For the Centrifuge Team, milestones are magic. Successfully setting them at the onset of the project creates a golden opportunity for our clients’ teams, as well as our own. It may seem obvious, but collaborative deadline setting is one of the few guaranteed keys to establishing a healthy event partnership. Setting expectations and utilizing the milestones to help direct the deliverables of the project are clear benefits of milestone establishment. However, the full value of this collaborative experience is only realized when we are able to explore our client’s vision, objectives, and the key takeaways of their meeting before the milestones are set.
At Centrifuge Media, we believe that the magic of milestones lies in their ability to empower all parties involved in an event. Establishing meeting milestone subtasks, and deadlines requires all parties to come to the table and review what is needed from each team, and when, in order for a successful event to take place.
So how do we empower our clients through early milestone establishment?
We start by investing in the valuation of the meeting objectives. By developing a deep understanding of our client’s KPIs and measurement plan we can move forward as partners with the confidence that the “why” behind every elemental event design is cleanly rooted in reaching their objectives.
Step 1: Objective Exploration and Emotional Optimization
Our team lives for the opportunity to roll up sleeves and unfurl creative solutions on the toughest of challenges. However, we would be remiss to begin such a process after (even the most thorough) review of our clients’ written meeting objectives. While it’s tempting to receive a document and take each piece at its’ word so that the idea wheel can be ‘set to spin’, a crucial step in the conceptualization process would unquestionably be lost. It’s not that the written objectives are lacking definition, it’s that the human element, the emotional key to impact, is often dampened or removed in favor of formality.
The true magic of milestones is that they contribute to optimal planning, which is the precursor to a seamless, successful event, and a long-lasting, healthy, partnership.
Through the CMI discovery process, we work directly with our clients to identify the key emotional opportunities available to support the pre-identified meeting objectives. In order to achieve maximum meeting success, it is imperative that all platforms deliver cohesive strategic content aimed at inspiring, educating and aligning attendee action toward the objectives. It is this fact that makes it so important for collaborative objective exploration to take place as soon as possible after inception, and at minimum prior to conceptualization.
This is the foundation for all milestones to follow.
Step 2: Roles, Responsibilities, Assets, and Deadlines? Don’t leave without your Milestones!
For many event partners this step may come first, however, as a full-service strategic events agency, our expansive capabilities indicate that it is best to understand the entire scope of our client’s needs in order to propose not only the best creative solutions but the best of our service offerings. For this reason, we take a consultative approach that empowers our clients to take full advantage of seamless immersive engagement and cohesive content integration.
Once the project scope is developed, roles and responsibilities have been decided and assigned, creative conceptualization ensues! This is that critical interlude where it’s easy for all involved to feel as if they’ve been “set free”, and it’s time to run off and eagerly begin snipping away at tasks. After all, it took quite a bit to get here, isn’t it time to get going?
Well, sure, we have enough information to get started, but marching orders without a list of major checkpoints, asset deadlines, review and approval opportunities, handicaps all teams involved. By collaborating with our clients on a milestone focused review timeline, we are able to discuss potential hurdles, and identify assets that we may need to gather from the client prior to each review along the way. Additionally, this allows our client to easily plan for and present updates to their teams for the items that are directly related to them. It’s a win-win for all involved!
Step 3: Agility through Milestone Management
The single most important aspect of event and meeting milestone development and management is that it prevents single issues from stalling out a project without being caught and tackled well before a potentially insurmountable wall develops.
In the case of our pharma and biotech clients, it may be that a patient has agreed to speak onsite as a key part of the meeting, yet at the milestone review to prepare this patient, we find that the patient’s condition has made it so that they are not currently able to travel. Thanks to the milestone checkpoint, and plan for patient preparation, we have allotted enough time to consider alternative options, such as traveling to the patient for a video interview or a holographic presentation that allows them to appear on stage from the comfort of their homes.
This purposeful use of milestone creation and management alone is enough to empower our clients, and ease the anxiety that would otherwise arise if they were unsure of how often to check in, schedule calls, or be prepared with the next required asset in order to move forward. Additionally, for dynamic, agile, organizations early milestone development, and commitment from both vendor and client, allow for changes to be implemented as quickly as possible. Often, we work with clients that receive regulation-based approvals at the last minute, and everyone on the team needs to be prepared to run with each piece once the approval arrives. By actively pursuing a thorough list of milestones as the final process before implementation begins, we are able to optimize areas for agility and enable the opportunity to pivot as necessary.