Event management, while a very fulfilling job, does have its share of nerve-wracking moments. Unlike small-scale events, where all it takes to mount one is to have your talent show up, charge the audience and leave, managing a professional event takes a bit more preparation. First, there are talents and venues to book, tickets to print and sell, merchandise to order, and concessions to award. Next, invitations and advertisements to prepare and circulate, co-sponsorships to pitch, permits to secure, and manpower to hire.
With a million tiny details to do and follow up, managing an event today will tax not just your organizational skills but your patience to the fullest as well. With limited time to plan things and oversee preparations, the danger of overlooking a detail or go behind schedule remains probable. When that happens, things can go downhill pretty fast, and you’ll find yourself putting out fires rather than getting things done.
For your event’s (and sanity’s) sake, event management software can help you sort through the chaos. It will enable you to list all tasks, set target accomplishments, and monitor progress against the deadlines you’ve set. The right event management software will act as your secretariat and project manager, ensuring tasks are up to speed, and priorities get identified and addressed in time.
What is Event Management Software?
Event management software centralizes your planning, preparation, execution, and post-event activities of your event. Ideally, it manages everyday tasks such as project planning, budget setting, assigning manpower, project monitoring, ticketing/seating, and results reporting. In some cases, the software features a feedback mechanism that gathers information from event attendees and reports on areas for improvement.
Event management software is ideal for today’s types of events: shows, concerts, conventions, benefits, exhibits, and conferences. From the small private meeting to the largest outdoor concert, planning and implementing your activity could use some organizational assistance.
List of Best Event Management Software
- Eventbrite: The complete event management package. Eventbrite handles both small meetings and large outdoor events with the same ease-of-use and useful tools to get your events up and running in no time. It handles all aspects of event handling, from ticketing to venue organization to budget to timelines.
- Cvent: Cvent is a cloud-based event management tool that features a customizable UI that matches your event’s look and feel. It features a branded ticketing tool that helps produce event-specific tickets that can be purchased online.
- Hubb: Hubb touts itself as the event management software designed by event management people. True enough, it features exhibitor-friendly tools that let them join conferences and expos easily and tools for resource persons to ensure their presentations are ready for the world.
- EventMobi: Event Mobi is a customizable event management software that handles everything your attendees will ever need during your events. From reservations to registration to exit polling, Event Mobi offers an interactive user experience where each attendee’s voice counts.
- Tripleseat: Focused on the hotel and restaurant sector, Tripleseat helps create events that take advantage of the unique advantages in the hospitality and FB venues. The software enables you to connect to events searching for venues without shelling out finders fees or commissions.
- Trello: While more of a project management software, Trello features boards, lists, and cards that let you organize and prioritize projects via an easy-to-use and intuitive interface. It syncs automatically across all installed devices so project status are always updated.
- Whova: Whova has all the tools needed to organize an event from start to finish. Main features include speaker center to organize all guest speakers, name badge creator for conference attendees, check-in and session attendance management, live polling and surveys, event walls, and post event analytics.
- Boomset: Boomset lets you create event registration pages, offer check-in, on-site badge printing, and lead retrieval, to attendees, and generate event analytics in a single platform. The program features cutting edge technology like facial registration, UHF/NFC registration and cashless payment.
- Socialtables: Socialtables is collaborative event management software that provides venue sourcing, event diagramming, guest management, and check-in. You can map out highly detailed tasks of your event and share it within your group. Socialtables also offers integration with CRM, event sales, and event services.
How does event management software work?
Event management software works exactly like a project management software – but with features and functions that are specifically designed for events. You can create a new project, or update an existing one, set tasks with corresponding budgets, assign PICs, and map out timelines. Key event milestones are alerted via timed reminders, while expenses are monitored and updated versus their set budgets. In short, with event management software, you get an automated project management tool that ensures tasks are performed, deadlines are met, and spending managed within budget. When the big event arrives, you can spend more time giving a good show rather than holding crisis meetings everywhere.
Features of Event Management Software
Event management software should help streamline and not further complicate your tasks. As such, here are a few features that should be present when considering acquiring event management software:
- Ticketing / early registration: Lets you provide both online and offline means for advanced sales of event tickets or early registration for conferences.
- Venue management: Helps you prepare a layout of the venue to maximize usage of space. During the actual event, the event management software can also help with the registration of confirmed attendees and walk-ins.
- Marketing and sponsorship: This feature helps you track all marketing activities happening during the event. It also helps track sponsors and exhibitors feedback from attendees.
- Event marketing: You can create custom tools to help promote your event via social media: web pages, push messaging to smartphones, email campaigns, and posts. This can also help integrate your promotions and special offers with selected marketing activities.
- Reporting and event analytics: You can create reports on attendance, engagement, spend, and feedback to measure your event’s success. Insights are gathered from attendees as well.
Benefits of event management software
Project Management Efficiency
Having an event management software lets you consolidate your to-dos, budget, and timelines into a compact application that contains all your information. The software consolidates your accomplishments, tracks your progress, and alerts you when things are behind schedule.
Integration ensures that changes to any task will alert related tasks. This means that the software will intuitively forecast any potential issues with the proposed changes, and show you its unintended effects.
Reservations and payments
Given today’s mobile environment, providing an online payment channel is standard and not an option. Attendees find it convenient to book and pay for tickets in advance to avoid crowds, or in some cases, avail of early bird promos.
Ideally, the event management software allows you to take advantage of social media platforms to promote your event and inform the public of any ongoing promotional activities. This includes email messaging and social media (FB, Instagram, Twitter) alerts.
Types of event management software
Here are some common types of event management software:
- Event planning and scheduling
- Venue scouting and selection
- Feedback mechanisms (polls, surveys, etc.)
- Exhibition management and event diagramming
- Secretariat operations (registration, program)
- Online reservation and registration
- Social media support management
The ability to convert any surface into a 3D display is currently wowing attendees all over the globe. For event organizers, this opens up a lot of possibilities for events in venues, which previously proved too small for these types of displays.
At present, event apps help attendees book their tickets, accommodation, or order merchandise directly from organizers. Future trends give attendees a heightened experience through event-specific interactivity, personalized promos, or serve as an instant feedback mechanism.
Dependency on the internet
With apps getting more and more interactive, some areas of your event become hostage to the state of connectivity in your chosen venue. This may include feedback mechanisms, onsite bookings, and others. For organizers, this could also mean problems accessing the cloud where your information is stored.
Old-school business partners
Even with the best event management software at your fingertips, if most of the businesses you deal with still work with pen and paper, then your efficiencies are in for a nosedive. Until everybody involved in your events join the bandwagon, you are at the mercy of the lowest denominator.
Factors to consider when considering event management software
In case you’ve decided to check out event management software, here are some things to consider before settling down to your chosen one:
- Your event scale. Do you deal with conferences, small shows, or large outdoor events? The kind of event management software you settle down with should be able to handle your type of events. And maybe even flexible enough to grow as your needs do.
- How you generate income? Do you charge a commission, or pay upfront for all costs and keep all revenue? Event management software also come in different pricing structures, so you may want to check the best plans that complement your revenue drivers.
- Your vendor network. Do you conduct your business with suppliers online, or do they still prefer the deals involving hard currency? In the case of the latter, you may find yourself underutilizing online payment features even though you paid for it.
- Your staff. Events management is interaction heavy and often calls for people always on the go. Your choice of event management software should match that mobility, plus feature an interface that is user-friendly to accommodate the grizzled veterans used to working the old fashioned, manual way.
Which event management software should I buy?
The event management game is slowly evolving and moving into improved technology. Your business should take advantage of these innovations and invest in software that can help you manage your events easier and more efficiently. But before you go out and buy, consider trying out a few demos from various event management software products and see which ones best fit how you do business. Also, it would be wise to consider event management software that can adapt to your planned changes. While the right software can spell the difference between profit and loss, the wrong, mismatched one can push your progress back.