Event Footprint

New Operating Systems are Transforming Global Event Portfolios—Here's How

New Operating Systems are Transforming Global Event Portfolios—Here's How

Streamlining operations, enhancing brand alignment, and maximizing ROI.
With expanding event portfolios, global organizations strive to streamline event operations, maximize marketing strategies, and ensure brand consistency.

These organizations navigate a diverse portfolio of events—from flagship, regional, and roadshow events to tradeshows and field events—managed by diverse teams across the globe. With the scale of these extended event portfolios, organizers face new realities. Marketing alignment, including branding and messaging, becomes fragmented. Investment return, including validating, measuring, tracking, and reporting becomes hyper-specific to each market or team, leading to inaccuracies on a global scale. Additionally, operating efficiencies, processes, and communications become fractured, presenting new opportunities for cohesion and coordination on a global scale.

Maintaining a cohesive approach is imperative to event portfolio success, and event operating systems offer a pivotal solution. By leveraging data and automation, event operating systems provide brands with valuable information and insights, streamlined processes, and effective metrics, helping optimize event marketing investments. This article unpacks event operating systems (eventOS) and their ability to transform how brands manage global event portfolios.

Defining the Event Operating System

Similar to a computer operating system (think Windows or MacOS), an “Event Operating System” is a set of integrated applications and tools that align with specific event delivery requirements. The applications running on these event operating systems are purposefully designed to acquire and manage event data, facilitate a review or approval process, share the data with appropriate shared systems (like automating a marketing campaign in a CRM, generating a web registration form, etc.), and provide a reporting layer for post-event analysis.

These systems and their applications offer holistic macro and micro utility. By standardizing data intake and collecting data into a centralized event operating system, organizations gain insights into their global event operations and leverage their expenditures to align marketing initiatives around annual strategic calendars of product launches, announcements, and marketing campaigns (macro). Event operating systems also identify opportunities for organizational, field, and regional enablement and assistance through continual process improvements and automation, alleviating unique and specific business challenges (micro).

Implementing an eventOS opens a world of benefits for brands. With standardized information intake, companies can strategically leverage event marketing initiatives—from evaluating individual event performance with established goals and key metrics to delivering consistent messaging, materials, and visuals—while ensuring corporate marketing automation and CRM usage is accurate and complete.

A Modern Solution: Gaining Visibility into the Event Footprint

Many brands today focus on each of their events individually, handling event-centric requirements separately, and providing hyper-focused operations solutions. However, future leaders are thinking portfolio-wide and are developing their own event operating systems. Consistent processes, communications, and strategic alignment are essential to understanding the true event footprint for decentralized, field-independent, and highly centralized teams.

Event operating systems provide a streamlined approach to achieve:

  • Marketing and brand alignment
  • Investment return and pipeline acceleration 
  • Accurate measuring, reporting, and ROI analysis
  • Operating and project management efficiencies
  • Calendar visibility and strategic planning of announcements, releases, and initiatives
  • Streamlined data management, CRM, and marketing automation
  • Consistent collaboration and communication
  • Strategic event engagement through data and business analysis
  • Increased engagement from marketing to participation 
  • Process improvements and automation

By gleaning insights from an eventOS, organizers address questions like, “Who is coming to the event? How can we maximize engagement with specific attendees, and what follow-up should be planned? Should we increase our presence next year? Which events didn’t meet expectations? Should the engagement be altered in the future, or should that specific event be discontinued?”

These systems bring together business tools, event tech, and much more—allowing organizers greater control of their organization's future. 


Centralizing and Optimizing Resources

Event operating systems facilitate collaboration and standardize event information intake, which is fundamental in creating centralized budgets, unified ways of working, and efficiencies. With a simple form, teams ensure all necessary data is captured, including details about trade shows, marketing opportunities, and event goals. This centralized approach paves the way for automation, where campaign creation, branding consistency, and material fulfillment save time and effort.

Moreover, this process is dynamic and organic, requiring continual review, adjustment, and improvement as the business evolves. 

Continual Improvement for Optimal Results

Implementing an event operating system is not a one-time solution; it's a continual improvement process. Regular engagement with teams helps identify areas for refinement and enhancement. By learning from each iteration, organizations fine-tune their event strategies and reporting structures to align with the evolving needs of the business and enable greater outcomes. This continual improvement creates an organic process of elevating information, focusing on workstream enablement and efficiency, and isolating areas of duplicate data entry and administrative bottlenecks.

Getting Started: How to Create an Event Operating System with No-Code Tools

Many organizations create event operating systems using no-code tools, i.e., software platforms or applications that enable users to build functional software solutions without relying on traditional coding or programming skills. These tools provide user-friendly, drag-and-drop interfaces that simplify the software creation process.

Using no-code tools, event organizers quickly build and customize web-accessible forms, workflows, and databases. This flexibility enables brands to create tailored event operating systems that align with their unique requirements and objectives. Organizers can then adjust the forms and workflows as they go, addressing any difficulties or ancillary processes in real time. This process provides strategically valuable information and also helps satellite teams by positively affecting global work streams.

Once data enters the system, organizers may implement triggers to automate other processes that rely on the same information, eliminating duplication areas and connecting systems to support work stream efficiency. 

Popular no-code tools include:

From designing registration forms to automating communication workflows, these tools empower event planners to streamline their processes, improve efficiencies, and strengthen consistencies across global teams. By starting with no-code tools, event organizers can confidently embark on the journey of custom event operating systems. 

A Case Study: Opus Agency’s OAsys

At Opus Agency, multiple work streams and teams rely on similar information for planning and supporting our clients’ events. We designed and built our own event operating system, OAsys, that allows our teams to shift from the manual, duplicative work typically done in spreadsheets (venue specs, preferred vendors, contact information) into a single-source-of-truth digital workspace. The no-code system facilitates the information collection, and automation helps ease the input, upload, and API intake from multiple disparate source systems of varying complexity and accuracy. The system evaluates data, finds potential mistakes and omissions, and alerts teams to make corrections. 

OAsys provides views of information tailored to the specific needs of each work stream via mobile, web-enabled screens so it is available anywhere, at any time. Adjustments are made in real-time and shared via the system to all appropriate work streams. This allows the team to consolidate information and streamline the work stream, saving hours of often duplicative manual data entry; moving management out of spreadsheets and into a centralized data platform. OAsys also aligns with Opus Agency’s sustainability efforts by eliminating the need for printed materials and has reduced paper consumption by hundreds of thousands of pages. 

Streamlining the event planning process, OAsys ensures our team has the tools and resources to effectively and sustainably receive and share data, and it has become a core communication tool for our agency. 

On Deck: Unlocking Smart Insights with AI Integrations

To elevate event operating systems further, brands can leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI). The information gathered from various regions and business units provides rich data that can feed into advanced learning systems. AI technologies help identify and monitor trends, providing event leaders with valuable insights and enabling them to gauge ROI. 

By leveraging AI capabilities, event operating systems will become more intelligent, user-friendly, and capable of building sophisticated applications with minimal coding expertise. AI integration empowers a broader range of users to create advanced applications and accelerates the development process, making event operating systems even more accessible and powerful.

However, it’s important to note that AI is only as intelligent as the information on which it trains. For event leaders to fully harness the power of AI integrations, they must collect and organize meaningful data before introducing AI to their workflows. 

Ways AI can enhance event operating systems:

  • Intelligent suggestions
  • Highlighting potential conflicts and evaluating gaps
  • Looking across typical natural barriers to identify overarching trends
  • Natural language processing
  • Automation and smart workflows
  • Data analysis and insights
  • Intelligent error detection and debugging

Bottom Line: EventOS is the Future of Portfolio Management

Implementing an event operating system offers a transformative opportunity for brands to gain control, visibility, and efficiency in managing their event portfolio. Organizations can maximize their brand exposure and achieve tangible ROI by understanding the true event footprint, centralizing resources, and leveraging data-driven insights.

The continual improvement and organic nature of an eventOS ensures that the system evolves alongside the brand’s needs, allowing adaptability and optimization. With the support of AI and user-friendly no-code tools, event operating systems are the future of event portfolio design. 

Ready to revamp your event management process? Embrace the power of an event operating system and unlock the potential of your event data. Our team offers strategic consultations to discover how to optimize event tactics for greater results.

More Like This, Delivered to You

As our agency continues to explore the future of experiences, you can join us and leaders from Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, and many more of our clients to stay ahead of what’s next by subscribing to XO. Each month, you’ll receive our latest insights and perspectives, plus carefully curated links worthy of your next new tab.

Posted by:
Explore More

Insights in
the Inbox

XO is a newsletter with a mission to be loved by marketing executives and event professionals.

Through careful curation and purposeful prose, XO serves thousands of leaders who want to stay on top of what’s new and what’s next in the world of experiences.

To join in, see past issues or subscribe below.