There are so many facets to planning any event. It does not matter whether you’re doing it online or offline. Some of the tasks remain pretty much the same.
There is communication with different stakeholders. You need to send out invites and ensure RSVP. There is also marketing to get the word about your event to the right audiences.
Without a doubt managing the event can be time-consuming and quite tedious. Having the right event management software is life and game-saver.
The good news is that there are tons of options available. The bad news is that it can be confusing to know how to choose the best.
Our article will make it easy for you. We will show you how to pick the best online event management software for managers.
1. Assess Your Organizational Needs
Online event management software is specific to each organization. Start by understanding what you need, and then choose the right tools.
What a large organization will use is very different from what will be suitable for a smaller one. Some of the questions you need to ask are:-
- Why do you need the software?
- How will they contribute to the running of the online event?
- What features must you have?
- How much do you want to spend, and so much more.
Develop a checklist of must-have features to help in decision-making.
Let us take the example that you organize events for associations. You will get the best features and functionalities in association management software. With such, you get access to member engagement tools and portals.
Admins have a comprehensive suite of tools. Such help with website management, email broadcasting, data, and event management. You can also easily connect other systems on the API.
With member-focused features, such tools may not work for public events. You only want to sign up for a package that provides solutions to your specific needs.
It is crucial to know how you want to spend on the software. But, do not compromise on the features and functionalities you need. Consider it an investment to find the right tool, even if the initial cost is a bit high. It saves you from having to keep buying or upgrading when your needs grow or change.
2. User-Friendly Interface And Excellent Customer Service
Online event management software should be easy to use and understand. What good is technology if it adds to the complexity of the job? Look for software that does not need intensive technical know-how to use.
Some of the tools are so simple. They have drag and drop interfaces that have easy to follow prompts. These are ideal for beginners and mid-level users.
Do not be afraid to ask for a demonstration of the software before you buy it. Always consider the learning curve and the people who will need to use it. A team that has zero knowledge of software does not need technical software that is complex to learn.
Also, ensure the availability of resources in case you need more information. A good idea would be to ask for a trial period to test that software. You will be able to make some more informed decisions on its suitability this way.
Check what kind of customer and after-sales service they offer. Can you reach the teams fast and on many platforms? In case of a breakdown, the after-sales should correct any issues immediately.
Don’t take the word of the sellers alone when deciding. Read customer reviews for a true reflection of the kind of service you can expect. Such feedback is also essential for knowing the type of product you are getting.
3. Decide On the Must-Have Features
The software you choose should allow you to do a wide range of tasks. All-in-one software helps with the automation and streamlining of the entire event process. You don’t have to look for individual solutions for each job. It is more cost-effective, and you will save a lot of time when everything is on one platform.
Some must-have features when shopping for the right tool include:
- Event website builders. A website allows for the centralization of everything about the event. Good event software should make it easy to design and launch the site. Event managers should be able to do all the important parts. They can save on the money they would spend on hiring web designers and developers. Some of the software has templates, customizable designs, and easy-to-use drag-and-drop elements. The teams can set up websites and only bring in the experts when there is a need.
- Event registration is critical for any event. Attendees should get information about the event from one central location. Check that they can also sign up or pay from that one platform. Look for customization options so that you have control over the registration process
- Ticket sales and tracking to ensure you get the right people to the event.
- Marketing capabilities for awareness generation. Such include targeted emails, social media promotions, and message creation. Marketing is especially critical for public events that target a broad audience base.
- Mobile integration provides the convenience of access on mobile or smart devices. Attendees and other participants will also appreciate the use of the platform. They can sign up or register, make payments, and get information relevant to the event from such. It frees them from having to use desktop devices or laptops.
Mobile event apps bring a lot of convenience and functionality. Event managers can use push notifications, social media integration, and messaging. They also allow for conducting live polls and Q&A sessions. Other benefits are leads collection and qualifying.
- CRM platforms for contact management and leads collection.
- Content management for presentations and giving attendees access to the event material. They also help with managing speakers, publishing abstracts, and coordinating activities.
- Analytics tools for tracking attendees, capturing and analyzing data, and report generation. Such provide valuable insights for future reference and decision-making.
Finding the best online event management software will make your life so much easier. It allows you to streamline all the activities in one central location.
You get functionalities like event registration, attendance tracking, and event marketing. The right software should also provide Analytics tools. Such allow for the collection of data and report generation.
The insights you get will lead to data-driven decisions in the future. When shopping, start by understanding your organizational needs when it comes to events. There is no point in spending money on features you will not use.
Next, develop a checklist of some of the must-have features. Finally, take time to shop around and read customer reviews.