Tracy Dacko

Streamlining Lunch & Learns

When our team sat down together to discuss the Lunch & Learn process for Schöck in North America, one word dominated our conversation: efficiency.  We believe in creating greater efficiency wherever possible; it’s been the guiding principle in our business since our founder, Eberhard Schöck, designed the first thermal break more than 50 years ago. So naturally, when we started fleshing out our process, making it as efficient and effortless as possible was our number one priority.

Which led us to EventBrite…

EventBrite logo

EventBrite is an event management software tool that electronically ushers attendees through the event registration process.

Using EventBrite is a new approach for many firms. As we’ve introduced it, we’ve experienced pushback from a few people. So in the spirit of efficiency, we’d like to address these questions here by offering some background on why we switched and how it helps everyone.

Traditionally, the process of organizing Lunch & Learns has created a host of inefficiencies, ranging from excess food to inaccurate attendee information that prevents proper credit or follow up. Here’s a highlight of what we wanted to remedy with our new approach:

The old “business-as-usual” approach…

Lunch & Learns are usually managed by an internal coordinator, who, naturally, has many other responsibilities beyond these events.

They send out an email, follow up with staff to secure a head count, then order enough lunches for all expected attendees with a few to spare. Often, the actual attendance is much lower than the original estimate, resulting in extra food that either gets thrown out or passed along to others who are not attending the event. While this is typically no big deal for the host firm, it drives per-attendee costs up and can result in whole trays of food going straight in the garbage. Naturally this didn’t align with our desire to move toward efficiency and away from waste.

At the event, the presenter passes around a sign-in sheet and attendees pen their names in loopy and often cryptic handwriting. Unfortunately the illegible nature of some attendees’ penmanship makes accurate registration and follow up impossible, resulting in the need for the presenter to circle back through the internal coordinator to get the correct information from the individual. This takes time and effort and delays receipt of their course completion certificate and AIA credit.

 

Enter the new approach…

While Schöck’s new approach still requires the help of an internal coordinator, their tasks are streamlined. We understand they have other priorities and we want to make this as easy as possible.

With EventBrite, they simply forward a link to potential attendees, which leads them to event details. If interested, employees can complete the registration process in less than a minute – no account creation is necessary – using a simple user interface that allows them to add the event to their email calendar and convey dietary restrictions, such as Gluten Free and Vegetarian lunches. They can also opt out of lunch altogether and have the cost of the lunch donated to charity instead. Simple, customized and efficient.

Once registered, they receive immediate confirmation with a hyperlink directing them to the RSM’s custom landing page. This page gives the attendee the chance to further explore the topic and the presenter prior to the event if they choose. They receive an automatic reminder email 48 hours in advance and an automatically generated course completion certificate a couple of days after the event. Automatic exchange of relevant information.

Eventbrite allows us to obtain more accurate information up front, so we don’t have to chase it down afterwards. It seamlessly integrates with our CRM (Salesforce) ensuring the integrity of the information and allowing us to follow up quickly and easily without additional work for the coordinator. Greater accuracy with less hassle.

Schöck was founded by a man who saw the shortcomings and inefficiencies of current building practices, and created a better way forward with a product that didn’t exist prior to that. You could say efficiency is “in our blood.” While we obviously didn’t create EventBrite, we do believe that it’s a better way to manage the Lunch & Learn registration process. Used in conjunction with the technology of our CRM and marketing automation software, it has become a powerful tool for us.

Businesses are strengthened and progress is made when we take time to question “the way it’s always been done” – and this is a shining example of an efficiency that benefits everyone involved.

How have you streamlined and strengthened your business?  Let us know in the comments.


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