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Event Management Software: How Automation Is Changing the Industry

How Are You Managing Events?

The event management industry has been stuck in the 80s. Don’t believe me? How do you manage all of the people, tasks, financials, documents and communications for your events? Is it through robust event management software? If spreadsheets, emails and phone calls top your list, you’re most definitely stuck in the past.

While these “systems” work, they don’t work well and they’re slowing you down. They are inefficient and cause event organizers to waste tons of time tracking people and things down. Spreadsheets grow to ridiculous lengths and complexity and require manual updates. Phone calls are rarely documented and emails get buried within hours of being sent. There’s just too many of them to sort through and prioritize.

Booking talent for the event and managing all of the hundreds of tasks required to pull off the show is a huge pain in the ass for most event organizers. Why hasn’t more been done to alleviate such burdens? The entertainment industry is supposed to be fun, exciting and full of energy, right? Ask most event organizers if they’re having fun or if they are full of energy. There’s a better than average chance you’ll get a laugh or snide comment.

Technology to the Rescue

Just as most industries have grabbed onto the technology revolution, so too is the event management industry (finally). Spreadsheets and email are not technology. Not anymore, anyway. Today, there are options. There is this remarkable little thing called event management software and it’s changing how event organizers, venue organizers and promoters work.

rganizers don’t need another product to add to their toolbox. There are plenty of apps that promise to solve all of their problems. Instead, they need an integrated solution that ties all of the necessary tools together into one platform. They need what the smartphone did to the handheld calculator – complete replacement.

Remember RadioShack? It was likely in a strip center near you a decade or so ago. Like Blockbuster, Radio Shack didn’t predict how the thing that it sold so well (technology) would be the very thing that would end its dominance in the market. In its glory days, however, it was the place to go to buy a calculator – and a clock, a radio (of course), a phone, a computer and a television, for that matter. Great concept for the times, but smartphones required the company to completely re-evaluate its business strategy to try to remain relevant. While the first smartphone hit the market in 1992, it wasn’t until Steve Jobs invented the iPhone in 2007 that Radio Shack began its slow death. The iPhone combined virtually every product Radio shack sold into a single device. Integration is a game changer.

Today, approximately 77 percent of Americans own smartphones. It changed how we do everything – except for event management. Thankfully, event management software has come to the rescue.

How an Integrated System Is Streamlining Event Management

Not all event management software is the same, of course. They may each offer a slightly different toolset, interface and capabilities. The premise of all of the software, however, is to combine many of the event management functions into one solution to streamline the job as much as possible.

Think about how you work. What different systems do you rely on to get the work done? You likely have some sort of calendar, a communication system, a way to build an offer, and software to track expenses and earnings. Going back and forth from one system to the next probably monopolizes your day. Because none of them are integrated, you have to manually input data from one system into the next. This not only drains the clock, but it also introduces risk because it’s easy to make a mistake. You’re only human, after all.

That’s where a single, integrated system shines. Event management software either embeds those functions into its comprehensive solution or it provides integrations with the systems you already use. Once integrated, those systems “talk” with each other, share data and make your life a whole lot easier. Depending on how it’s structured, you won’t have to log into multiple systems, switch between applications or transfer data from one system to the next.

The Functions to Look for in Event Management Software

Remember how I said all event management software products aren’t alike? Well, all don’t include the same integrations or make those integration simple. All don’t have the same features. While most have the basic communications, calendars and task management, they don’t all include financials, offer generation or settlement capabilities.

Revenue and expense tracking, for instance, is more complicated than just tracking receipts and invoices paid. You’re in this business to make money, so you need a tool that helps you gain visibility into the health of your business. Having top-line financials at your fingertips is critical. You need analytics that is both historical and forward-looking to show you how much money is flowing in and out.

Sadly, many event management software products completely miss the financial component. When looking for a solution that will solve not just some of your organizational and efficiency issues but all of them, make sure you have the following features for optimal benefits:

  • Advanced Hold Management
  • Budget & Forecasting Tools
  • Expense & Revenue Tracking
  • Settlement Generation
  • Reporting & Analytics
  • Collaboration Tools (Task Management, etc.)
  • Document Management

These are the ecosystems you manage every day. These are what’s important to your business. When they’re all tied together, you can do your job better and faster so you can turn a profit sooner.

Lower Your Risk, Increase Your Profitability

Event management software won’t just help make your job noticeably easier. It will make it safer and more profitable as well. When you’re juggling so many disparate tasks and systems, the risk for mistakes is amplified. Things get lost in the shuffle, tasks are left undone, emails are never returned. One missed keystroke can spell disaster for you and your brand’s reputation.

Automation and integration changes all of that. You gain visibility into everything that matters – all in one place. Systems speak to each other and the exchange of data isn’t dependent on how much caffeine you have in your system. Reminders and alerts make it easy to see what’s coming due or is late. Conversations are tracked and categorized. No more digging through emails to pull out what’s important. Expenses and earnings are detailed and filterable. Holds are made with a click from a mobile phone. Offer statuses are easily viewed and much more.

Here’s the kicker: by organizing everything in one place, event organizers are able to increase their earnings. Why? Because when you can work faster and more efficiently, you have more time to book more shows. More shows mean more money. You’re making the most of your time and doing more of the things you enjoy.

Take back your weekend.
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