Organizing an event of any type is a challenging task. Preparing and sending out invitations, launching an event website, collecting registrations, collecting and managing payments, invoicing, producing individual badges, monitoring and analyzing event results or re-marketing can sometimes be exhausting tasks. But luckily, event management software solutions exist to make our life easier, save our money, spare time, and increase efficiency in our event organizations. However, when looking at the multitude of available solutions, it is not an easy task to choose the solution that suits our particular needs best. Here are some suggestions;
Check if the provider is reliable enough
- If you're planning to choose an event management software, you must get detailed information about the software provider or developer at the very beginning. In order to score the reliability of the provider you should look for the answers of a few basic questions such as;
- How long has the service provider been in this business and are they experienced enough?
- What sort of comments were made about the provider in internet pages and social media?
- How many and what sort of customers they have? Do their clients organize same type of events like yours?
- Do you think the provider's Terms & Conditions document clear and detailed enough?
- Does your provider give customer support? If so, how?Is there a "money back guarantee" policy and how it works?
- What sort of legal rights are guaranteed in case of a dispute?
- Is your provider flexible enough to adapt its system according to your private requirements?
Check if the software features meet your requirements
When assessing any event management software, it is crucial to get a feel for what is on offer. You should check whether it serves your needs through the features offered by it or not. The best way is to check an online demo of the software. You must look for the basic features you need and make sure that they can solve your problems without creating additional problems.
- A customizable online registration interface
- Integrated online & secure payment
- Integrated reporting & analysis
- Cyber Security
- Marketing Tools
- Event survey tools
- Resource management
- Some Useful Tips
Most of the event management applications are integrated with a registration interface in order to help event organizers easily manage and tackle registration, even online ticket selling. Registration interface helps you to collect necessary information from your participants and creates a database ready to process for other operations by using online communication methods. On the other hand a versatile registration interface meets the requirements of your participants such as downloadable invoices, name badges, invitation letters or visa letters, etc. You can also use participant details in the future for other events or event marketing if your provider combines its system with a CRM System. So, make sure that the application you're going to choose offers a customizable and a multi-functional online registration interface.
You need to collect payments from your participants in every event you organize, except the free ones and when it comes to organizing an international event where especially currency and payment channel security matter, you really need a sophisticated payment system. Having an inbuilt, secure online payment system will be quite handy for you to receive instant payments from your participants. Such a payment gathering system can also allow you to manage refund operations which sometimes becomes a headache if cancellations occur. Such a system should also be flexible enough to integrate alternative payment options such as onsite cash payments or wire transfers or it should allow you to integrate your own bank account as a virtual gateway.
Almost all of the event management systems are going to offer a wide range of reporting and analysis tools and options. However, you should find out what other kind of reporting and analysis options are offered by the application. Is it offering management of performance, trends and budget, email marketing reports? Can you get other reporting options like invoice management, bounce management, multi-office reporting, contact history, integration of Google analytics and other features? If you ever organize academic conferences, abstract management and evaluation reports are also a must. So make sure that the event management software you test before purchasing have all these reporting capabilities as well.
Marketing and promotion of your event is crucial as it will help you get attention from the target audience. Therefore, ensure that the event management software offers a wide range marketing tools. Verify whether it enables you to put links on your own site. Also, verify whether it is providing support to the various marketing channels or not. The application you choose must offer email and SMS marketing for your events and should have a web builder for sharing the content about your events. A free mobile app and the social media integration are also strong marketing capabilities of an event management.
Survey tools are crucial as it will help you conduct researches during and after the event so that you can get a feedback from your participants. It will let you know about the satisfaction of your attendees and allow you to evaluate your event. So, ensure that the application offers a variety of event survey tools that help you validate the user responses.
Resource management is an important part of event management and therefore, you should make sure that event management software you choose provides effective and powerful resource management. It should offer practical tools for managing speakers, sponsors, sessions or accommodation associated with your event. Also, you should ensure that it offers enough options for venue management.
Price is a prime concern for every event organizer. So, make sure you verify and compare the prices of different event management systems before choosing it. You may score each existing feature according to your requirements and compare the value of features with the price. Eventually, this will give you the optimum choice for your event management requirements both in terms of type and size.Some providers keep their price low at the beginning but they charge later for any additional service they provide. So, ensure that you are safe from any future price hike from the service provider and they have a clear pricing policy.
User training sometimes becomes a headache. So make sure that you will get enough user training for your staff.
If you organize same event periodically, then cloning a past event and overwriting capability can make things very simple and easier. So, ask about it.
Spam-free mass mailing capability may be one of the powerful feature you need. Just keep in mind.P.S.: I know choosing an event management is a difficult job but I'd say that, MeetingHand Online Event Management Software can be a good solution for all the above-mentioned features or at least ask for a demo.