Streamline Your Event Planning with Event Management Software
Tools for organizing and automating your event tasks
More and more event planners are using event management software. You may be wondering what the buzz is all about and whether or not it makes sense for your event planning business. So let’s cut through the clutter to help you decide if event management software may work for you.
Do You Need Event Management Software?
No, you do not need event management software to run a successful event planning business. If you have been a successful event planner up until this point without using one, you already knew the answer to that question. Can it make your life easier and your events more successful? Perhaps. It all depends upon your specific needs and the particular event management software.
Features of Event Management Software
Event management software exists for virtually every type of event planning, including conventions, non-profit events and exhibits. And there is a very long list of tools available for organizing and managing the event planning process. Features include project management, file sharing, automated registration, tracking of contracts and proposals, and managing multiple events. There are also tools for ticketing, managing room blocks, and social promotion, to name a few.
With such a wide offering, it is important to do a little research and explore what each package offers. After all, what good is event management software that does not include the tools you need to be more efficient? Solution tools work only if they provide solutions to problems that you need to solve. Which brings me to my next point.
Make a List
Take a look at your event planning business. What are the tasks you regularly complete as part of the planning process? Make a list of these items, noting any that are already automated. When your list is complete, separate out those tasks that are most challenging, time consuming, or costly. These are your priorities – you need to find event management software that offers solutions to these problems. It’s tempting to get drawn in by the glamour of one event management software or the long list of features of another. But bells and whistles are useless if they are not helping you with your event planning business.
Maximize What You Already Have
What technology do you already have in place? Are you optimizing its capabilities? Membership management software and contact management systems often have event planning features that enable you to automate registration, online payment and generate confirmation notices. Before delving into a whole new system, take an inventory of the features available with your existing system.
Now that you have a list of the event planning tools you are looking for, it is time to shop around. Check out the options that are out there, using filtered searches to find event planning software with tools that match your list. Start with those that can already be incorporated into your existing technology platform. Then give them a test run. Some software is free indefinitely; others offer free trial periods. Take advantage of this opportunity to experiment with the different programs to see if they are a good fit for what you are looking for.
Talk to other events planners and find out what event planning software they use and why. Someone else’s firsthand experience with a product or service is priceless. It can save you time and money. Better yet, their recommendation for an event management software that really works for them can save you even more time and money in the long-term. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to event management software; it is an individual choice based on the needs of your business and your personal preference.