The 4- Hour Workweek is a smart book that challenges readers to buck antiquated beliefs about work culture and adopt a new set of values. This refined philosophy starts with measuring productivity by output rather than by volume.
It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all of the chinks in your armor… Focus on better use of your weapons instead of constant repair.
— Tim Ferriss, The 4- Hour Workweek
Output versus volume is a subtle shift in verbiage but a monumental change in mindset. To recalibrate, two new truths must be accepted:
Busy does not mean productive.
As Ferriss points out, “being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.” We should not be trying to do more with our day. “Being selective– doing less– is the path of the productive.”
Even really talented people aren’t good at everything.
“The choice is between multiplication of results using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre,” Ferriss instructs.
Event and venue professionals have an acute sense of time. The venue calendar is a perishable resource and each turn of the clock is an event revenue opportunity lost. Event professionals must manage priorities in a dynamic setting while always working on strict deadline. In this time sensitive environment, it is important to be effective rather than efficient. Ferriss defines effectiveness as “doing the things that get you closer to your goals,” and efficiency as “performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible.” Therefore, “doing something unimportant well does not make it important” similarly, “requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.” Unfortunately, “being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default model of the universe.”
What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it. Efficiency is still important, but it is useless unless applied to the right things.
To improve effectiveness, The 4- Hour Workweek introduces two powerful concepts that dares readers to “find inefficiencies in order to eliminate them and to find strengths so [they can be multiplied].” These concepts have tremendous relevance to both event venue operators and event promoters.
Pareto’s Law, the 80/20 Principle
Around the turn of the 20th century, Vilfredo Pareto, a Swiss economist, included a law of income distribution in his work cours d’economie politique. According to Ferriss, the “80/20 Principle” Pareto described can be summarized as “80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs” or “80% of the results come from 20% of the effort and time.” This is an important concept for event and venue managers to understand. In an environment where everything is on deadline, focusing on the actions that are going to most directly yield the desired results is critical. Successful event execution often comes down to time and money. Therefore, maximizing effectiveness increases available time and thus reduces financial consequence. Event management is task specific, but it is also collaborative. A way to improve effectiveness is to “emphasize strengths, don’t fix weaknesses.” Event professionals must apply energies to the 20% of actions that will have the greatest impact on the event objectives and delegate the 80% of activities to team members or skilled contractors who can apply their strengths in their respective areas of expertise.
This strategic approach will result in better events, lower costs and higher revenue yields. Stylehawk Event Services was built on this truth. As venue sourcing and event logistic experts, we recognized that promising events often failed to achieve great levels of success because event managers were too “busy” with scattered attention and misaligned priorities. As a result, events typically suffered from poor event execution and low revenue figures. By accelerating the venue sourcing process event promoters are spending less energy on event venue sourcing and logistics and more energy on goal- driven activities. They are giving themselves a head- start on ticket sales, athlete registration and sponsorship sales/ activations.
The second law Ferriss introduced in The 4- Hour Workweek is Parkinson’s Law. We’ve all experienced this phenomena even if unfamiliar with the concept. Parkinson’s Law “dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.” Ferriss calls this the “magic of an imminent deadline.” Big events get bigger in perception with the luxury of time and operational miracles are pulled off daily by event professionals around the country in the absence of time. A 7pm tip off is going to happen at 7pm, one way or another. Somehow, we get the doors open when they need to be. Parkinson’s law increases effectiveness because it forces us to, “limit tasks to the important to shorten work time” and must “shorten work time to limit tasks to the important.”
So often, when going through the venue sourcing process, venues refuse event opportunities because a request came in with “short notice.” This is an opportunity cost for the venue and a real challenge for event promoters. A venue manager who has mastered the skill of communication and delegation while also understanding Parkinson’s Law can reap significant financial incentive by taking advantage of these revenue streams. This is another area where the team at Stylehawk Event Services can help event venue operators. The Stylehawk Concierge staff can provide onsite event management support in addition to activating the marketplace of event service providers. This affords venues the opportunity to accept more events and thus generate more revenue for their organizations.
Event and venue management is a collaborative process. An event’s success is dependent on its organizer’s ability to effectively manage priorities. By applying the “80/20 Principle” event promoters can increase output by focusing attention on the 20% of activities that dictates success. Delegating responsibilities like venue sourcing and event logistics is a way for event promoters to further multiply productivity by focusing on their strengths. Sourcing San Diego events venues and coordinating event logistics is exactly Stylehawk Event Services’s area of expertise. Our clients experience better event outcomes with less stress because of our involvement in their event. Stylehawk Event Services can help “multiply” the success of your next San Diego event. Contact us to learn more about or services and discuss how to take your event to the next level.
Note: Portions of this blog were originally written as the article, 2 Principles to Maximize the Effectiveness of Event Managers.