We can talk about the many innovative ways to make an event truly memorable and valuable. But in the end (or is it the beginning?), if the basics of event execution are missing, the rest is forgotten. No one will remember the powerful speakers and amazing receptions if the event is unorganized, running late, misdirected, and generally “unbuttoned.”
As an event professional your aim is to deliver a flawless event. And that begins and ends with flawless execution. Comprehensive event management software is your partner in this endeavor, and here are 5 key ingredients to look for in the ideal solution:
1. Planning & Collaboration Tools
Your time is limited. Your resources are finite. And you have many constituents to take care of. Your ability to manage projects, timelines, and practices across one or many events is multiplied with the right event management platform, complete with powerful planning tools. And since you’re not in this alone, the platform you choose should also facilitate collaboration with the people who will help make the event flawless. Look for event planning capabilities that allow you to:
- Easily manage project tasks, schedules, and assignments.
- Align with your organizational hierarchy and business processes.
- Collaborate with key players throughout the event.
- Streamline and centralize multi-level request and approval processes for events, speakers, or papers.
- Share critical data and gain visibility into spending with real-time budgeting and roll-up reporting
2. Sourcing & Spend Management Tools
Probably one of the most time-consuming and traditionally manual processes of event management is securing event venues and rooms. To free up your time for more valuable tasks, sourcing requires the right approach. And that means the right technology. The sourcing solution you choose should make it easy to compare and secure event venues while consolidating processes and controlling event spend. Look for a solution that allows you to:
- Automatically locate and negotiate global hotel rooms and venues while saving time
- Attain the perfect venue for your event with extensive meeting room specifications and side-by-side hotel comparisons
- Control budget and global hotel spend with easy and competitive online negotiations and supplier selection
- Access the same up-to-date data used by hotels to propagate content on travel websites
- Manage booking details accurately and eliminate manual repetitions
- Secure the best rooms available for your specified budget
- Integrate the entire event management process with reduced costs and significant enhancements to the overall event value
3. Truly Customized Branding
Your cohorts on the marketing side of the organization will appreciate your attention to this detail. A big part of a properly executed event is how well it reflects the event brand. This must now be considered a minimum requirement of any event management software solution. And we’re not just talking the ability to upload your logo or change the color scheme to some pre-determined template. Every step of the way, from the email invites and event registration software to the event website and mobile app, should be easily and completely customizable to your brand.
4. Real-Time Reporting
When you’re juggling as many details and decisions as you do, the last thing you need is outdated reporting. Details change by the hour—even by the minute—in the course of a typical event professional’s day. Your ability to make decisions, track progress, enact contingency plans, and provide meaningful updates to stakeholders relies on having up-to-the-second reporting. If this capability isn’t included in your list of must-haves for an event management platform, you’re spending too much time chasing down real information.
5. Robust Infrastructure
You’ve got to be able to rely on the infrastructure behind the event management software solution you use. What does this mean? Like the engine of a car, your event management software solution powers your event. A small engine might be able to do the job for a small or basic event, but enterprise-level events require greater horsepower. The technology you choose should be able to handle events of any size and complexity, with customizable registration paths, API integrations to marketing automation and CRM software, powerful email marketing, mobile applications, world-class security, and more.
You can’t begin to think of all the other ways to bring value to an event until you have the basics covered. With these 5 key ingredients, you’ll be well positioned to execute a flawless event and move onto other ways of building attendee engagement and delivering value.