Allie Magyar – Helping Meeting Planners Use Technology Strategically
“My mission is to help conference and meeting planners see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” explains Allie Magyar, CEO of Hubb. “Planners are often buried under all the tactical minutiae of the job. It’s no surprise that meeting and event planning has been rated one of the most stressful occupations in the country.” Magyar has become an outspoken ambassador for the use of technology to make the planner’s job more manageable.
Magyar began her career in the industry at an early age. “I’ve been a meeting planner almost my entire life,”
she says. Always a fan of fast cars, she jumped into the meetings industry at the age of 18 by planning an event showing race cars at a trade show. That one event soon grew to ten events nationwide, and her career took off. From there her path took her into the corporate event space. She planned and managed some of the world’s largest technology conferences.
Her race car enthusiasm is reflected in the energy she brings to her life. “I love the day-to-day excitement
of a planner’s career. There are always ten million things being thrown at you,” she says. “As a planner, I have always been passionate about creating a meaningful experience for people,” she explains. That passion drove Magyar to create Hubb.
“The night before a major event with several thousand attendees, the business owner notified me that he had changed the whole program including the speaker lineup,” Magyar explains. “I had to spend hours re-printing all the materials for the event. That included dealing with a broken copy machine as the evening wore on.” She says, “That night I said to myself, ‘there’s got to be a better way.’” That experience led her to begin looking for solutions.
“Planners often become overburdened with all the details they have to manage, and my goal is to help them
reduce that burden,” she says. “Keeping track of the tactical logistics, managing the constant flow of emails,
regularly updating spreadsheets, and recording program changes can be a constant struggle.” She explains that the mission of Hubb is to help planners manage and market all the event content. From collecting content, tracking speakers and sponsors, recording every change in the program as it occurs to managing the constant flow of emails, Hubb utilizes online technology tools tomake a planner’s life easier.
Magyar offers some tips for planners who want to expand their use of technology. “Be strategic. Start small,
start smart, capture the lowest hanging fruit and go from there,” she explains. She recommends developing
a plan for adopting technology at a pace with which you are comfortable.
You may start with a platform for communication and collaboration such as SharePoint. From there you might consider a project management tool such as Asana or a program that automates workflow and marketing. There are a variety of tools to help you at each phase. Magyar and her team have created Hubb to provide a platform that combines the benefits of all these separate tools.
Magyar recommends planners learn which tools will best serve their purpose and then make sure their team is clear on how these tools are used. She also recommends they ensure that the tools they use will work together to reduce the danger of software conflicts down the road.
“The key is to start simple and move forward with a solid implementation plan,” she says. Magyar emphasizes that there are ways for planners to reduce the overwhelming workload through the strategic use
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