Workflow of the Week: Streamlining Conference Review and Approval

Mitratech Holdings, Inc
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Leveraging workflow automation to simplify the conference review process and finalize your organization’s event agenda.
 

There’s much to look forward to as we finally head back to in-person events. Conferences are great opportunities to learn about the latest trends in your industry, get tips and tricks for optimizing the platforms you are already using, and network with industry experts. But the process for attending conferences is not always straightforward— how do you stay within budget, get the proper approvals, and kickstart the planning process?

What should be considered in the conference review and selection process?

Conference approval processes are not always standardized across departments, and even when they are, without regulation, reviews can become too ad hoc or subjective. In addition to considering conference costs and the total number of conferences attended thus far by the applicant, the selection process must also explore: 

  • Intentions — Is your team member attending the conference to learn how to leverage your product, gain expertise on new features, or source the latest trends to ensure your department stays on the cutting edge? Knowing your organization’s key objectives for the conference is a must for determining whether or not it is a strategic investment. 
  • Opportunities and preparation— Do you have client or vendor interviews to align with this conference’s audience? Have you been asked to present thought leadership on your recent accomplishments? 

Before giving prospective attendees the yay or nay, the review process must accommodate all sorts of shifting, nebulous information. For example, approving the department budget for conference attendance is sometimes compounded and made more complex by garnering the necessary approvals for interviews or thought leadership participation. Additional content approval is always a good idea when attendees plan to share their own stories on a stage to ensure that participant talk tracks do not leak competitive intel or reveal sensitive information. After all, what happens at a conference does not necessarily stay at the conference– even if it’s in Vegas. 

Streamlining conference review with workflow automation

While this seems like a lot of information for managers to handle on their own, workflow automation simplifies the process while also reducing the opportunity for error. By building a workflow that takes in all the information about the conference’s role, cost, location, and purpose, approvals can be automated for the no-brainers and go down additional paths for the “maybe’s.”

Those hoping to speak at a conference, for example, can be routed to a workflow that automatically uploads their thought-leadership decks to the internal Marketing team for review and graphic design. Meanwhile, those with a vision of networking are directed to a workflow that collects their specific goals for meetings and new contacts. Then, after the conference, automatic reminders can be set to ensure that these objectives are put to good use. 

Workflow automation is an excellent way to ensure that the right people are attending conferences and that their participation runs smoothly. More complex workflows can even trigger additional reminders to ensure that related expenses are handled quickly and efficiently by the company’s internal system, including relevant reminders for hotel and plane costs. 

Conference review involves many moving parts, but with workflow automation, these parts can become incorporated into a larger framework that prioritizes the goals of the company and the department. 

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