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What’s the perfect structure for your team?

What’s the perfect structure for your team?

Easy. The one that meets your business and team needs.

So how do you figure that out? I hate to say it, but a lot of trial and error. And, learning from your peers! That’s where this group comes in.

Please join me in sharing how your team is structured, how you get work done, and what you think could be improved. Don’t forget to say what kind of marketing team you’re on!

I’ll go first...

Marketing Team Type

Experiential Marketing / Event Marketing / Field Marketing

How did we get here?

COVID, of course. While you might think I'm joking, the pandemic forced our team to rethink everything. Our Experiential Marketing team has undergone several team transformations and we found what works for us…for now. The thing I’ll say about perfect team structure is that it's agile and not something you just put together and never evaluate ever again. The best teams, in my opinion, are constantly optimizing how works gets done and identifying areas of opportunity and evolution.

The pivot to digital only events during the first 24 months of the COVID pandemic taught our Experiential Marketing Team that being agile, open to change, and willing to “test and learn” was key to the success of Atlassian's global events portfolio. In order to continue to scale, the team had to rethink not only what Atlassian events looked like but how work was getting done.  And that’s where the shared services structure stemmed from.

Team Structure

Our experiential marketing team supports two categories of events: brand and field. Within each of these we have experts in operations, logistics, and execution who get shit done and get it done well.

Supporting those two types of events is our shared services organization with subject matter experts across five key areas:

  1. Strategy & Measurement

  2. Acquisition & MarComm

  3. Content Strategy

  4. Content Operations

  5. Event Technology & Innovation

How We Get Work Done

Who doesn’t love a good list? So here’s how we get work done in chronological order:

  • Ticket Submission: Stakeholders submit event requests via our service desk that's built on Jira Service Management.

  • Review: Our event strategy team and functional managers review tickets weekly to see if they meet our SLAs and fit within our experiential wheelhouse.

  • Document: The event request is added to our Global Event Tracking page in Confluence. (This page lists approved programs, events pending review, and events that cannot be supported due to budget, time, or people limitations.)

  • Discover: We schedule an intake call with the requester and use a Confluence template to document our findings from that call. For larger programs that require idea, we use Trello for async brainstorming.

  • Scope: Using the intake call findings, we check team calendars in Confluence, create a venue sourcing spec sheet from a template built in Confluence, create a workstreams document in Confluence using the DACI model, and begin writing the event strategy and program overview page in Confluence.

  • Kickoff: Once venue, dates, and key details are confirmed we conduct a kickoff call where we review a ton of Confluence pages (event strategy & program overview, workstreams & DACI, decision log, and document directory). We also share the link to our Atlas ticket where we track key updates for the program. 

  • Execute: Our functional teams and logistics experts use Confluence pages to track all work - from agenda framework planning to attendee journey revisions.

  • Update: Key updates on the program are shared via the Atlas ticket, Slack announcements, and/or short Loom videos.

  • Report: After the event, all of our post event reports are housed within Confluence and highlights are shared via a Loom video in appropriate Slack channels.

Now, of course, there is a whole lot more to that process but those are the major milestones. In any given calendar year, our team supports more than 500+ events around the world. It's also worth noting that we have close relationships with event agencies that help us get work done. 

What Could be Improved

Bandwidth tracking. The one area that we don’t do a great job of right now is tracking workloads by person and by team. In a perfect world, we would be able to estimate the time each task will take and be able to make projections and predictions for future projects by tracking the actual time it takes across all workstreams and individuals. 

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