The expectation to do more with less is nothing new, whether it’s less resources, smaller budgets, or smaller lead times. But the expectation to deliver more visibility, savings, and return is only growing in demand. According to a recent article from Conference & Incentive Travel, attendees at their corporate forum shared a common goal of event technology adoption. This “trend” will only continue to grow as will the need for stronger communication internally and externally.
A common hesitation to adoption is the anticipated lofty price of implementation. The good news is that there are enough tech providers within the industry – you have options! Start small if you’re uncertain of how to prove return, influence change within your organization, or just don’t have the time to add one more thing to your plate. The cost to play (among your industry leading counterparts) is worth it, I promise. The most important step you can take toward success is developing a plan of how the technology will be used for your organization (pre-purchase) and actually taking the training courses offered. Are you going to need to involve marketing, procurement, legal? Who will be your biggest supporters? A major mistake with technology implementation is not using the software as planned and not taking advantage of the training, I can't stress this enough. There are unfortunate cases when the technology you had big plans for becomes a budget line item instead of a powerful tool with the potential to support your efforts.
Whether you’re focusing on adopting event mobile apps or event management software, be certain to focus on the flexibility of the tool and its functionality, but even more importantly, its reporting capabilities. We’ve been saying it for a while but manual reporting and managing multiple spreadsheets is hardly controlled chaos. So why the heavy focus on reporting?
Every feature you plan to use within your new event technology solution needs to support your event planning and management efforts. So how will you understand its impact toward reaching your objectives?
If you're using an event app, it needs to deliver the set expectations of your organization and your attendees. Analytics will be the key to determining which tabs were most viewed, how many leads were generated, which devices were most often used, and the like. And the same applies to something more robust like event management software. From your event registration form to emails and hotel room blocks, how well are you performing? The thought of actually viewing your strengths and weaknesses can be overwhelming, but it’s what you do with that information that can improve future events.
You’ve heard the expression, “jack of all trades, master of none”? This applies to reporting. You can’t efficiently and effectively manage manual reporting of your events’ many working parts with spreadsheets, checks and balances. You can choose to do it, but it will not be as accurate as you’d like. Plus, who wants to manually manage spreadsheets? Imagine the time saved from pulling automated reports and being able to share up-to-the-minute reports with stakeholders via a link! It’s all possible, again depending on your provider, and it removes the chaos, while focusing on control.
Key takeaway is to recognize your objectives, develop a plan for how this new software will support those efforts, take advantage of software training, and utilize the reports to track your success and leverage those results to improve future events.
To learn more about event tech purchasing best practices view the free webinar (and earn credit): http://bit.ly/1CPzWgl.