Technology has invaded the meeting and events space, with event organizer using technology in some form or the other. The age of sending invites using snail mail and tracking responses on a sheet of paper is a thing of the Stone Age. Today, planners are using some kind of technology, be it in sending invites, creating registration pages or collecting feedback. With technology becoming an entrenched part of our lives, it is important you invest in the right one to improve your events. After all, attendees expect technology at events to help them get the most value from it. It is therefore important to find the perfect event technology that meets your needs and helps you achieve your event goals. Analyze your needs first and then start the search, for it will take months before you zero it down to one solution.
In addition to finding your needs, also understand what to look for in the event management technology provider and devise a strategy for sealing the deal! Once you have finalized these points, then you can set yourself on at least a month long journey of discovering the perfect event management technology for your events.
Even though attendees are the most important stakeholders of your events, you also need to convince other internal stakeholders. While event technology can help you in almost all aspects of event planning, unfortunately, most of us don’t work with bottomless budgets. Monetary constraints make it very important that we invest in the right technology. Once you’ve ascertained your needs, it is the time to source the right technology. If you too deal with problems of time management, limited budget and collection of data then make sure you choose one single solution that can help resolve all three.
As you narrow down your search, you should look at all aspect of the event management software provider whether it is the price, features or even customer support. When you opt for an online demo of numerous service providers, make sure you ask about the following:
- Integration with CRM
- Customer support: both on-site and online
- Pricing and any hidden cost
- Their technology roadmap
- Data compliance and safety
Ease of use for both you and your attendees
All the points mentioned above are important to consider in addition to the features you are looking for. For instance, event management software is believed to increase efficiency, but what good will it be if it doesn’t integrate with your existing CRM and you have to transfer data manually? Or, if the event management software isn’t easy to use, it will surely leave a bitter taste in the mouth of your attendees. Contrary to expectations, it will make your event experience memorable for all the wrong reasons. Therefore, it is important to ask for all these points before you close the deal.
Read online reviews
A company’s website is not the best place to understand the quality of its products and services. After all, everyone is paid to paint a rosy picture and no one will ever highlight the shortcomings. Therefore, it is important you read third-party reviews of actual users when you are in your shortlisting process. See what users have to say, how old the company is, etc. People love to share their experiences, and you should leverage their honest opinions when selecting the right technology provider.
Seal the deal
Now that you know your problem and what questions to ask the event management software provider, it is now time to close the deal. Although this step seems the simplest one, it has its own share of obstacles. With limited budgets, you need to on-board your team and your stakeholders who will have their own questions and reservations. The most common of them all is getting the best bang for your buck!
While researching and reading reviews, you will definitely come across some weaknesses of the event management software provider. Use that to your advantage and negotiate on the commercials. To win new business, the vendor will definitely throw in some discounted services! You can also tell them about the date by which you have to close the deal so that they can lower the price to covert you into a user.
A word of caution: don’t make pricing the only criterion for selecting the vendor. Picking off from the introduction, be absolutely sure that the event management software will solve your pain points and reduce the stress in event planning.
With a dime and dozen event management software provider, selecting the right solution provider can be an uphill challenge. But if you are clear of your requirements and the right set of questions to be asked, then the job should be far simpler. There has to be a strategy of purchasing and sourcing the vendor. It is useless to pick the top-rated provider when it doesn’t even solve half of your problems and cost you a bomb! While it is important to stay within your budget, make the most of it by doing thorough research and getting the most value from every penny you spend. Over to you now!