How to Select the Right Event Management Technology (Part 2)

Are you in the market for event technology? In the first part of our blog post series, we began addressing the questions you should be asking when evaluating potential event technology solutions. Let’s jump right into some further considerations:
“Do you integrate with housing and travel systems?”

The optimal registration experience for your attendees is a one-stop-shop to collect all the relative information for your event. This includes booking travel information to reserving attendees’ hotel stay. Being able to integrate housing and travel directly into the registration process means a seamless user experience and centralized data for you.
“How secure is your payment process?”

Your event management system should provide the highest level of security for event payment and refund processing. Is the provider PCI Level 1 Compliant?  In addition, an automated system can eliminate cash flow issues that arise with disparate accounting and event departments. Be sure to understand all costs and the flow of money before making a technology decision. Many providers don’t fully disclose the costs and fees associated with e-commerce. These hidden fees can add up and exponentially affect your bottom line.

You’ll also want to understand whether a potential system can:

  • Track payments in real time
  • Automate refunds
  • Accept international currencies
  • Offer discounts, coupons, and other promotional pricing
  • Integrate with your payment gateway or collect payments on your behalf

“Can we manage event speakers and content through your system?”

A lot of legwork needs to happen between the time you broadcast a call for speakers and your actual event. You must collect submissions, review and score them, accept and reject them, and then coordinate scheduling and content creation with speakers. For many event planners, going through these steps and building an event agenda is time-consuming and includes a lot of manual processes. In your evaluation process, understand whether providers have tools to automate this process, so that you can reallocate your time to focusing on other tasks.
“What is your event check-in process?”

Check-in is an attendee’s first touch point with your organization on event day. If executed improperly, it can be frustrating and provide a poor first impression. In your evaluation, learn how a provider can facilitate this process onsite, including checking attendees in and out, registering walk-ins, collecting fees, and printing name badges. Some providers also offer functionality to let attendees self-register and check in, saving time for your event team. Making the right first impression will set the tone of your entire event for attendees.
“How do you track attendance?”

While overall event attendance will always be an important metric, consider the importance of tracking the attendee journey, too. Go beyond anecdotal analysis of whether a session was full or not. Session tracking will indicate which speakers and topics are most popular and provide a digital footprint of attendee interests, thereby optimizing sales team follow-up and, ultimately, revenue generation.

Download our free Event Management Buyer’s Guide to learn how to select an event technology partner that will support your long-term event needs.

Written by Kathy Dam