How Event Software Increases Your Efficiency and Reduces Your Costs

Reducing the number of events you are running is one way to handle budget reductions; however automating a number of the event processes involved is the more proactive and effective way of managing budget cuts. Most event organisers, whether in a local authority or in the commercial events market, just want to do more for less and the implementation of an online event software solution can help them achieve this by:

  • Reducing staff costs through the automation of processes
  • Promoting a paperless office through the implementation of a fully web based solution
  • Closely monitoring and managing budgets and costs
  • Giving you time savings through the integration with all internal business applications
  • Implementing an unlimited user site licence which can be used across multiple services / disciplines
  • Providing multiple deployment options with low installation costs

Event Efficiency & ROI

Event managers in both the commercial market and within local authorities can improve the efficiency of their event management practices by making use of event software. An online event solution, once implemented, will ensure your organisation adopts best practice event management processes by controlling and managing the automation of these activities from one central location. Utilising a software solution designed specifically for event management has proven to have huge cost and time saving benefits through the management of the following activities:

  • Website Integration
  • Event Microsites
  • Online Registration
  • Event Communication
  • E-Invite
  • E-Survey
  • Badge Production
  • Resource Management
  • Management of Financials
  • Travel Management
  • Meeting Scheduler
  • Event Reporting and Analysis

Measuring your event ROI is now more important than ever but how do you know how efficient your events are? Using event software is an effective way to increase efficiency, generate more revenue back to your business and to sustain your customers. Face to face event marketing is one of the easiest ways to measure whether you have met your event objectives and can be further simplified if you have the necessary tools in place, such as those found within an event software solution.

It is imperative that you are able to quantify the results and feedback post event and measure costs such as cost per delegate and overall event profitability; therefore allowing you to provide accurate projected sales forecast to your business. Event management systems let you do this and will process your event data for you making the evaluation and reporting process much simpler, less time consuming and more cost efficient.

Self Service Web Portal

So your budget has been reduced but how do you guarantee that your events don’t suffer because of this reduction? One way is to capture a delegates/citizens journey online through a self service web portal, this will demonstrate not only how committed you are to ensuring your delegates/citizens event journey is smooth but also ensuring your information is up to date, clean and accurate.

Implementing an online event solution with a fully functioning web self service portal will allow delegates to access their personal information from any location at any time. Delegates/citizens can view and book onto events via the categorised sections of the portal, from the comprehensive search mechanism and via the events calendar. Once booked onto an event, reminders, notifications and updates can easily be communicated to all relevant parties. Using an online, multi faceted event solution will enable you to manage, monitor and control all services online through a fully functioning self service portal. The portal will mimic your existing website using your specific branding and domain URLs for commercial and government services and for all types of events such as;

  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Conferences
  • Internal corporate meetings
  • Training courses and
  • Incentives
  • Registrar appointments
  • MOT registrations
  • Bikeability
  • Outdoor activities
  • Refuse collection
  • Pest control

The event booking portal is your delegates/citizens online view into the events/appointments that you are running and is the one place where they can manage their event bookings and their online events profile. An online comprehensive self service web portal will allow the event manager to be well organised, multi-task and provide your organisation with clear efficiency gains such as time savings, cost savings and improved event performance.

In the case of local authorities this will cut down costs significantly as delegates/citizens are only able to book appointments dependent on certain criteria. Using an example of booking a registrar appointment for notices of marriages, the criteria required to book such an appointment is dependent on a large number of variants. Applicants must answer a set of questions such as whether it is a civil partnership or not, nationalities, country of residence, district they live in, age, time of residence in said district etc. An online self service booking portal in such a case provides a cohesive journey for the citizen/delegate asking them these required qualification questions, leading to the final stage of allowing them to book an appointment online (if they meet the set criteria). If they are unable to book an appointment due to a failure to meet the requirements, the reasons are explained along with action steps to help them get to the next stage in the process. Giving citizens/delegates the ability to book appointments online in this way ensures the registrars time is utilised efficiently.

In the case of a commercial events organisation, utilising a self service portal has a number of clear and defined efficiency benefits, from clean and accurate data through to enhanced delegate management. A self service event portal will allow the delegate to register online – from the point of booking, to payment, to registering on the day; ensuring the delegates’ journey is quick, painless and error free. Events that have low efficiency are events that have been poorly organised and managed and will leave the delegates with an inadequate experience, resulting in reduced delegate attendance for future events.

Event management software can help event managers plan more successful events with a greater level of efficiency. But the benefits aren’t just to the event managers – delegates/citizens can reap the rewards of more flexible and appropriate communication, fewer errors and improved event experiences. With the event management industry being hit with rising costs, reduced budgets and lower delegate attendance, it’s crucial that businesses organising events are as efficient as possible and continually find ways to improve their event processes. It is the companies that tackle efficiency issues head on, and employ the use of technology who will ensure their events are successful now and in the future.

Event Management Software Tools to Manage and Plan Events

A recent survey conducted by a leading provider of event management software asked UK based event managers what was their preferred tool for managing and planning their events. The most common tool by far was event management software with 67% of the votes. Coming second and third were spreadsheets and ‘other’ respectively.

Spreadsheets are a tried and tested way of managing events – they can track budgets, monitor resources and can be an effective way of creating and managing lists. The main benefit of spreadsheets as an event management tool is the low cost associated with them. The majority of event managers have access to spreadsheets and they are a widely accepted document format.

However, there are a high number of drawbacks if event managers decide to use spreadsheets as their main event management tool. Common issues include:

Poor efficiency: Using spreadsheets is not a very efficient method of managing all the aspects of an event. It is likely that event managers will be using many different spreadsheets, all with dozens of tabs, holding a huge amount of data. Managing all this data within spreadsheets can be confusing to an outsider, and time consuming for all users.

Lost data: Spreadsheets are only as safe as the server/system they sit on. If they are kept on a computer hard drive, there is a risk that all the data will be lost if anything happens to that computer or laptop. Spreadsheets are also prone to freezing/stalling and unless the event manager is accustomed to saving on a regular basis, there is a high risk that data and work will be lost.

Trouble keeping data up to date: Many events have multiple event managers, all using the same spreadsheets to organise and plan various areas. Problems arise when managers update spreadsheets without informing the other event mangers that the spreadsheet has changed. If event managers take a copy of the master spreadsheet and work on that, the master soon becomes out of date. There are also issues when more than one event manger needs to access the spreadsheet at the same time. Only one editable copy can be opened, causing the others to be ‘read only’ – removing the ability to make updates.

Hard to create reports to measure success: A key part of event management is the ability to analyse event success. It is vital to have the ability to understand what makes a particular event successful and what needs to be measured in order to analyse event performance. Using spreadsheets makes this a difficult task. Although creating graphs and charts can be easy on spreadsheets, the amalgamation and sorting of the data can be an extremely complicated and time consuming task. It is quite often the case that when using spreadsheets, the activity of measuring event performance is forgotten or dismissed.

Lack of management information: Similarly to the difficulty in creating reports to analyse performance, there is also a lack of management information overall. For companies organising many events a year it’s important to be able to have a clear picture of these events as a whole; understanding delegate numbers, budgets and other KPI’s across all events can help shape event strategy in the future.

These issues create too many problems for organisations with many events to plan. For this reason, numerous event managers are now turning towards professional event management software to help manage their events. These software solutions have been designed specifically for the event management industry and contain a range of comprehensive, yet easy-to-use features. Common features include:

· Website Integration: Seemless integration with your website gives delegates a smoother, safer journey and ensures you stay within your corporate brand guidelines

· Online Registration: Creating fully customisable online booking forms on your own website, capturing the most relevant information from your delegates

· Online Payment Processing: Allow your delegates to pay online in a safe, secure environment

· Invitation Management: Make sure you are targeting the right prospect delegates with an integrated invitation management tool

· Email Marketing: Powerful, integrated and fully functional email marketing tool to send highly targeted email campaigns to delegates and prospects

· Badge Production: Save time by producing personalised badges quickly and effectively

· Resource Management: Simply manage all your resources though a comprehensive calendar

· Integrated Reporting and Analysis: Ensure you can determine the true ROI of your events though a powerful reporting and analysis suite – quickly and simply drill down to the event data in a matter of seconds

· Event Survey: Create integrated, customisable and automated surveys for effective feedback management.

Event management software tools also have the benefit of multiple deployment methods. Many companies choose options such as Software as a Service (SaaS) or hosting to keep costs and internal IT involvement down. Alternatively companies can still purchase the systems outright, but still gain the benefits on long term, ongoing support.