The Importance of Being Flexible
I’m not talking about your Downward Dog or Warrior Pose – although I am a massive advocate of exercise for both physical and mental wellbeing. Flexibility is a massive buzzword when pitching, and a key requirement clients are looking for within responses. This isn’t particularly new, but it is at the forefront as we continue to navigate our way through a post-pandemic landscape.
The dictionary defines flexibility as “the ability to bend easily or without breaking” and “the ability and willingness to adjust ones thinking or behaviour”. The past year has been tough on a professional and personal level however, working in events, particularly now in pitches did provide an element of preparation for this. The ability to modify a planned course of action or overcome a challenge presented is a core skill in a pitch team and in fact across most departments in events.
The spectrum of flexibility within procurement is vast; from document-heavy clearly defined with an extensive level of detail with little room for creativity to relatively vague loose open-ended briefs which can leave the team answering the age-old question “what do clients really want?”. There is no cookie-cutter approach to pitch responses, getting under the skin of a client, dissecting a brief and then adapting the response accordingly is critical to success. Timelines change, briefs evolve and like buses they all land at once, which can disrupt the whole process.
Cvent CMO Patrick Smith recently provided insight on the need to embrace a flexible mindset for the events industry to succeed in a post-pandemic era adopting new ways of thinking. You only have to look at the recent Department for Transport project delivery from the Identity team going from haulier pop-ups to a major Covid-19 testing site network, and the incredibly successful pivot to digital for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to see this statement in practice. And so when shaping a pitch response we draw on these experiences and ensure there is always an element of flexibility – even if it’s not asked for, it should be there.
So maybe I am talking about downward dog, after all, the benefits of yoga can be applied to pitches: Increased flexibility; Strength and tone; Improved performance.
Whether you are entering the world of body contortion, supporting on a pitch or event delivery, have plan a, b, c, d… but be prepared and willing to adapt and change.
Here’s to the next warrior pitch response!