Top 10 Features That A GOOD Event Management Software Must Have
Smart technology is disrupting the worldwide events industry in a big way. In an early-2019 survey, it was found that a whopping 82% of event organisers use custom mobile event apps to enhance reach and awareness levels. The advantages of digital event management software is not lost on the current crop of event planners – with 4 out of every 10 event creators making use of such platforms. The competition is fierce – and with the number of corporate events rising on a YoY basis – the onus is on event tech vendors to come up with software platforms that truly deliver value to the planners. Over here, we will take a look at some key features that any good event management platform must have:
Secure event ticketing
The biggest chunk of revenues from a corporate event comes from its ticket sales. As such, it is imperative for a digital event management platform to offer prompt and easy ticketing/session registration options. Organisers should be able to quickly list their event tickets from the backend. Transparency about the pricing or fees (most platforms charge percentage fees; Eventify has a flat-rate ticketing fee) is also extremely important. There should also be options to list different types of tickets, offer discounts and special deals – while there should be full clarity over the payout structure as well.
Note: Nearly 74% of all event planners collaborate with more than one event technology vendors.
Onsite check-ins and live event stats
The attendee data at any high-profile event or conference throws up many important insights. Not surprisingly, event planners are increasingly looking for platforms that have ‘deep reporting’ integrated. With the help of such platforms, organisers can stay on top of all event data, monitor the metrics that are going well (and the ones that are not), and make decisions accordingly. Real-time syncing of all attendee data is extremely important. What’s more – the event planning software should provide seamless onsite check-in features too. People should never face any difficulties at the time of registering at the venue. The platform should offer both off-venue and at-the-venue services, for a holistic event experience.
Note: On average, an event software platform can help a planner save more than 220 hours in a year.
Custom event app builder
Greater awareness and high levels of engagement are two vital pre-requisites for the success of any event, B2B or otherwise. A mobile event app is the ideal tool for achieving these. However, many event planners shy away from building an app – simply because, creating such an app from scratch (with coding and all) is likely to take up quite a lot of time and money. This is where the value of event management platforms kick in. These platforms typically offer a built-in event app builder – on which a full-featured, dynamic, and information-rich event application can be made, in a matter of hours. There should not be any coding involved either – and organisers should be able to add features via clicks or drag-and-drop actions. From registrations, map views and updated event data, to surveys and ratings, push notifications (including even weather updates on event days), networking and 1-on-1 appointment scheduling – the event app should offer all-round support to the final user (i.e., the attendees). Live polling and live Q&A are other important features that make event apps more interactive. In essence, the event app should help in creating social communities for the attendees.
Note: 80% of all event planners look for app builder platforms that are easy to set up. Offline app functionality is sought after by 66% users – while live polling and Q&A is yet another priority.
100% security assurance
With the rise and rise of big data related to events and conferences, the risks of data thefts and hacking are also increasing. While looking for an event tech partner, event managers typically search for platforms that follow GDPR regulations, and offer robust data encryption services. Ideally, even the vendor should not have access to the event data – unless the event owner requests for assistance. A fully secure event management tool allows event planners to stop worrying about hackers, phishing attacks and/or malicious malware. In addition, it also makes sense for event marketers to go for digital platforms that have minimal system downtimes (functional 99.99% of the time). Vendors, of course, need to provide round-the-clock assistance and support to the planners.
Note: A recent survey report found that the presence of event apps increases the average social impression of events by ~43%.
Custom website builder
While mobile-first event marketing strategies are growing in popularity, conference organisers simply cannot gloss over the importance of a fast-loading, fully mobile responsive, user-friendly event websites. Any end-end event and conference management software should provide a fully customisable website builder – to ensure enhanced visibility on the digital platform for events. Just like the app builder, the website builder should also involve no coding whatsoever – with organisers having the option to add/remove features through simple drag/drop features. There should not be any difficulties in embedding custom widgets in the event website. It should be directly linked to the event ticketing portal as well. Event websites, together with event apps, can give a significant boost to social sharing and mentions – and that, in turn, helps in generating a steady buzz about the event.
Note: 6 out of every 10 event organisers, on average, opine that the influence of event technology is likely to go up further in the foreseeable future.
Latest technology and ease of data access
Investing on event technology is good. Spending big money on outdated event tech is not. To be classified as a ‘good’ and ‘reliable’ event planning tool, it must be powered by the latest, cutting-edge technological tools and resources. The 24×7 attendee tracking and reporting features need to be real-time and extremely accurate – for the data to be of any value to the organisers. In addition, visitors should be able to access all types of updated event information quickly, and without any hassles. Providing ‘customised views of event’ to different attendees is also something that a platform should allow. Furthermore, organisers generally go for digital management platforms that can fully support ‘live events’.
Note: Event apps have helped 92% of all users to generate positive ROI figures.
Optimal exposure for sponsors
Sponsors and partners do not only provide financial assistance to an event. A big corporate partner often adds an additional layer of credibility – which, in turn, can lead to higher ticket sales and enhanced attendance. Hence, it is only natural that these companies would want proper presence and exposure in return – both in the event marketing channels, and at the venue (on event days). As such, it becomes extremely important that an event platform has the provision of adding the data and contact information of sponsors (along with pictures, logos and other visual elements). If the sponsors are classified under different categories, that should be clearly mentioned as well. Having sponsor-related information at their fingertips would also help attendees to get directly in touch with their favourite brands at the event.
Note: A digital event platform should also be easily integrable with other existing business platforms of the organiser.
Custom branding options/White-labeled events
An event owner spends hundreds of dollars to organise a B2B conference. Why should (s)he want the brand of the event tech vendor dilute the presence of his/her very own event? A large percentage of international event hosts prefer to work with white-labeled solution providers – where the logo/name of the event software is nowhere mentioned – and there is full, customised branding of the event on the app and the website. Right from the visual elements, to the event content and social media feeds – everything needs to be seamlessly customisable on the platform. The attendees – who will be the final users of the app and website – should not be able to tell whether the organiser had worked with a third-party event technology vendor.
Note: White-labeled services are generally included in the ‘paid’ or ‘premium’ plans of event platform vendors. 50% of event organisers do spend money on paid advertising – and many of them are willing to pay more for custom-branded solutions.
Lead scanning services
Planners work with event management platforms to ensure an immersive, high-value, holistic event experience to all attendees. That includes the exhibitors and sponsors as well, and for them, organisers generally look for powerful lead scanning/lead retrieval services. On the platform itself, it should be directly possible to categorise and qualify the leads, and deliver filtered, high-quality lead info to the exhibiting participants. An event software that allows quick lead scanning and lead capture would automatically help like-minded visitors to set up mutually beneficial business connections.
Note: Any online event platform worth investing on should have custom dashboards that display all the key attendee stats and insights.
Earlier, we had talked about how organisers need to track the data about their event. In addition to that, it is also important to monitor the performance of the event management platform as well – and whether it has indeed been successful in maximising the reach of the event. In the admin panel, things like total number of app installs, website hits, networking stats and conversion rates should be displayed real-time. The total ticket sales and revenue figures should be viewable right on the platform. Armed with these analytics, event marketers can modify and implement their strategies accordingly, and increase the chances of success.
Note: 2 out of every 3 event planners choose event software platforms on the basis of whether the tools deliver adequate ‘value for money’.
Event gamification is yet another feature that many high-end event management platforms offer. Close to 90% event marketers believe that event technology, when correctly conceived and implemented, can yield significantly positive results.
According to a research report, event tech can pull up event attendance and productivity figures by 20% and 28% respectively, apart from reducing event management costs by upto 32%. Competition in this field is rising, and an event platform needs to have all the above features, to have a shot at becoming popular.