Mini-fairs for Communication professions We Are COM X ISCOM, present the journey and daily life of communicators. This episode # 6, will tell you all about the events communication professions. 🎉 Here we go!
Besides… the event COM, what does it consist of?
It's not the event that's important, it's the way we recreate it ... each in our own way.Jean-Luc Godard
The objectives of events remain identical to those of all communication sectors: to make their brand known and attractive, in order to encourage the customer to take action, in other words to buy.
And what better than the organization of attractive events, to develop the notoriety of a brand, or to support a product launch? Events are a stimulating and creative environment, which offers its public a unique experience, in order to generate an emotion, from which an unparalleled affinity bond will emanate. 😉
With the transformation digital and the advent of Social networks, the events strategy professions are multiplying. The key to evolving in this sector is above all the relationship. However, let's not forget that it is also necessary to show rigor and organization, while remaining creative.
And more concretely, what does it give?
Event communication affects both B2C and B2B. 🤓 Small reminder: these two areas are opposed and complement each other. In the first case, a business addresses a consumer customer. While in the second, the final target is another business.
In B2C, the communicator specializing in events organizes fairs, shows, sporting events or even festivals. As for the communicator of the B2B sector, his daily life will be more focused on the implementation of product launches, press conferences, study days, team building, internal seminars or even conventions.
The keys to success?
Our professional activities will be further enriched by digital, and will also be more complex.Frederic Bedin, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hopscotch Groupe.
In events, the right partnership is one that allows the two brands to recognize each other.Xavier Rivoire, DirCOM of Decathlon United.
So, what are the jobs in the sector?
The main jobs at the advertiser:
👊 The event project manager is the professional specialized in the organization. He manages the project from its conception to its completion: he ensures the smooth running of operations, negotiates budgets and finally ensures the timing. In addition to his rigor, this communicator must demonstrate availability and resistance to stress.
🚩 At theadvertiser, you will find the responsable sponsoring. The latter's missions are to define strategic partnerships, select and negotiate the best offers. Good interpersonal skills and a lot of proactivity are essential for him.
The range of professions is wide. Can be combined with these professions: a storyteller, a marketing manager or even a digital COM project manager.
The main jobs in an agency:
🛠 In agency we find a logistician, just like the event project manager, he is in charge of the organization. He analyzes the needs, coordinates the stakeholders and ensures that the budget and timing are respected. The logistician must be rigorous and charismatic.
🎩 More often than not, an agency also employs a Production director. A true conductor, he embodies the link between the various communication departments, but also the link between the client and the technical teams. He is the guarantor of the quality and profitability of the project. In addition to good interpersonal skills, a culture of digital and audio-visual, will be for him assets not to be neglected.
But that's not all, Artistic director, decorator and audiovisual editor are also professions of event communication, in agency.
Events communication in a few figures (before the Covid crisis)?
- 5 billion of economic benefits per year, for the Île-de-France region.
- 115,9 billion of direct expenditure per year, in France.
- 1,3 million jobs in France.
- 1000 events organized every day in France.
???? Expert opinion
On the agency side, we receive Pierre Suc, Founder of the Plug and Play agency and Director of Development at Ge Communication. While on the advertiser side, we receive David Bee, Director of event management, sponsorship and studio at Amundi.
???? Hello to both of you ! What is each of your jobs?
Pierre Suc : I am a specialist in operational COM internal and events in B2B. More specifically, I provide clients with advice on communication strategy, in order to best support them in the organization of their events: conventions, seminars, conferences, forums… once the strategy has been validated, we design the tools necessary for its deployment.
David Bee : The Amundi group unites its clients around major events, corporates and sportsmen. I have been managing the event communication team as well as the sponsorship team for 9 years now. We operate as a small integrated agency. Our daily life is above all the event strategy and sponsorship actions (especially partnerships during sporting events). Since 2020, we have our own graphics and video studio, it was very useful with the recent health crisis.
(I.e. Why and when did you decide to focus on event communication?
PS: I love my job, but it just so happens that I do it quite by accident. When I was younger, I did a lot of sport. After studying genetics, I finally preferred to become a tennis teacher. If today I am in COM, it is thanks to a chance meeting with Alain Quezac, who once said to me: “ you're not gonna stay in shorts until you're 40… don't you want to do something else? »😀 It was then that I resumed my studies, a training in marketing. Now, I have flourished in my work for over 20 years. It is possible to land in communication by roundabout paths. Indeed, in the very specific field of events, the communicator is part of a very large system, requiring very varied COM techniques. And if an event is to be successful, relationships take precedence, the notion of sharing with others is all the more true in our sector.
DA: Like Pierre, I have a very convoluted journey. I was also passionate about sports, especially rugby. It was thus quite naturally that I found myself in STAPS. However, I didn't want to be a teacher or a coach. I therefore reoriented myself towards event communication, which first led me to be project manager for youth and sports at the Hauts-de-Seine General Council. It was a fabulous experience. Subsequently, I worked at EPAD, Public Establishment for Defense Planning. We had the chance to set up an events management, to welcome both agencies and advertisers on the forecourt of La Défense, on the occasion of colossal events which sometimes had more than 300 people. It is really the organization of this kind of operation, which confirmed me in my professional choices. Before joining Amundi, I also went through an agency, we work there like crazy, but nothing is more educational. Agency experience is invaluable in reaching the advertiser, it is the guarantee of cutting-edge market expertise.
⏰ What does a typical day look like?
DA: The daily life of a communicator varies enormously. The projects of my teams are very different, so the typical day does not really exist. I usually attend a large number of steering committees, meetings with the project sponsor, who is not necessarily experienced in communication techniques. We discuss the state of progress of a project, reassess changing issues and finally, present our ideas. So I can brief the project committee, the COM team. Well-conducted meetings allow good coordination. In communication, it is important to always remember that the transmission of information is the crux of the matter. You should know that in event communication, we are constantly on the move, to visit places where to meet providers, even if this is less true in times of health crisis.
PS: Indeed, it is complex to speak of a typical day in our professions. The only constant on my agenda is my morning ritual. From 7:30 am to 10:30 am, I got into the habit of dividing my schedule into half hours, intended for accounting, management, human resources subjects… My start to the morning is therefore extremely well-regulated, the rest of my day varies: meetings, surveys, recommendations ... In communication, we look for ideas that meet specific needs, which are never the same. We also work a lot on unsolicited proposals. It is therefore necessary to perpetually take an interest in the world around us. Also, I reserve half a day a week to stroll: I walk, I cultivate myself, I watch… My Thursday afternoon is sacred!
🙏 What is the most stimulating in the event communication sector?
DA: Above all, it is the meeting! The relationships formed in the collaboration of a project are strong. Humanly, our sector is inexhaustible. I enjoy debating and discussing on a daily basis, I who have an opinion on everything. 😀 I would also say that the diversity of the tasks to be accomplished and the variety of specializations are drivers. I've never been bored, there is always exciting stuff to do, we don't stay locked in our office. But beware, COM is not only a passion, it is a real profession of technicality and expertise. Too often, the idea is that communication is accessible to all, but this is absolutely false. You have to fight in order to complete a project, according to the deadline and the budget. We cannot pretend. I who have always appreciated the entrepreneurial logic, I am lucky to be able to combine rigor and creativity in the profession that I exercise. An anecdote ? Once the big day arrives it is not uncommon for us to suffer from a baby blues.
PS: Yes, emotions are often very strong within communication teams. I would say that the most stimulating for me is the presentation of the response to the client. Maybe I shouldn't say it here, but there are inevitably two scenarios available to us in lending ourselves to this exercise. Either way, we haven't worked hard enough, but we still have to go there and make an effort of conviction, improvisation is always nice. Either we have done a good job, which happens most often, don't worry, then we are proud of what there is to present. In communication, you have to be interested in everything, to be prepared for every eventuality and every problem. When the announcer looks at us dumbfounded and says " I had never thought about it », Then the excitement is at its peak.
(I.e. What is the event you are most proud of?
P. S: I will quote two, the first represents logistical pride, while the second would be more creative pride. Our agency was approached by the French Blood Establishment to organize the organization of their world day. We have therefore mobilized our resources to achieve a simultaneous operation in 22 cities, including 3 that are part of the overseas departments. We had to show a lot of rigor to carry out this project, which consisted in setting up real lively villages. My other great pride lies in the “University cafes” operation, carried out for the SNCF group. The company wanted to open the “chakras” of its local managers. To do this, we have privatized many cafes across France (more than 120 in two years). The idea was to bring together around thirty local managers around quirky themes and in a participatory manner, like the philosophical cafes initiated at the end of the 80s. It was a real success!
DA: When I was working in an agency in 2005, we had Nike as a client. Tony Parker had just won his second MBA title, a big event for his sponsor. We took up the challenge of the media coup in record time. The idea: to have the Statue of Liberty of Paris put on a 9-meter basketball jersey, completely illegally. It was not always easy to do the buzz at this time when the Social networks were less democratized. However, the media fallout was gigantic, the image went around the world, and for a ridiculous sum. It still earned our director a little trip to the police station ...
As for my experience at Amundi, we are proud to have recently signed a partnership with the Evian Championship, a women's golf master's degree. We have been in this sport since 2011, but only for men's events. It seemed essential to us to also invest in women's golf, in order to be more in tune with the values for which we are campaigning.. Finally, each year our team is in charge of developing a colossal event: Amundi World Investment Forum. More than 800 clients meet for several days in exceptional conditions, around conferences and debates. Our annual event has become a benchmark in Asset Management. In 2019, we were fortunate to welcome John Kerry. And, if the health crisis had not made us revise our plans, the guest of honor for 2020 was none other than Barack Obama. It's extremely exciting to talk to the COM teams of the former White House tenant, isn't it?
↗️ What are the major developments in event communication?
DA: Le digital ! We hear a lot about it, but we're not there yet. We had to pass the course, in a somewhat forced way: reflection, investment and recommendations. Today, more and more, project managers are becoming real TV show directors. This transition digital is a complex thing, we have to adapt. During a digital event, the organization may have been ideal, pressing the button is always stressful. In my opinion, the physical will remain, we need the contact. However, organizational models will change. In event communication, you have to constantly make adjustments, adjust to the surrounding world.
P. S .: I would add that, to carry out a WEB TV event in event communication, it is not enough to film. It requires much more specific skills! It is important to re-educate advertisers on the cost of the digital event. Of course, the resources allocated to the receptive (reception, site, catering, etc.) have been eliminated but this is not a filmed meeting or a video on TEAMS, the fundamentals remain the same and this often requires more preparation. In a distance event, the perpetual question that must be asked is: " what will be the medium used by the target? "If we focus on the quality of content, which will ultimately only be viewed on smartphones, then it will have been a waste of time and money. Regarding meetings, face-to-face events, obviously they will come back, but while rebalancing. Under health constraints, we went from one extreme to the other last year. The time of phygital has come. Now we have to readjust to new lifestyles. An interesting point seems to me, in internal COM, the distancing has flattened the organization charts, thus bringing more transversality to the collaborators.
???? Do you have any advice for future communicators?
PS: Tomorrow is yours! Tell the future that you are coming. You need to show curiosity in the field of communication, constantly question yourself and think against yourself. A constant of the COM is the adage "big eyes, big ears". As for a more concrete advice: think digital. We have made a huge leap forward lately, and we will not look back.
DA: Realize an experience in an agency, this will constitute an unparalleled training for you. It's a steady pace of work, but you and your market value will come out of it. Also be bilingual, half of your work will be done in English. Today more and more courses, those of ISCOM among others, offer to travel, do not miss this opportunity. Last but not least, as Pierre says, learn digital skills, it will be essential in the communication of tomorrow. You need to acquire a versatile approach in the matter, that will be your strength. You are lucky to be born with digital transformation, harness this!
Founder of the Plug and Play agency and Director of Development at Ge Communication
Director of event management, sponsorship and studio at Amundi