Our goal for each Zoholics user event is to make it perfect for attendees – our customers who travel from all over the world to learn and make the most of Zoho apps for their business.
Making sure that everything is perfect involves coordinating so many major and minor aspects related to each event. What makes this even more challenging is the fact that most of our teams are geographically distributed and work across various time zones (more about working remotely with cross-cultural teams here.)
So, how do we do this for not just one, but four annual Zoholics events?
Here is the story of the people, processes and Zoho apps that work behind-the-scenes for each Zoholics event.
Setting the stage.
Pre-event Planning: To start with, we need to discuss and decide on the agenda for the event. Raju, who is the chief architect for all Zoholics events, initiates these discussions over Zoho Connect, our intranet where everyone watches out for important announcements and discussions.
Basis these discussions, we use a shared Zoho Sheet (our spreadsheet app, part of the Zoho Docs office suite) to draft an agenda and assign speakers for each of the sessions.
After we have the agenda ready, we move to a dedicated Zoholics Projects’ portal for further discussions such as content, promotion, logistics and travel. Everyone who will be speaking at the event or helping organize any aspect of it is invited to join this Project portal.
Over the next few months leading up to the event, the Zoholics Project portal becomes the “virtual meeting room” where we all check in to participate in discussions about the event and to post or follow updates about the status of event-related tasks.
What is great about using a Project portal for such discussions is that everyone can stay in the loop and get notifications over email or on the Zoho Projects’ mobile app. There are no communication gaps or operational lapses.
One of our first discussions over the Zoholics Project portal is about travel for the event. We create and share another Zoho Sheet – this one allows employees from other cities who’re traveling for the event to input their travel dates. Since the travel team is also part of the Project, they’re able to book flight tickets and hotel rooms.
Event Promotion: We also start a discussion about promoting the event through these channels – social media, email invites, banners within our products, log-out pages as well as the Zoho Buzz newsletter. Promotion-related tasks for each of these channels are assigned to the owners. Read more