What is Event Management Software and Why Do You Need It?
If you have experience planning events for your company, chances are you’ve come across event management software. And if not, you have likely spent many unnecessary hours running through manual processes that can now be streamlined with software.
While some event software solutions may specialize in a single aspect of event management, such as registration or ticketing, this article will focus primarily on all-in-one event management solutions that help event planners manage their events from beginning to end. This includes registration, marketing, integrations, physical planning, reporting, analytics, and more, all to help organizers plan, execute and report on events.
Let’s take a look at some of the key functionality that these solutions provide, and why each is important for event planners.
In the past, event planners likely had to rely on software that specialized in event registration, but now many all-in-one event management platforms have the functionality included to process event registrations and/or ticket sales.
A part of this should be the ability to build an event website on the platform (preferably a drag-and-drop editor, instead of something that requires code), so there is a dedicated place for interested parties to go to sign up and pay for the event.
Additionally, the registration capabilities should allow the planner to build tiers or different types of registrations. For instance, if you are hosting a hybrid event you will want to give registrants the option to select a virtual ticket option and pay a lesser price than an in-person registration. Or, if you have “VIP” options with upgraded offerings, that should be able to be selected as well during registration, so you don’t have to manually siphon through registrants and figure out what tier each is.
This functionality can prove to be a massive time saver for event planners.
An unfortunate reality of event planning is that sometimes the response and, ultimately, the attendance of events isn’t what you initially hoped for. And while certain factors are out of your control and can play into this, you still need to take every step possible to help make sure you are reaching as many people as you can.
This is where event marketing comes into play, and your event management software of choice should have the functionality to support these efforts.
While some solutions may have built-in email capabilities for communicating updates to those who have already registered, you will also likely want your solution to integrate with third-party CRMs and marketing automation platforms like Hubspot.
For one, as you are putting together large-scale invitation campaigns, you’ll want to make sure your event management software is connected with your marketing contacts list. This way you don’t continue to send invite emails to those who have already registered.
Additionally, you want your sales team to have access to the registration list so they can conduct pre-event outreach. This can help set up at-event meetings with prospects, as well as follow up with the attendees once the event is over.
Reporting and Analytics
One of the biggest challenges for event planners is to be able to show the return on investment for events. Unless the event is something like a show or concert where ticket/concession sales are meant to be the main revenue drivers, it’s hard to tie revenue generated back to events.
An all-in-one event management software makes this easier by providing detailed reporting, dashboard, and analytics to help break down the contribution of each aspect of an event provided. Some even allow the user to see which presentations garnered the most engagements, as well as compare the analytics from one event to the next.
This helps planners to show detailed summaries to stakeholders to justify the spend on events, and help formulate budgets for future events. It takes the grey areas out of event performance and ties tangible business results to efforts.
Another key feature of the best event management software solutions is the ability to provide attendees with a branded event app. We’ve discussed the importance of innovative event software and event apps before.
A good event app will allow users to view their personalized event schedules, learn more about presentations and speakers. Some can message event staff with important questions, interact with live polls and surveys, and more.
This type of app can help event planners to better engage with their attendees, as well as gain key insights on what attendees interact with.
As with any app or website that is capturing personal information though, it’s of the utmost importance for event planners to ensure data is being stored securely. Some ways to do this include multi-factor authentication tools, restricted access, and more.
As an event planner, you already have so much on your plate while attempting to put on a flawless event. If you are handling a lot of these mentioned responsibilities manually, you are immediately behind the 8-ball. In addition to choosing a great event management software to streamline your efforts, consider reaching out to us here at eTech for all your event rental needs.