Running events is both exciting and a lot of work. There are so many things to take care of – catering, decorating, entertainment, audio services, etc, the list could go on, that it can also be really difficult at times to make sure everything’s going well. Whether you own an event venue, a hotel, an event planning agency, or any other business that sees a lot of events throughout the year, you need to know what an event management software is, and the different ways it can help your business.
1. What Event Management Software Is
As the name suggests, event management software is a specific type of program that deals with the organization and preparation of events. It can be used to deal with all kinds of events – from company meetups, networking events, conferences, weddings, seminars, etc. Of course, not every catering and events software is the same – far from it. Some will only provide you with simple lists of attendees and registration, while others will also help you manage the entire event from beginning to end. Since there are differences between the different programs, it’s always a good idea to look at what other professionals and customers have said about the software you’re considering. However, it’s important to note what kinds of features to look for in a program like this regardless of which business you’re in:
- Contact Management/CRM – which you’ll use to keep track of all your contacts and clients. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a long-term solution used to track and maintain relationships with your customers. Depending on what business you’re in, you will either need just the basic or more in-depth information about people who attended your event, and CRM provides that.
- Content & File Management – as the name suggests, it’s about keeping track of all your content, especially images and presentations. You can also manage files on the program right from your event management software website.
- Itinerary Printouts – having an itinerary for each day of your event is great business practice. It helps you stay on schedule, it gives attendees something to refer to throughout the event, and it’s also a good way to make sure they’re staying on track with their own schedules.
- Task Management (Tasks & Reminders) – an efficient way of managing all the things you need to make sure get done throughout your event. In a way, you can think of it as the itinerary for the employees.
- Lead Forms – which you can use to gather information from people who are interested in your event or business. You can also use it for any follow-ups after the event, such as a survey.
- Customizable BEO, Proposal, and Contract Documents – while company-specific templates are typically included with the software, looking for one that allows you to also create your own depending on what your needs are might be beneficial.
- PCI Compliant Payments – because while some software supports credit card payments, having an integrated solution that complies with all PCI standards not only makes it easier for you but safer for your clients.
- eSignatures – if your company allows them, having an integrated solution that allows you to send out contracts and agreements for electronic signature is both convenient and time-saving for everyone involved.
2. Engagement And Targeted Activity
All marketing, in essence, aims to get customers involved. It must begin far ahead of an event and be maintained and nurtured throughout. Good event management software will provide you with everything you need to create a highly personalized digital marketing strategy for any event. For example, by building unique guest lists and email lists and sending customized emails to those who match certain criteria, you can engage clients and their guests in several ways. You can also use the software to create targeted activity by sending out personalized invitations depending on what each attendee has told you about themselves, which is especially useful for networking events and seminars where attendees are looking to mingle with like-minded professionals.
In order for any event to be successful, people need to be excited about it, and there needs to be a buzz about it on social media. Event management software provides you with tools that help you build a community of interested people on social media, which makes it easier for them to share your event posts. If they’re excited about an upcoming seminar or conference, they’ll talk about it on their own channels, and this has the added benefit of helping you gain followers and promote your own business, which is great for the bottom line.
3. Saves You Time
Of course, it should be stated that nothing can fully replace having talented people on your team. That said, doing things manually, especially when there’s so much to think about, organize, and accomplish within strict deadlines, takes a lot of time, and leaves you open to potential mistakes. By using event management software, you can make sure that critical tasks are as streamlined as they can get. Since some of these programs provide reminders and notification options, you don’t have to worry about taking the time to contact each person on your team to make sure they’re doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. In addition, you can look at the program to see which tasks are completed, which are in the works at the moment, and which ones remain, and go from there. By avoiding doing the grunt work personally, you can use the time you’ve saved to focus on more important things and make sure you, and everyone else on your team is using their talents as efficiently as possible.
4. Collaboration And Teamwork
In the end, it all comes down to making sure that your event goes off without a hitch. You can make use of task management tools in event management software for this purpose, as well as get input from other members of your team at any given time, by using a communication and collaboration platform. Setting clear goals for each team member, and making sure they are all in sync with each other is a must for any kind of management – virtual or not, and a program can make that process a lot easier on you – or another team leader if you’re organizing multiple events at once.
Being able to manage tasks and workflows, and see what everyone else is doing at any given time can help you get ahead of potential problems before they even happen, so the workday isn’t spent scrambling to fix them after they become a bigger issue than they should have been. It enables your team to really shine and collaborate like never before – even if some of them are working remotely.
The bottom line is that event management software makes it a lot easier for you to make sure your events are successful, and as profitable as possible. In addition, you’ll end up saving time as well as money. At the end of the day, those always lead to two things: success and growth!