NOTE: This article was last updated on May 25, 2017.
Whether you just Googled this exact question or were emailed this article as part of our blog newsletter, event organizers are asking this question more and more. In an effort to minimize overhead and make more data-driven decisions, #eventprofs are actively looking for all-in-one event management platforms that are designed to make event planning faster and easier.
In the old days, a typical event planner could employ more than seven different tools to run a single event. An organizer of a mid-size conference recently told us that she used Wordpress to build her website, Eventbrite for event registration, Constant Contact for email attendees, and Excel for monitor her event contacts. In addition to these tools, the organizer used another platform to provide attendees with an event networking platform. Each tool is sourced from a different vendor with its own pricing, contract, interface, and analytics.
Those days are over and a number of companies have come on the market with event management software that is intended to make life easier for organizers - but how are you supposed to go about choosing the right one?
First of all, asking the question “What Is The Best Event Management Software?” is probably the wrong thing to ask. That’s because the best platform will vary based on your specific needs.
Some platforms are more tailored for large corporations and enterprise events while others might have less features but are much easier to use.
The way to answer the question, "What is the best event management software" is to first understand how you define event success.
What are the pains you've experienced in the past while organizing an event that you wish to improve? What are those practices you want to stop doing? How can you be more efficient?
For those interested in a quick summary, they can quickly click through the slideshare on event planning software below!
Event Management Software Guide:
1. Ease Of Use:
Test-drive it before buying. Get a feel for the user experience and design. While the event management software might look good on the company website, the software might not be that easy to use in the real world. You want an event planning platform that even your grandma can use. After all, the point of event software is that it is supposed to make your life as an event planner easier, so make sure the tool itself is easy to use by asking the platform companies for a free week-long trial before you make a commitment.
2. Customer Success & Support:
If you are an event organizer who is new to event planning software, you want to make sure that your new software offers resources and guidance on how to achieve success. Make sure that you have the option to chat with a real person if the need arises. After all, this is your event we’re talking about.
Consider choosing a platform that is capable of handling all of your events. Having to use an event planning platform for some events, and another platform for other events will be confusing and potentially very costly.
Opt for an event management solution that is scalable. You’ll also have access to cross-event data that could help you discover what is and isn’t working to become an even better event organizer.
4. Online Trust:
Do some research on the online presence of the platform you are considering. Do they have a good number of social media followers who the company is actually interacting with? Usually, that means the company has been around for a while which is good news.
What about press? Check to make sure that the event software you are considering has been reviewed by multiple sources. If you are finding it hard to find information about the company under consideration, it may be that journalists don’t think the platform is worthy of attention.
5. Quality of Features (and Not Quantity):
To be sure, you need a number of features in order to successfully plan an event from a single platform, but don’t get too caught up in comparing the number of features included in one platform with the number of features offered by another platform. What you should really pay attention to is the quality and richness of each feature.
What you want to avoid is selecting a platform that is overloaded with features (this is known as feature creep) with very little actual functionality. Look for features that are easy to use and that can actually empower you to achieve your specific event goals.
Conclusion: Choosing the Best Event Management Software:
In summary, it’s important to keep in mind that the answer to the question “what is the best event management software?” will vary depending on your specific needs. But regardless of the type of event you are planning, it is important that you select an event management platform that is easy to use, has great customer support, is compatible with multiple events (if you plan more than one event a year), is trusted online and has features that are actually designed to help you. If you keep these 5 tips in mind when selecting your event planning software, you will likely choose the best one for you.
Take some time to consider what we discussed above, because the best event management software is the one that empowers you to create better events while providing the best value for your specific needs.
Bizzabo's event management software was built to save you time, and help you build better more profitable events.
Click the button below to see how event management software can help you plan better conferences, conventions and professional events! You can also download our Event Software Buyer's Guide, created with data pulled from third-party resources like G2Crowd's Event Management Tools category.