Looking to invest in event management software? Here are the 25 features every platform should have. Featuring insightful examples and visuals.
Hosting an event is a complex process. There are a million different details to work out and get right. Come up short on any of them and your get-together could quickly fall apart. Fortunately, with the help of event management software, nailing the details is much, much easier. You just need to make sure you invest in the right solution.
Choosing the right event management software can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we'll dig deep into event management software and outline the 25 features to look for in your app of choice. These features fall into five categories:
- Event Registration Features like promo codes and registration workflows
- Event Promotion Features like email marketing and website builders
- Attendees Engagement Features like event apps and surveys
- Event Operations Features like sponsorship tools and analytics tools
Ready to get started?
Let's begin with features to help people commit and register for your event. In this category there are five must-have event software features.
Lists and Smart Lists
It's important for any event management software that you use to have listing features — the ability to segment leads inside the software into different groups. For example, inside Bizzabo, our users can separate their leads based upon industry, job function, sessions attended, and more.
A listing feature will allow you to personalize the event experience for each of your guests resulting in more ticket sales and repeat attendees.
Not all leads are created equal. You stand a much better chance of converting hot leads (potential attendees that have interacted with your event brand in the past) than cold ones. The event management software you use should be able to track the folks who've started the event registration process but, for one reason or another, haven't finished it.
When you know who these people are, you can launch retargeting campaigns and encourage them to complete their registration. You'll find that these kinds of retargeting campaigns have a high conversion rate.
If you want to increase registrations to your event (and who doesn't?), you need to focus on the analytics. Make sure that your event management software of choice can provide you with key metrics such as conversion rate, revenue numbers, and social mentions. It should also tell you which event sessions are most popular. Knowing these details will allow you to adjust your marketing strategies so that they're more effective.
Your event management app obviously needs to provide a way for attendees to register for your event as a whole. But what about specific session registrations? If you plan to host special, limited-seating sessions at your event, you'll need a way for attendees to register for these too. And you'll want to track registrations so that you don't overbook your sessions.
An event management software like Bizzabo will give you this capability. It will also allow you to collect rich data like attendee session preferences so that you can adjust your event strategies in the future and provide the absolute best event experience possible.
Every one of your attendees is looking for something slightly different from your event. One of the best ways to accommodate each of them is to provide different ticket types. For example, you could have a "base ticket" that gets attendees in the door for the lowest price possible. You could then offer "upgraded tickets" as well that cost more money and allow attendees access to private sessions.
You need your event management software that support multiple ticket types. And if it can also handle complex registration flows, discount codes, and auto-assigned ticket rules, even better!
No one will register for your event if you don't get out there and promote it. The best event management software will give you these tools to market your gathering effectively.
A great event deserves a great website. But what if you're not a "techie" and you don't know how to code? Or what if you're better at appreciating great design than you are at creating it? That's where a simple, drag-and-drop website builder comes in handy for event planners.
With Bizzabo as your event management software, you'll be able to quickly craft an amazing event website that truly reflects your branding and can be easily updated. Want to add tables, videos, and/or custom widgets? No problem. Looking to boost visibility via SEO and social sharing tools? Check and check. Our sites are even mobile responsive so they'll look good on any device!
Speaking of event websites, the best ones allow for embeddable widgets like registration forms, event community areas, speaker and sponsor lists, and more. These features make it easy to create a stunning event site that is also highly functional. Win!
To properly promote any event, email marketing is a must. In fact, 40% of marketers believe that email is the absolute best channel to promote an event. So as you can tell, it's important that your event management software has email marketing capabilities. Or, at the very least, it should seamlessly integrate with a third party email marketing software you trust.
Bizzabo has a built-in email platform for our users' convenience. This tool will allow you to build stunning emails, segment your lists for the ultimate personalized experience, and develop automated email workflows to interact with event attendees at just the right moments. Or, if you're happy with your current email provider, Bizzabo also integrates with top email marketing services, like MailChimp.
The best event planners realize that registered event attendees represent an incredible marketing opportunity. These folks have already raised their hand and committed to your event. Why not empower them to help others do the same?
Before choosing an event management software, ensure that it has social incentive capabilities. Bizzabo handles this with Ticket Boost. Once an attendee registers, they have the option to share an event promo code with their social media followers. The more people they get to signup, the bigger ticket discount they receive. Simply put, this system turbocharges registrations!
White Label Branding
Your event brand is incredibly important. You don't want it ruined by having your event management software's logo plastered all over your event website and mobile app, right? Of course not! So make sure that the event management solution you use provides white label branding.
This will allow you to update your event marketing materials with your company's logo and color scheme. When white labeled correctly, your audience shouldn't even be able to tell that you're using a third-party software to build your website, emails, app, etc.
A smart event marketing tactic is to run ticket sales. The best way to do so is via promo codes. For example, you could run early bird specials and give attendees a discount for registering months in advance. Or you could run seasonal promotions and offer a dip in price because of a specific holiday.
But promo codes do more than just help you sell tickets. They can also give you valuable insight into the minds of your attendees. They'll allow you to see which marketing channels perform best. And what ticketing options are most popular with guests.
Also, your event management software should be able to support promo codes, so be on the lookout for that next time you shop around for one.
Engagement is a bit of a buzzword lately — for good reason. If you want your event to be successful as possible, you need to engage your attendees on a deep level. A quality event management app can help.
We live in a mobile world. Most of your attendees probably spend more time on their phones than any other device. Take advantage by creating an event app and include features like event-goer networking sections, one-on-one messaging, and social media integrations.
Normally this tactic would take a lot of time and cost a substantial sum. But the right event management software can help you quickly build an event app for a very modest price.
If you can foster a sense of community, your event will transcend itself into an experience your attendees will never forget. But true community starts well before your conference or expo takes place. Which means you need an event management software that can handle digital pow-wows and allows attendees to interact with each other.
If you've chosen Bizzabo as your event marketing software and used our tool to build an event app, fostering community is a piece of cake. You'll also have the added benefit of seeing detailed analytics on how your attendees interact with each other. You can then use this information to provide better event experiences in the future.
When running any kind of event, it's imperative that you keep your audience updated. This is especially true right before, and during, your actual get-together. To easily keep your attendees informed, make sure your event management software will allow you to make announcements in real time.
This could be done via email, but if your event has an app, push notifications are the best way to alert your attendees to any changes or remind them of upcoming deadlines.
You can learn more about real-time announcements and push notifications in this on-demand webinar with Outreach:
As an event planner, you have a lot on your plate. There are so many details that go into hosting a successful event but, fortunately, technology can really help to reduce the workload. In this example, we're specifically talking about automated messages.
If your event software can handle automated messages you'll save yourself a lot of time and hassle. Imagine, for example, being able to write a series of new attendee emails all at the same time, loading them into your event management tool, and having them send automatically every time a new person signs up for your event, without any extra work on your part. Amazing!
Real-time polling is a great tool for engaging audiences. They, just like all of us, want their voices to be heard. Give them a platform to make their opinions known. From their thoughts on the event venue you've chosen to questions your speakers may ask during presentations, real-time polling will keep your attendees involved and excited. That's why we recommend that your event management software have a real-time polling feature.
Event surveys are similar to the real-time polls we just mentioned. These just don't happen in real time. But that doesn't mean they still can't be incredibly useful. Whether you survey your audience before, during, or after your event, you'll still be able to glean a ton of valuable information.
How did they like the registration process? Was it simple and intuitive? What about your slate of speakers? Were your attendees excited to listen to them speak and did the sessions live up to their expectations? Questions like these will allow you to learn about your audience and improve your event per their suggestions.
Does your current event management software give you an easy way to survey your attendees?
Social Media Integrations
Social media has literally changed the world. It allows people from all across the globe to connect with each other, build personal platforms, share opinions, and more. We're almost 100% sure that your company is on social media too and that you use these networks to promote events. So doesn't it make sense to invest in an event management app that seamlessly integrates will all your favorite socials? We think so.
Bizzabo will allow you to see who your biggest supporters on social media are, track Facebook Ads pixels, and much, much more. With Bizzabo, you have complete control over your social media integrations.
What about during your actual gathering? Does event management software play a role here as well? Of course. The six features listed below will help your operate your get-together hassle-free.
When attendees first arrive at your event they'll need to check-in. This is likely one of the first on-site experiences your event-goers have with your brand. So it definitely pays to make sure it goes well. That means a quick, paperless process is ideal.
The best way to ensure a painless check-in for your attendees is to integrate the process with your event management software. That way all attendee data is easily synced and ready to go when each person arrives.
Modern business (including your events) runs on analytics. You want to invest in an event management software that provides deep reporting. That way, you can see what's working for your company and what isn't. You'll also be able to compare your statistics against industry benchmarks. When all the numbers have been run and the data analyzed, you can make educated decisions on what to do next and how to improve.
If you're not familiar with the term, open API is a programming interface that allows developers to have programmatic access to software applications and/or web services. This access can be used to develop custom communication protocols between different pieces of software.
Is your head spinning? Don't worry about it! Just know that open API is important in an event management software because, once configured, it will allow you (or your IT team) to pull data from the app and send it to another place of your choosing on the internet.
For example, Bizzabo has open API which means data inside our app could be pulled and displayed across TV screens on the event floor. A handy feature for broadcasting registration numbers, countdowns, and more.
Your agenda is the heart and soul of your event. It dictates what happens when and where. It also keeps attendees up to date on exactly what's going on. A proper event management software will allow you to easily customize the look of your event's digital agenda and make changes by using a straightforward drag and drop editor.
The digital agenda inside Bizzabo is especially powerful. It can handle multiple tracks for every event, accommodate tags and filters for faster search results, and foster engagement by allowing attendees to rate sessions and share schedules on social media.
For many events, sponsorship is the difference between a wildly successful gathering and a complete failure. They can help out financially, lend your get-together credibility, and give your attendees a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with their favorite brands.
But no company will agree to sponsor your event without something in return. Your event management software should offer sponsors access to your attendees through your event website and app. It should also collect valuable information for them regarding their interactions with event-goers.
Finally, personalization is key to any marketing effort — especially when it comes to event promotion. Your attendees want to feel unique, like your events were crafted just for them. The event management software you choose can help you create this experience.
From personalized email campaigns to real-time polling and digital agenda curation, your event management software can track all the details involved in gathering and implementing attendee opinions or preferences every step of the way. Choose an event management software that will allow you to easily craft a one of a kind experience for all of your attendees.
Wrapping Up: Which Event Management Software is Right For Your Company?
Event management software is the event planner’s best friend. The right tool will affect every aspect of the event hosting process in a positive way. Now you know what to look for in a solution for your company and what separates a great solution from a sea of average ones.
We encourage you to read back through this list and compare the features outlined with any software you've considered investing in. Or you could just invest in Bizzabo, the world's most loved event software. Our tool has each of the features above and is used by major companies like Amazon and GE. Request a free demo and try it out for yourself!