2018 has seen us striving to push ourselves further, particularly when it comes to our client services and solutions.
For this reason we are launching a large-scale project to create our own reporting tool for our events.
Why create our own tool?
Although the existing tools we’ve tried out were inspiring, none really met our needs or aligned with our projects.
Some of them are just to make teams aware of what is going on and are not yet real tools for calculating our environmental efforts, while others are too clunky to be used by project managers on a daily basis.
We therefore asked Freeman&Greenwood to help us create our own calculator.
- Phase 1: analyse the existing tools for inspiration, test them for several of our events, and draw conclusions about the advantages and/or drawbacks. We tested tools such as OVAM, ADERE and the MeetGreen Calculator.
- Phase 2: design the ideal tool, define its use and standard procedure, and get staff input about the best way of working with it.
- Phase 3: carry out initial tests, with questionnaires that are suited to our work, with suppliers and for different types of event. Cast a wide net to begin with before targeting the essential information using our specialists to achieve coherent, relevant forms that are easy to understand and quick to fill in.
- Phase 4: tell our suppliers what we are doing! We are working on the principle that teams are not in control of every aspect of the event, as some aspects are outsourced and cannot be controlled (e.g. catering, cleaning, dismantling, etc.), so involving suppliers by asking them to agree to fill in the forms means that they become aware of what we are doing and we get an overview of every aspect of the event. This initial test phase with our suppliers will give us feedback that can be used to adapt the forms.
- Phase 5: Develop the tool’s final interface, present it in-house and establish the same approach for all events! At this stage of the project, we are not yet looking to improve the tool, but to calculate and collect data. The tool must first and foremost be able to give us objective and reliable indicators so that we can measure the actual impact.
- Phase 6: Convince clients! Not all of our clients will be interested in calculating the environmental impact of their project. Nevertheless, just knowing that we are able to do so may convince them to give it a go. They will have the chance to improve their event each year, and see the results of their efforts.
It is a lengthy process but the results are encouraging. Everyone involved so far has taken a keen interest and willingly given their feedback to help us make the tool easy to use, relevant and helpful.
We are currently at phase 4, with the most tedious work behind us. We still need to communicate, convince and persevere—all qualities a comms agency should be able to rustle up!