Embracing New Technology – Event Management Software
As event organisers we’re increasingly finding our delegates expect our events to feed their appetite for technology, especially now that we’re all spending more time on social networks and our smart phones. The world of event management software and the wealth of new technologies now widely available to event organisers has exploded. The choice in the market is dizzying: from simple ticketing solutions; to full blown, all-in-one, event management platforms; and everything in-between.
I recently sampled a few of the do it yourself offerings, at the lower price-range of the market, to see if I really would feel happy to let go of my paper-based lists and spreadsheet-reporting comfort blankets.
I started with a simple task – setting up a registration site on which I could sell tickets for an event; collect the ticket revenue; monitor and report on registration sign ups and ticket sales. In less than two hours I had built a simple ticketing tool and after one day I was ready to launch a branded site with tiered ticket pricing, promotional codes and intelligent delegate referral questions.
Boosted by that success, I am now discovering the power of end-to-end event management solutions (still at the modest, do it yourself, end of the market). With the latest tools at my disposal I can connect my ticket sales portal to my custom-built, branded event website; my online agenda, with its detailed session descriptions and speaker synopses, can be married to a mobile event app, which itself doubles as a digital event brochure and real-time interactive polling tool on the day; I can support live tweeting; and my delegates can network with each other before, during and after the event.
Even these simpler, ‘self-serve’ applications, which you build and edit yourself, really are very comprehensive and just as importantly, very intuitive to use. I successfully drafted all of the above in less than a day.
Admittedly, before a full blown website could be launched, I would still have needed to add some more data capture fields on the backend ticketing setup, and I would still have had a couple of custom tabs to finish to fully publicise all of the event logistics. But as my testing is proving, all-in-one event management apps really are very easy to build. Even for a self-confessed old school marketer.
Now I’m looking forward to the events that I can run that will have:
• Branded event registration website – one stop shop for registration and ticket sales, event website, agenda, speakers, sponsors
• Targeted email marketing – filtered messages to target delegate marketing in lead up to the event
• Simple, centralised reporting – no need to create standalone spreadsheets for delegate analysis
• Exported data – for easy name badge creation, rooming lists etc.
• Delegate check-in – no paper lists
• Mobile Event App – kept in synch with website and used on the day as virtual brochure and networking tool
• Delegate interaction – live tweets and polls on the day to engage audience
• Maximised value for sponsors – opportunities to sponsor different elements of website and mobile app
Running good events requires so much planning. Automating as much of the process as possible allows us to focus even more attention on the content and the experience. Together with new event technologies we are delivering more ROI from our clients’ investments in events.