Improving Your Event, the Kaizen Way

Nishita Jain, senior director of digital marketing, a2z, Inc.

Kaizen is a business philosophy of Japanese origin whose key principle is that great success can come from a lot of people making gradual and incremental improvements in their processes within an organization.

During the last few decades, many corporations across the globe have seen the effectiveness of this approach and have adopted Kaizen to improve everything from cross-team collaboration to employee productivity and manufacturing output.

Kaizen makes it easier to bring positive transformations by removing the uncertainties and resistance that inevitably accompany sudden and drastic changes. This philosophy finds favor with business leaders because most team members are more open to gradual change than to major disruptions in their roles and responsibilities.

But it's not just businesses that can benefit from implementing a series of small steps for continuous improvement. Indeed, Kaizen has been practiced with significant success in a wide range of fields including sports, medicine and education. The bigger the entity, the more complex its nature, the better it can benefit from Kaizen.

This is precisely why Kaizen can be a valuable tool in an event management team's arsenal. Instead of implementing radical changes, which can cause major disruptions, event organizers can bring positive transformations to their events by adopting a set of minor but continuous improvements to their processes.

Think about it. Let's say this year, what if you decided to save every event participant just five minutes in completing a critical task before or at your event by leveraging smart technology. For attendees, it could be reduction in the time they need to spend in registering for the event or finding products of their interest or reaching the event venue from their hotel.

For exhibitors, it could be one small step removed from the rebook process or one less form they have to fill up manually or centralized access to all the information they need for their booth set up. For your sponsors, it could be faster access to proposals and pricing details or enabling them to pay online instead of having to mail a check.

Just a few minutes saved for one person, in itself, may be akin to a mere drop in the ocean. But multiply those five minutes by a thousand, and suddenly you find that you have saved your audience dozens of hours in total. But even that may not a true measure of the actual value provided and the momentum generated for your event as a result. Those five minutes may translate into a much better perception of your brand and a set of people more deeply invested in your event than ever before. Especially, when you continue to make these small adjustments over multiple show cycles. That is the true beauty of Kaizen.

A series of small, incremental changes can bring an exponentially wide impact for the positive for your organization, team and audience.

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