5 Tips for Selecting the Best Event Technology
Selecting event technology can be a daunting experience. There is much to consider. The wrong decision can cause a lot of headaches during the planning and execution process of your conference or event. In this post we are sharing our top 5 tips to keep in mind when researching and choosing your event technology platform.
1. KNOW YOUR GOAL
Before researching event technology you should have a good idea of why and how you want to implement a tech platform for your conferences and events.
Some of the areas to consider:
- Do you want to streamline your registration process?
- Increase efficiencies?
- Do you want to merge your event marketing with attendee registration?
- How about collecting and distributing content?
- Do you want to engage your attendees?
- How about lead generation?
- Do you want to livestream your event?
Think through all of these aspects and create a list of functions you want your eventtech platform to be capable of.
2. UNDERSTAND YOUR ATTENDEES
It is key that you understand your attendee fully. Does your audience include a wide range of people, professions and backgrounds? In general, most audiences are now used to conducting transactions online and via mobile devices. Don’t assume that a more mature audience will be reluctant to go online. 2016 research shows that in the US 99 percent of 18 to 29 year olds use the internet. 96 percent of 30 to 49 year olds and 87 percent of 50 to 64 year olds use the internet. The number drops to 64 percent for 65 and older. a In the EU, 71 percent of all individuals used the internet every day or almost every day. Globally and in the Asia Pacific Region b and c, the numbers are lower.
It is assumed that most people in a professional capacity access the internet and use smartphones or tablets. Implementing an online or mobile solution is no longer a hindrance for your participants.
If implementing mobile apps vs. responsive sites, understanding your participants is key. Not all audiences are able or allowed to download apps on their smartphones or tablets, but can access responsive sites. Before investing in a mobile app, reach out to your audience and learn of any restrictions they may have, especially on their corporate devices.
3. UNDERSTAND YOUR EVENT
When researching technology vendors it is important that you know what you want to accomplish with your event, and with the technology you seek to implement. This information will help the tech company understand if the platform is a good fit for you or not. Understand all of the aspects of your event, and how event tech may be able to help you.
Don’t hold back when speaking with a sales person, be as open as possible. Don’t assume that the sales person will read between the lines. You want to prevent signing up with a service that can’t deliver on a specific function. Some functions can be very specific to your organization and if not shared during the discovery process you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle later on. A great sales person will either take you through the path on how you can reach the desired end result, or will let you know that the platform is not a good fit.
4. HAVE A BUDGET
Be prepared to invest. The truth still holds, you get what you pay for. Free services will allow you to conduct basic events. Nothing however is truly free. What happens to your attendee data?
Find out what you can invest and research platforms that fit into your budget. Some will charge a per transaction fee, others a monthly subscription fee. At Eventinterface for example, we charge a subscription fee that includes unlimited registrations. Most of the time this will be a more cost-effective option, and you will be able to manage multiple events for the cost of your transaction fees for one event.
Keep in mind that your electronic event invites and your event registration page will likely be the first impression your attendees have of your event. You are not only investing in an event technology, you are investing in a platform that represents your brand.
5. BE FLEXIBLE
We understand that planners are used to doing things a certain way. Event platforms however are designed to meet the need of a lot of planners. As a planner you will need to look at the end result and learn how you can reach that result. You will most likely have to be a little flexible and adapt to the functionalities of the platform you implement. Unless you purchase a white-label solution, custom tweaked for your company or organization, you will need to be a little flexible in how you get to the end result. Flexibility and a willingness to learn is key when implementing a new platform. The event platform developers have seen many scenarios and developed the best tools to reach goals. Rather than telling the sales person you need ABC, ask the sales person how their platform would handle a specific task. Perhaps you will learn new and more effective ways to reaching you planning goals. Here at Eventinterface, most of our team members have been event and meeting planners, and we understand the needs and pain points that need to be addressed.
Keep these tips in mind and you will be set-up for success when researching and implementing event technology for your conferences and events. The reality is that implementing a new platform can be intimidating. Find a platform that will make the transition process as easy as possible. That includes the easy of use, customer service and available training. At Eventinterface we offer the “We Make The Move for You” program which includes complimentary training and our success coaches work with you, setting up your first event so you can start out on the right foot.
a: Statista: Percentage of Internet users by age groups in the US
c: Statista: Age Distribution of Internet Users in Asia Pacific
d: Statista: Age Distribution of Internet Users Worldwide