How to Choose Event Management Software
Event management is not an easy industry by any stretch of the imagination. Not only do you manage pre-event planning, but there’s also during event coordination and post-event analysis.
There are about 1.9 million meetings per year in the USA, of 10 or more people. The accumulative spend resulting from these gatherings is $325 billion dollars if you include travel, production, and planning.
If you want to grow your slice of the event management pie, then event management software can keep your game on par.
Are you looking to buy event management software, but aren’t sure which one to choose? Check out this guide to learn how to choose the right one.
Tick All your Event Management Needs
There are so many levels to event management it’s scary.
Whatever the service you’re offering, you need to be mindful of the stages of the event management process that you include. And what their needs within the event management software would be.
The basic stages of event management are:
Your event management software needs to incorporate all these stages as much as possible.
What can Event Management Software Do?
Event management software is intended to aid the event organizer as much as possible throughout all stages of putting the event together.
Depending on your specific needs as the event organizer, event management software can do a number of things:
- Email campaigns can be designed, populated and sent through your event management software. Most of which should come with the ability to analyze the performance and success of your email marketing.
- Event ticketing and registration can be handled within your chosen platform. This feature should be customizable to include different levels of tickets, customizable registration forms and more.
- On-site check-in capabilities are available through event management software, which should then lead to the ability to track your attendance.
- Website and digital solutions allow the event organizer to build platforms relevant to the particular event they are planning, you can create custom registration forms, insert speaker lists and agendas and make sure that all pertinent information for your guests is readily available.
- Integration with social media should be possible so that you are able to advertise and promote your event through a few simple clicks.
- Database management should fall part and parcel of your event management solution, you want to be able to use ‘healthy’ data to report back to your client on the success of the event. And export data to hand over to them to use again.
Eventzilla has a number of special features over and above these which include payment integration, marketing, and an event schedule builder.
Research your Possible Purchase
The best way to find the right event management software for you and your team is to do your homework.
A quick browsing of different event management software websites will have you thinking that all of them can offer you exactly what you need.
Decide on some further requirements that you would like to meet, do you have a budget? What is your budget or your anticipated monthly spend?
Use this checklist when researching:
- Determine that the functionality checks all your boxes.
Perhaps you don’t require payment solutions, but you definitely need social media integration or vice versa.
- Read their customer reviews. Do some research into what other event management professionals are saying about the software and what their concerns might be.
- Consider how many people on your team would need to be able to use the software. Keep this in mind when looking at price as well. Some software will charge per license and user, whilst others have a general limitation on how many users can gain access.
- Does the platform have ongoing customer service? Will you have a dedicated customer support person to assist you when you encounter problems?
It’s important to have a good idea of what your deal-breaking existent and non-existent capabilities are from the start. If the software can’t integrate with Outlook, and Outlook happens to be one of your main tools, then would that already make that platform a no-go for you and for your team?
How to Make Your Final Decision
Most reputable event management software solutions will offer a demo.
By now, you have a shortlist of the platforms that you think would be the greatest fit. Consider giving each one to a member of your team, ask them to register for the demo and give it a trial run.
Ask for no-holds-barred feedback from them.
You will want to know how user-friendly the software is. You will want to know how easy it is to integrate with any existing systems you may have. Ask how comfortable they are with the software and anticipate how easy it would be to roll out any new software.
You’ll want to know how intuitive the program is, and importantly, how easy it is to duplicate similar events. Look into whether they offer template events, and how customizable these are.
Your Event Doesn’t End When Your Guests Leave
As event managers know all too well, an event doesn’t end when the guests leave the room.
There are so many factors to consider as a post-mortem to any event. Post-event surveys, email marketing campaigns, follow-up emails, and advertising of upcoming events of a similar nature.
Can the event management software help you streamline your post-event systems? You should check if you’re able to communicate with ticket purchasers and vendors through the system, and if you can communicate with suppliers and team members holistically.
A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With a Single Step
You’re on your way to event management software success. If you take your time to choose the right software, to truly find the one that works for you and your team.
You won’t look back.
You have to take the first step and keep focused on your goals and what you need your software to achieve for you. If this is clear to you, then we are confident you will make the right decision. Check out more resources if you still have questions that need answering.