Event Management Software
What is Event Management Software?
Event management software is an all-in-one digital solution to plan, execute, and analyze events seamlessly. It centralizes key elements like registration, ticketing, scheduling, invoicing, email marketing, and reporting on an integrated cloud-based platform accessible via web and mobile apps.
This robust software allows event organizers to manage attendees, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and other event stakeholders. It helps create well-organized events that drive audience engagement and satisfaction. Leading solutions connect to third-party apps like social media, payment gateways, badge printers etc. providing end-to-end event technology ecosystem.
Event Management Software delivers a unified real-time view of critical event metrics empowering data-driven decisions. Organizers can identify successful aspects and bottlenecks to optimize future events. It scales flexibly to support small workshops or large conferences with thousands of attendees. The easy-to-use online system reduces manual processes, minimizes errors, and provides convenience to event organizers and participants.
Features of Event Management Software
Event Management Software offers an array of useful capabilities to smoothly manage events end-to-end:
- Event Planning: Create multiple events with schedules, sessions, rooms, speakers, and associated contacts. Configure event sites and assign resources.
- Registration and Ticketing: Customizable online registration forms, promotional codes, automated confirmations, waitlisting, and badging options.
- Attendee Management: Track attendee data including status, special needs, communication history. Segment and group attendees.
- Speaker Management: Submit speaker proposals, review submissions and manage selected speakers with bios, sessions, contacts, and assets.
- Exhibitor and Sponsor Management: Manage exhibitor booths, sponsors packages, contacts, assets, inventory tracking, and invoicing.
- Email Marketing: Create beautiful customizable emails and bulk send seamlessly integrated with registration data. Track open, click and bounce rates.
- Reporting and Analytics: Generate detailed real-time reports on registrations, cancellations, checked-in attendees, popular sessions, revenue and more.
- Mobile Event Apps: Provide schedules, maps, notifications and enable attendee engagement from mobile devices.
- Surveys: Create pre-and-post-event surveys to collect attendee feedback and measure event ROI.
- Integrations: Connect seamlessly to external apps like email marketing, CRM, A/V, payment gateways, accounting, and hotel booking apps.
- Customization: Tailor fields, workflows, confirmation emails, badge templates, and branding to your unique needs.
- White Label Option: For agencies managing multiple client events, white label packages hide branding to showcase client branding.
Benefits of Event Management Software
- Streamlined Planning: Simplifies critical tasks like scheduling, registration, email marketing, and contact management from one centralized platform.
- Increased Efficiency: Automates repetitive manual processes involved in event planning and management. Saves time and effort.
- Enhanced Collaboration: Allows event teams, clients, vendors, speakers, and organizers to collaborate in real-time from any location.
- Data-Driven Decisions: Provides real-time reports and analytics on registrations, attendance, sessions, revenue etc. to guide optimizations.
- Improved Audience Engagement: Attracts more registrations, enables personalized communication, and improves event experience.
- Higher Revenues: Drives ticket sales, upsells, sponsorships with targeted email campaigns and seamless ecommerce.
- Reduced Risks: Minimizes last-minute cancellations, catering shortages, misscheduled sessions that ruin events through better planning.
- Convenience: Easy 24×7 access to event information for organizers, exhibitors, attendees, and speakers via web and mobile apps.
- Enhanced Branding: Provides templates to brand event websites, forms, emails, badges, and mobile apps easily.
- Scalability: Cloud-based software scales smoothly for small to very large events as per business growth and audience expansion.
- Post-event Follow-up: Tools like surveys and continued email marketing engage attendees even after events for feedback and relationship building.
Limitations of Event Management Software
- Steep Learning Curve: The extensive range of features can mean a steeper learning curve for novice users.
- Reliance on Technology: Software dependencies can cause disruptions in case of outages or technical issues.
- Customization Limitations: Highly unique custom needs may not be easily accommodated within standard software capabilities.
- Integration Challenges: Connecting with some external or legacy systems can be complicated to implement.
- Ongoing Costs: Monthly or annual subscription costs are incurred for cloud-based solutions.
- Security Risks: Web and mobile access, if not properly implemented may increase cyber risks of data theft.
- Lack of Personalization: Automated emails and contacts do not replace human touch for VIP attendees.
- Vendor Lock-in: High switching costs make it difficult to change platforms due to proprietary data and processes.
- Limited Access Controls: More advanced security features like role-based access are only included in premium plans.
How to Choose the Best Event Management Software?
Selecting the best event management software is critical for executing successful events that create meaningful experiences for attendees while meeting organizational goals. The wrong software can hamper event workflows, data access, and stakeholder engagement. However, the right platform streamlines end-to-end event planning and management, provides actionable insights, enhances collaboration, and allows customization to unique needs. It scales flexibly, integrates seamlessly, and ensures events are executed efficiently.
Given the huge impact technology has on event outcomes, substantial time must be invested in evaluating options to choose an event management software platform that becomes a strategic asset for your organization over the long-term. It diligent evaluation and selection process is imperative to avoid the headaches of inadequate software derailing your events. With a wide range of solutions available, you need a planned approach to select the ideal platform tailored to your specific event needs, workflows and budget.
Consider Industry-Specific Needs
Think through the distinctive event management requirements for your industry like association conferences, educational workshops, corporate events etc. Seek reviews from peers on software choices well-suited for the idiosyncrasies.
Evaluate Types of Events Hosted
The platform should efficiently support all the event types and scales conducted by your organization from small team webinars to mega conventions. Assess needs across the events continuum.
Define Must-Have and Nice-to-Have Features
Make a list of absolute essentials for your events like badge printing, white label portals, advanced reporting etc. along with nice-to-have capabilities like A/V integration, gamification or built-in CRM. It streamlines software evaluation.
Compare Capabilities Offered
Shortlist vendors that meet the defined feature requirements. Then thoroughly compare capabilities offered across those essential for you. Seek free demos to evaluate hands-on before deciding.
Assess Ease of Use
The platform should be intuitive for event managers and attendees alike. Review user interface layouts during demos for ease of navigation and data access. The learning curve for staff should not be too steep.
Evaluate Integrations Offered
Determine what combinations of apps your events leverage like email, payments, hotels etc. Assess existing and potential integrations supported by shortlisted vendors to avoid complex data migrations later.
Consider Customization Options
Factor in the degree of flexibility for custom fields, branding, registration flows etc. offered to tailor the platform to your current and future needs as events evolve over time.
Review Security and Reliability
For handling sensitive attendee data and mission-critical events, the vendor must prove robust security. Check uptime record and backup provisions in case of outages that could cripple events.
Compare Pricing Models
Evaluate both entry-level costs like implementation fees along with ongoing costs like per-attendee charges, email credits used etc. to calculate total platform ownership costs.
Check Mobile Functionality
Evaluate both native apps and mobile-friendly web access for attendees and event managers to leverage the power of mobile devices before, during and after events.
Assess Ongoing Support
Evaluate the vendor’s support channels, availability, and responsiveness to queries. Check user forums and reviews online to validate satisfactory support delivery.
Consider Scalability Needs
As your events grow larger in terms of registered attendees, concurrent sessions, geographical reach etc. the platform should continue to scale up flexibly.
Event Management Software – FAQs
Why is Event Management Software needed?
It is critically needed to simplify complex logistical and operational components involved in hosting events. It increases efficiency by automating time-consuming manual processes. The integrated data and reporting provide valuable real-time insights to guide better decisions. Features like customizable branding and seamless integrations create more professional and engaging event experiences. Streamlined workflows and enhanced collaboration between event teams, clients, vendors, and organizers are enabled through the unified platform.
What types of events can Event Management Software be used for?
Leading solutions are designed to support organization-wide event portfolios ranging from small internal team meetings to large external conferences and trade shows. The flexible platforms can accommodate nonprofit galas, corporate seminars, university events, charity fundraisers, and more.
How much does Event Management Software cost?
Pricing can vary based on the scale and features needed. Simple basic plans may start around $50/month while premium plans for large enterprise events can exceed $150/month. Mid-range plans typically cost $80-$120/month. Custom quotes are offered for many solutions. Cost drivers are the number of users, events, emails, registrations, data storage needs, and integrations required.
What should you look for when choosing event software?
Key factors to evaluate are integration abilities, ease of use, customization flexibility, scalability for future growth, mobile capabilities, security provisions, versatility for different event types, real-time reporting, email marketing tools, support and training options, and cost structure. Prioritize must-have and nice-to-have features before comparing vendors.
Does it integrate with other systems?
Yes, leading event management platforms offer open APIs and pre-built integrations that connect with external systems like payment gateways, CRM software, email marketing tools, hotel and venue booking apps, accounting systems, website analytics, and more. It allows a seamlessly connected event tech ecosystem.
Can it be used by event planners or agencies?
Absolutely. Many solutions provide white labels and multi-event options perfect for professional event planning agencies managing events for multiple clients. It allows delivering customized branded experiences to each client from the same centralized software platform.