How to run a successful team briefing

5 lessons learned from COVID-19

5 min readSep 21, 2020

In the event industry, you never shy away from a big challenge. But the current firestorm, with the outbreak of COVID-19, is unprecedented. Moreover, for the foreseeable future, times are still uncertain. If you want to plan an event now, you’re facing significant challenges. The rules and regulations change every week, and you carry great responsibility. The pandemic makes it challenging for the organizer, the employees, and the public in more ways than one. However, you can’t wait to get back to work, and you see the opportunities that COVID-19 brought you.

At Catchphrase we believe it all starts with a proper briefing solution. How are we going to prepare your staff for a flying start so they all have the latest information, positive energy and confidence to get rolling? Five lessons.

1. Throw your playbook out the window

COVID-19 has taught us that the world looks different every day.
Event organizers and their teams often don’t see the forest from the trees due to a flood of new information.
Yesterday’s playbook is already outdated today. How does your team keep track at all times? We still see printed scripts and elaborate e-learning modules that are hard to customize when situations require otherwise.

Offer your information concisely and powerfully with a tool that helps you switch easily and quickly. Also, make sure your team gets this information as close to the moment supreme as possible.
Because if knowledge cannot be applied directly, it will fade in a few days. And do you tend to send more and more information?
The key to success is that you limit yourself to the core message.

Make a short selection from all procedures: what minimum level of knowledge does your team need to create a fantastic experience for the visitors?

2. Keep your distance

Picture a briefing room with twenty people in a small space. Now, that’s a really outdated concept, right? It is obsolete because of the contamination risk and because such a session often drains the energy from your team.

For some, it goes too fast; for others, too slow. Others are distracted by their phone… Are we all going to sit together again in that room to brief our people?

With a digital briefing solution like Catchphrase, everyone can decide when and where they prepare for the event. It allows you, as an event organizer, to deliver the message in an even shorter and more powerful way, with relevant information, for a variety of target groups.

You’ll also get a complete overview of your team’s status. Who completed the briefings, what were the results, and what are the topics that need some more attention on the event day itself? And because you interactively brief your team at a moment of their choice, it increases the anticipatory fun.

3. Learn from your team

Because of COVID-19, new protocols and ways of working follow one another at a rapid pace. You work your ass off to plan and organize a perfect event, but it is unsure whether everything works as it should in practice. And as an organization, you can’t be everywhere to check whether things are working according to plan.

Thankfully you have a team!
They are your eyes and ears on the floor and know better than anyone how it all works out in practice. So, listen carefully to your team’s feedback. Not only now, but always. After all, shouldn’t we still use the experiences of our staff and involve them in improving our events? You will undoubtedly have evaluated after each event before COVID-19 hit the world, but was your event day staff waiting for this after a rather long working day?

It works better if you give your team some slack and let them complete their evaluation at a moment of their choice. And it should come as no surprise that this does not only apply during a pandemic.

4. Cast out help lines

The first workday at an event is always exciting. Before the event starts, you might have some (practical) questions and insecurities, especially now with COVID-19, where you might feel the responsibility for the success of an event even more than you would otherwise. There are so many new things and so different than it was before.

It is important to give (new) staff members the right support and ensure that they can reach you in their time of need. And no, that doesn’t mean you have to be on the grounds all the time. Casting out mobile helplines with our briefing solution makes it quick and easy for all staff members to reach you when they need you most.

Perhaps the need for helplines is even more urgent in these precarious times. But even if you are about to start work for the hundredth time, isn’t it still nice to have a helpline available?
Just remember. You’re not on your own!

5. Embrace all feedback

We are all on edge with COVID-19, which possibly increases the stress levels of your team. And even though your people can be somewhat less nuanced at times, they still embrace all of their feedback. After all, it gives you the tools to improve your working together, whether it’s about problems with the organization, communication, other teams, or any other hindrance.

A digital briefing solution with feedback options is the perfect tool for anyone to raise any issues. But a feedback tool alone isn’t going to cut it. Make sure there is proper follow-up. Indicate the actions you are going to take to solve the problem. And if it will take a little longer to solve it, share it with your team.
Show your team that you are taking their issues seriously and take action to solve them.

You will be able to organize better events in the future as a result and massively increase mutual trust.

Get to work!

A lot of things are happening through COVID-19 over which we have no control. But we do have control over how we deal with them. We also see many great initiatives being realized due to all changes that we must consider in the future.

Should we look at the briefing moment differently, for example?
Yes, you should.
Does it offer you opportunities?
Big yes.

So remote briefing isn’t such a bad idea, is it?
We’re certainly eager to start working with you.
So, start briefing your team in a safe and surprisingly fun way!




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