Event management – in search of an ideal software
The goal of a well-designed online event management software is to simplify and facilitate the work of the event organizer. The offer of available tools for managing events is huge. Currently, there are both the simplest applications and multi-tasking „all-in-one” platforms on the market. How to find the best/ideal online event management software? Does “ideal” software exist at all? What does “best” mean?
Such a question seems to be too general. It should rather be: “What event management software will be the best FOR ME / MY ORGANIZATION?” The answer to this question will then be: “The one that suits my needs”. How to make a choice? Here are some tips to help you make decisions.
Identification of needs
Specify exactly what you expect from an online event management software and what can be optional for you. The research conducted among event managers shows that the necessary features usually include:
- registration of participants;
- payment processing (payment gateways);
- communication with participants (mailings);
- the possibility of inserting the registration form on the organizer’s website.
It is also worth for the software to offer additional options in the form of:
- group registration;
- discount codes;
- no branding option (usually for an additional fee).
Remember that when choosing a software, the quantity is less important than quality. Extensive platforms offer many options, which you won’t necessarily use, and yet for which you will have to pay anyway. For example, if you are organizing a medium-sized training course, you don’t need a floor planner, as well as you won’t use publishing abstracts option needed in the organization of scientific conferences.
The protection of personal data has always been an important issue in the process of event management. However, after the entry into force of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (on 25 May 2018), it has become a particularly important issue. When choosing an event management software, check if it offers solutions that adapt the software to regulatory requirements. The GDPR regulations concern two issues: the relationship between the organizer and the software provider and the relationship between the organizer and the event participants. In both these areas, the system should provide solutions that ensure compliance with applicable regulations.
In the view of the provisions, an event organizer is also a personal data administrator of event participants. Therefore, it is his responsibility to apply appropriate solutions in the registration process. In this situation, it is worth choosing solutions that will ensure that the registration forms comply with the provisions on the protection of personal data.
Ease of use
A well-designed online event management software must be simple and intuitive, both for the event organizer and for participants (when they are using, for example, registration options). After all, who has hours to waste to learn the functionalities or the way the tool works? Imagine you have a new member of the event team, and you want to finish the on-boarding process as fast as possible. Orientation can’t take ages! Time is money, also time devoted to the implementation of the recently recruited event coordinator.
A good way is to check if the software demo clearly explains all or most of the doubts related to the functionality. If not, keep looking. Also, it is worth looking for systems in which the demo is generally available online – it saves your time spent on registration or sending a request to make it available.
Pay close attention to the price list, e.g. a good event attendee registration application will charge you for the actually completed and paid registrations. This way you will avoid paying for the would-be participants who pre-registered but didn’t pay for the training course or workshop and as a result, didn’t take part in them.
Usually, also the more complex the software is, the more expensive it is. You have to consider whether you need a highly sophisticated tool, or whether a simpler application is enough. At the same time, it is worth noting that using several smaller paid applications may cost you more than the potential expenses incurred for the multi-tasking system. It’s not always the case, so you have to do your math.
An effective online event management software is one that is available and fast – there can be no compromises on these two issues. Being able to work anywhere and on any device connected to the internet is the undeniable advantage of online event management systems. This provides incredible freedom in managing events, regardless of time of day or latitude. In order to take full advantage of this possibility, the software must provide adequate uptime (readiness of the application to work measured in percent) and appropriate speed of action. You can read more about the availability and speed of the system HERE.
An online event management software well suited to your needs will be a solid partner in your business. Therefore, in awe of a crisis, you have to be able to contact your partner. The possibility of quick and effective contact, getting answers to bothering doubts is invaluable. Pay attention to the response time of the support staff and the effectiveness of dealing with problems, regardless of what medium you use (phone call, chat, e-mail).
A reliable partner
In business, as well as in life, it is worth betting on rock-solid partners. So check who has used the software before you and what the opinion is about it. Pay attention to positive and negative opinions and their authors. If the system is used by both large organizations and smaller training companies, it means that it is universal, optimally tailored to the needs of both.
Undoubtedly, to optimize the work of event organizers it is worth using an online event management software. If you choose the right system, you will increase the efficiency of your company and save time. The best event management software is one that best meets your needs, so it is worth – before making the final decision – to specify your own expectations and check the offer available on the market.