It’s generally agreed within the industry that event management is an extremely diversified business. But by utilising the right technologies it is possible to bring together the many elements that go into running a successful event, making it both easier and more cost-effective to manage.
According to publications such as Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Inc, the role of technology in day-to-day business increases exponentially year on year. Cloud based solutions, for example, have helped revolutionise the way event managers cope with their busy and sometimes chaotic daily routines by giving them access to vital information in real time – whether on the desktop or out on location via a mobile device. Having the right technology on your side drastically reduces the chances of unforeseen problems on both the planning and execution stages of an event. But it’s important to ensure that it is fit for purpose.
As an agency which specialises in creating bespoke events for corporate and private clients, at Artisan Pro we are primarily focused on planning, budgeting and execution. It is not part of our role to register attendees, take online payments and promote our events online. However, this is exactly what the majority of “event management” cloud solutions are designed to do.
Finding a software package that would allow us to plan and manage an event without the inclusion of unnecessary registration tools was far from easy. “etouches”, one of the most popular applications we looked at, has a great planning package, but it is linked to the registration function, and even the price for the subscription depends on the number of attendees you plan to register throughout the year. Similarly, “Cvent”, along with many other programmes, are all geared towards conference production and venue management.
The most important functionality we are looking for is as follows:
1. Simultaneous access to all team members
2. “To-do” list with progress indication and task assignment
3. Budget planning
4. Supplier database and management
5. Floor planning
7. Integrated CRM system
8. User-friendly mobile app
We were unable to find an event management software programme that matched our criteria. There are, however, a number of online project management tools which, for a relatively low monthly subscription, deliver most of the above functionality.
For the moment we’ve highlighted the following solutions:
We’re currently trialling demo versions to see which of the three programmes is closest to our needs. We’ll follow up with a detailed case study of our findings, as well as our view on which project management tools (other than a pen and notepad!) are most suitable for event planners/managers.
What’s your view? We’d love to get your feedback, as we’re sure this is an issue faced by many of our colleagues in the industry.