Managing Your Event Just Got Easier
5 things to consider when choosing Event Management Software
There are many event management solutions on the market. Some of them are very good and others, well, they aren’t something that will make your life easy when it comes to executing your event. Knowing the difference between the right solution and one that will give you headaches – will be key to a successful kickoff and management of your event. Below, we’ve provided you with some insight that will help you select the right professional team that will make a difference at your event.
1. Time in the Game
How long has the company been in business? Do they have experience running small and large events? Event management can appear as an inviting market to be in for entrepreneurs. With some sales expertise and marketing efforts an individual can pose as a “Team” to solve your problems. Careful with this one as a good salesman can draw you in, act as a ‘consultant’, hire a Team and simply take his or her cut. You’ll be much better off going straight to the source and hiring a well-seasoned team. It won’t be hard to determine how long they’ve been managing events. If they don’t provide the information on the website, simply ask them! The more you know, the better.
2. Flexibility of their Event Management Software
Having modular software available to you will be important when choosing the right team and software. Essentially what this (modular) means is that the event company will provide you with the core features of their software while maintaining a level of flexibility so you can mold it (within reason) to fit your needs. Many event solutions will provide an out-of-the-box solution which forces you to work within their framework. The difference of being forced to work with rigid software will become readily apparent once you start piecing together the event.
Because every business is a little different it will make a big difference if the event software will allow you to merge your efforts along with the event. To arrive at a place where you can ask the right questions about their software and it being an appropriate fit, it will be important to first sit down to understand the specific set of services and web/software requirements you’ll need when tackling your event. For instance, is there something that your company needs to have that is unique to your business? With everyone on the go, mobile devices are ubiquitous and so is the need to operate on a mobile friendly platform. Take the time to jot your needs down before you reach out to the company and they should be able to lead you in the right direction. And this leads us to our next point about ‘Integration’.
3. Does the Event Company Integrate with your Business Software?
Software is great, right up to the point that you have different systems that don’t work well together. Good event companies know this and will have built their software in a way that will allow you to ‘plug in’ to your CRM, financial, marketing automation or member based systems. In addition to the software having modular components as we mentioned above, the Event team will have solutions in place that will allow you to continue to work in a way that is familiar to your business. A good example of this is if you have a membership database that will communicate directly with the attendee list within the management software. The ability to have the event software work with your existing systems is an added bonus when hiring the company.
4. Carrying the Load
With the advent of SaaS (Software as a Service), many companies have been successful at building good software while having clients pay for the software via a subscription. In order to pull this off they need to have an automated customer support system that will shield themselves from day to day customer support. Without this, they will send customers to Customer Support Portals and FAQ pages and make it challenging to get in touch with a “human being” to answer simple questions. Needless to say this model is less effective for managing real-time needs that lead up to and through an event. You’ll need real people, with real event management experience.
Having experts that will not only provide you software but physically show up to your event and manage the day to day activities from registration management to processing registrations with custom badge printing solutions will have a significant and positive impact on your event. Unless you’ve tried running an event on your own, having someone sitting side by side with you and assisting with questions, customer support and supporting you from planning the event through the final day will be keep your focus on the big picture while the event team manages the intricacies of the event.
5. Start to Finish Capabilities?
Are they good at one thing or can they work with you as you begin planning your event all the way through the final day! As we discussed above, it’s one thing to provide you a piece of software only to be thrown in the deep end of the pool and forced to swim. On the other hand, if the event software team also doubles as a customer facing representative to help you with onsite registration you’ll most likely invite them to dinner afterwards. To take this point further, hiring a good event management company is essentially adding a few employees to your roster to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Hope this helps! There are plenty of companies to choose from in the Event Management space. For additional information on selecting an Event Management company, feel free to reach out to us at Event Ready!