somebody who is managing the event, and that's not even their full-time job. And so it can be a lot of work. It can be very difficult, but we've seen a lot of really small teams, teams of two or three produce tons of events. So it can be done. It's just trying to find efficiencies, trying to find the most effective ways to work, and then also finding help. So we'll talk a little bit about that. 

Madison Shepherd: Yeah, so you kind of brought this up a little, but what is the event associate approach? 

Katie Moser: Yeah, so we've been talking a lot about the event associate approach lately. That's where you have somebody who's basically a full-time person who works for you but isn't necessarily part of your internal team. So this can be a good solution for companies when they're not able to add headcount to their teams. It can be sometimes really difficult to add somebody when their job may only be relevant for a few months out of the year, or you have limitations and resources. You may not be able to hire a W2 employee. So we've found that some companies really like this approach where you can have additional hands on deck, but you don't have to have that internal resource. So it's really scalable. It's also nice because typically when you have an event associate, for example, the way that we do this, we have somebody who works basically full-time for our client, but they also have the backing of an entire agency who can help them with different aspects of the job. 

So it's very time-intensive to go source venues, for example. And so they could have somebody who helps them do that or manage the finances of your event. That can be a full-time job in and of itself. I mean, getting all the invoicing, processing, all of that, paying vendors, making sure that you're staying on track with your budget. So it's a good kind of flexible way to have that additional resource, additional hands on deck to plan and execute the event, but to also have support in the background. And we see this work really for companies that have a lot of events in a year and need variable support throughout. 

Madison Shepherd: So how does an event associate contribute to the success of the entire event? When resources are especially limited? 

Katie Moser: Yeah, I mean it's really, again, having those extra hands on deck. It's also having experience from outside of your company. So sometimes internal resources can be very, I don't want to say close-minded, but they can sometimes be very focused on only what your company is doing. And so having somebody who is that external resource but still available to you the same amount that you would have an internal resource, but they have that outside perspective, they've worked with other clients, they have people within their company that they can bounce different ideas off of. So you get not only the extra hands, but you also get somebody who can have different experiences to bring to the table to help you grow or find efficiencies or even just bring in some interesting new ideas that you've never done before. There's a lot of different things that they're probably sharing with their agency and they're learning from their agency, and so then they can bring those things to you as well. 

Madison Shepherd: Do you have any additional strategies for creating world-class events with constrained resources? Can you share any of those? 

Katie Moser: Yeah, absolutely. I think when you have constrained resources, it's about finding efficiencies. We've talked a little bit about AI tools, for example. So how can you leverage those types of things to make your life easier? Maybe it's having it do research for you on different event formats or different vendors. How do you find different ways to reduce the workload that you have but still be effective in what you're doing? So that's a really great tool. I think also making sure that the vendors that you choose are very communicative, that they're easy to work with, that is extremely important. It reduces the stress of making sure that things are going to go correctly when you're on-site, and you hopefully don't have to have as much oversight while you're going through the planning process and again, having extra resources on hand where you can. So whether that's finding internal resources of people who can volunteer on-site or having that third party or event associate on site to be able to help you is really important. So many things that have to go on on the event day that you need to make sure that you have enough people on site to be able to manage all of that. 

Madison Shepherd: And you touched on this a little in the beginning, but how can companies maintain a lean yet efficient team? 

Katie Moser: Yeah, I mean, I think it's, again, making sure that your internal resources are utilized the best they can be. So making sure that people aren't getting bogged down in tasks that are taking all their time. I had a boss who always used to say, highest and best use of your time, making sure that what you're producing is providing the most value it can. And so making sure that your team, if you need to keep it lean, is focusing on those higher, more important tasks. And then if you have somebody like an event associate or a third party or even a contractor or AI that can help offload some of those really time-intensive tasks that move the needle, those types of things, I think you have to carefully evaluate and make sure that you're cutting out any waste. 

If you do want to keep that lean team, you have to make sure that you're not taking up all their time with so many extra things, especially when it comes to events. There are so many things that can take your attention away from what's really important. So definitely recommend that if your team is looking at your program of events over the next year and you're kind of unsure of how you're going to balance all of it, see what you can kind of cut out and what's not as important, and then look at getting help from external teams where possible. 

Madison Shepherd: Yeah, great point. Well, that's all the questions I have for you on event associates. 

Katie Moser: Awesome. Thanks, Madison, and thanks everybody for listening in. This is a quick one, but we really love to kind of chat with teams about how we may be able to help you with a full-time equivalent, or somebody who can kind of come in and take some of those really time-intensive, annoying, if we might say, tasks off your hands and make sure that your events are operating at their best.


Madison Shepherd

Madison Shepherd is a Marketing Specialist at GoGather. When she's not writing blogs or sending out social media posts, she enjoys hiking, traveling, or reading at one of the many beautiful beaches in San Diego.