At Aventri, we talk a lot about the power and impact that event management software (or EMS) can have on meeting and event success. By utilizing an event management platform, planners across a variety of industries and organizations can streamline the planning process and collect valuable data, while simultaneously creating a more engaging experience for attendees.
At the end of the day, event management software is invaluable for today's planners, but too often people may ask themselves, "what exactly is event management software?" or "how does it specifically lead to event success?"
Whether you've never heard of event management software or you're curious why it's a step above Excel spreadsheets and manual processes, here are the key features that make up a top of the line platform.
It Manages the Entire Event Lifecycle
Pre-event, onsite, post-event; these are the three stages of the event lifecycle and a good EMS will include a robust set of tools to cover it from end-to-end. Having these tools all in one place comes with several benefits, but first and foremost it consolidates the number of tech providers a planner is dealing with on a daily basis. Here's a simple checklist of what today's top event management software platform should include:
Key Features of Event Management Software:
- A venue sourcing solution that helps streamline the eRFP and negotiation process.
- Mobile responsive and personalized event registration with reporting features that help you stay on track.
- An event website builder that's easy to use and allows you to incorporate your event's branding and overall look & feel.
- Flexible and customizable email marketing that targets the right people at the right time.
- Onsite check-in & on-demand badge printing options that makes the process quick and efficient.
- An event mobile app with several engaging features for attendees like in-app messaging, personalized agendas and more.
- Smart tags that enhance attendee networking, session check-in and onsite data collection.
- Post-event surveys that are easy to create and collect attendee feedback.
- And finally, data & analytics that can give you the big picture with dashboards that also drill down to the specifics.
It Allows Data to Be Shared Seamlessly
Perhaps the greatest benefit of having all of these tools in one solution is that data can be shared instantly between them and it can be updated in real-time. For example, if you add your event program or agenda to your website, it can automatically update the agenda in your event mobile app too. Data collected during online registration can be used to print attendee badges onsite during the event. Having all these planning tools talk to each other creates a seamless experience for an events team and ensures information and data is up-to-date no matter where they are in the event lifecycle.
It Automates Common Planning Processes
If there's anything today's planners need more of, it's time. A key component of event management software are tools that promote automated and simplified planning processes, allowing planners to focus on more important things. Features like automated confirmation emails upon registration completion or mobile push notifications sent at key parts during an event help enhance communications between planners and attendees. Template creation and cloning features help maintain a level of branding consistency, as well as setting up an event website or registration a breeze.
It Helps Planners Understand Data & ROI
It's no secret that data is the key to better understanding an event's successes and areas of improvement, and an EMS platform can help collect, manage and analyze this data across the event lifecycle. From attendee demographics at registration and clicks and opens from marketing emails, to interactions with an event mobile app and booth traffic from smart tags, event management software can bring this data together, tracks event-specific goals and benchmarks, and presents it in a way that's easy to understand.
It Integrates into An Organization's Ecosystem
The reality is meeting and events are just one part of an organization's marketing and/or financial stack. An event management software platform can and should integrate well with other platforms in order to be a true part of a larger ecosystem. Some integration examples include marketing automation (Marketo, Eloqua, Silver Pop, etc.), CRMs (Salesforce, Caspio, Abila Netforum, etc.) or travel & expense management (Concour, Passkey, GetThere, etc.).
Event management software can mean something different depending on the user. For the meeting planner it can be the tool that makes their day-to-day life easier, for the event planner it can be the solution to to creating a more engaging onsite experience, and for the marketer it can be the platform that allows he or she to better understand how events play an important role in their overall strategy. But overall, event management software can be the key to managing and executing more successful experiences for planners and attendees alike.