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To help you become even more productive individually and as a team, we’re introducing a series of posts that explores the many ways you can use SAP StreamWork

Our first post in the series explores how a marketing team can work with sales and IT to prepare for a conference, including planning an agenda, developing session content and coordinating travel schedules for an annual customer conference. These easy-to-follow steps can be adapted to help your teams plan for any conference, tradeshow or other event.

1. Create a new activity and invite members of sales, marketing and IT teams

Your organization is getting ready for its upcoming annual customer conference. But before you can start planning, you need to get organized. With so many moving pieces to coordinate for a conference, staying organized will be vital to the success of the event. Throughout the planning process, you’ll need to work with marketing, staffing, IT and other teams to make sure everything comes together on time and as smoothly as possible. To make sure your teams stay on the same page, start by creating an activity in SAP StreamWork where your teams can collaborate and discuss action items and next steps.

Once you’ve created and titled your new activity, it’s time to start adding team members. Sending invites has never been easier. You can invite team members one at a time, or send multiple invites at once to make sure everyone involved in the planning process can join the discussion and stay on the same page.

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2. Identify event-day responsibilities and assign tasks for team members to create necessary content

To help you keep track of all the moving pieces associated with planning a conference, SAP StreamWork makes it easy to assign task owners and deadlines. Team members are notified via email when they are assigned a new task and are then able to change the status of their action item, pose questions to the team or update the action item’s description as often as necessary. Users are also able to review the list of assigned items, as well as those that are due or overdue. As project manager, you can use SAP StreamWork to track the progress of your organization’s event and quickly respond to areas that need more attention.

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3. Link to product messaging in Google Docs to share consistent talking points with event staff

Since planning an annual customer conference requires collaboration with vendors, venue staff, customers, partners and many other groups, it’s imperative that all parties be in agreement with the event’s timeline, operations and messaging. Your organization will need to coordinate schedules for presentations, meetings, entertainment and more. Usually, this amount of coordination requires the emailing of multiple large documents containing schedules, contracts and other details.

Instead of emailing large attachments to your teams, SAP StreamWork will let you link your activity to a document stored in Google Docs so you can easily share and review information across teams. You can even edit and save changes to your document right in SAP StreamWork.

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4. Discuss and customize messaging for the event, saving each version for reference

With multiple teams and team members collaborating on each decision, sometimes it’s difficult to track multiple versions of the same document, let alone all the documents necessary to plan an entire event. With SAP StreamWork, you can store past versions so you can always go back to review your edits, even as your documents evolve. The Version History tool also allows you to see who made edits and when. Knowing that all edits and saved versions are stored in SAP StreamWork, you can be confident that you won’t miss a thing.

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5. Upload preliminary event agendas and travel schedules

SAP StreamWork creates one unified workplace where you and your teams can store all the information you need to build and plan your event from start to finish. As messaging, agendas and schedules come together, you can easily upload and sort documents from a host of programs in your activity. As plans evolve, you can upload meeting agendas to review and revise them in real time as they change. Do you need to set up meetings, or make arrangements for a car service to pick up executives and customers at the airport? In addition to uploading and editing messaging documents, SAP StreamWork allows you to create and modify travel schedules. Plus, with SAP StreamWork mobile apps now available, you can check in with your teams and receive updates while you’re on the go.

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6. Finalize the agenda after discussing changes, event pacing and sessions to fill remaining time slots

When your agenda is finalized, and everything is in place for your organization and its customers to have a great conference, you can create and distribute final schedules to your teams. SAP StreamWork allows you to create schedules with as much detail as you’d like, such as: date, time, location, activity host, owner, plus a brief description of each planned session, meeting or event. Storing these final schedules in one place allows teams to ask and answer questions, approve final schedules or make last-minute changes even as the event is taking place. By using SAP StreamWork to stay organized, your organization can be confident that its executives and customers will be able to attend all scheduled meetings, presentations and events.

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7. Save relevant and reusable work items and track decisions from your current event-planning activity to create a template and framework for next year

Congratulations! Your conference was a success and now it’s time to start thinking about the next one. Instead of re-inventing the wheel and starting from scratch, consider what worked well in planning this year’s event. Did your agenda work well for your teams? Will you use the same contracts and venues again, either for another upcoming event, or for next year’s conference? Instead of saving all your documents in a folder on your desktop, SAP StreamWork allows you to create and save templates. The next time you need to plan or coordinate an event, you can easily access your saved templates, track old decisions and get your teams up and running as quickly as possible.

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Have you used SAP StreamWork to plan a conference or event? What tools and features worked well for you? Let us know in the comments section!

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