January 06, 2020
By Cvent

The earliest versions of event software were developed to automate online ticketing and registration. As adoption grew, new areas for event technology were identified, new tools were developed and new events vendors appeared. 

Tech-savvy event planners eager to improve their processes began working with several tools from multiple vendors – leaving those who were reluctant to adopt event tech behind. But is this still the right strategy if you want a coherent and streamlined process?

Now, it’s less a question of whether or not to use event technology and more a question of whether to select a vendor that provides multiple integrated solutions or different vendors that focus on their own specific niches.

Choosing a one-stop solution provider offering multiple integrated products as opposed to using multiple vendors can bring substantial advantages to event planners. In this article, we are going to review five of the biggest.

The Use of Technology in the Event Process

In 2018, 74% of event planners reported using different event technology providers (source EventMB). The traditional argument for doing so is that, by focusing on a niche, these providers are able to deliver feature-rich best-in-class solutions. By spreading resources across different event tech verticals, so the argument goes, all-in-one solutions tend to offer convenience at the expense of features.

But with the recent series of high-profile mergers and acquisitions, many of the top best-in-class solutions have been incorporated into end-to-end solutions and that argument is becoming less compelling. Indeed, recent research by EventMB shows that the percentage of planners using a single provider for all their solutions has grown from 9% in 2018 to over 36% in 2019.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether you need a specialized vendor for each area or a vendor that can provide you with integrated solutions:

  • Consistency of the experience for your attendees and team members. Will you have to cope with adoption challenges if you keep changing technology on your attendees? How does this affect buy-in from your team and your management?

  • Efficiencies you might be missing out on. Is managing multiple terms and contracts going to have a negative impact on your process and workflow? How about the onboarding process on multiple tools for your team members? Are your team members less efficient when having to learn new tech and deal with several platforms?

  • Risks you might be dealing with. Are your overall event programs going to be better managed? Are you going to miss out on better deals?

Five Reasons to Get Your Technology Solutions From One Events Vendor

Streamlining the Event Process

What Happens With Multiple Vendors

Integration with other vendors’ applications can be challenging, possibly leading to the following issues.

A general lack of macro-level vision

When you spread your process over different platforms, having a clear view of the general strategy gets more challenging as each tool relates to only one part of the workflow. A lot of legwork becomes necessary if you want to collate all these heterogeneous parts together to produce one global vision.

No unified workflow

Using different tools for events across the organization and trying to aggregate modular tools that have little inherent connection with each other increases the risk of inefficiencies, like potentially different operating procedures (SOPs) for doing the same things with different tools across the organization.

Possible duplication of work

Due to the lack of efficient communication among team members, you might end up with different versions of the same records. For example, if someone updates registration data after somebody else has started working on the event app and the two don’t share the same source of data, you will need to update both. 

That said, many popular providers have observed the need for better data integration and have open APIs, but in many cases it still requires extra steps for the planner to set up or activate those integrations.

Troubleshooting issues

It is a lot more difficult to troubleshoot and fix issues when you have to deal with several vendors who blame each other. It also takes a lot more time to track and solve a problem when you have to ask different teams to investigate, especially if they have to coordinate with each other.

Problematic reporting

Producing comprehensive reports can be difficult and time-consuming as you have to mix and match several sources with potentially different formats.

How You Benefit From a Single Events Vendor

On the other hand, choosing a single provider of multiple integrated solutions will provide a centralized platform for all your event management needs. You will benefit from the following advantages:

A macro-level vision

Using one technology suite of integrated solutions will give you a complete view of your event process, from the attendee journey to the flow of data. 

A unified workflow

A single provider means a unified workflow, from budget to analytics. It’s then easier to set tasks, track team members’ input and deadlines, and get a consolidated record if something goes wrong.

No duplication of work

Collaboration and communication are facilitated among team members, which means a better organization of the whole event and fewer redundancies. All the solutions share the same data and records and updates in one place are generally reflected everywhere.

No troubleshooting issues

In case of a problem, troubleshooting is simpler when you have only one partner that will investigate the issue and all the stages of the planning process that may be involved.

A better reporting

With a suite of solutions, it is easier to analyze success and demonstrate ROI: the reports produced by the solution are comprehensive, and there is no need to consolidate reports coming from different sources. 

Managing Data in a More Efficient and Secure Way

What Happens With Multiple Vendors

When using multiple events vendors, you can easily run into the following problems.

Data silos

Using several platforms might lead to data silos in which the apps don’t share data effectively with each other, increasing the risk of duplicate records and inconsistencies in the data. 

Also retrieving data on different platforms to get analytics can prove time-consuming and error-prone.

Security and non-compliance risks

You will need to separately guarantee the protection of data and compliance with any regulations (e.g., GDPR) in your region for each tool. This can be a long process, and you are more likely to miss a critical problem.

How You Benefit From a Single Events Vendor

An integrated system ensures better management of data.

No data silos

Because only one source of data feeds all parts of the event process, there is no danger of duplication, and data can be analyzed from event to event or year to year to establish internal benchmarks.

An integrated suite of products from a single events vendor also facilitates the ‘manipulation’ of data to produce reports. You can view data in multiple ways, resulting in more useful insights for different parts of the organization.

More secure and compliant data

It is easier and faster to secure one set of data in one place than different sets across different platforms. And, because you have only one vendor to deal with, it is less challenging to check them for compliance.

Saving Time & Money When Dealing With Event Vendors

What Happens With Multiple Vendors

When dealing with several suppliers, events vendor management can quickly become overwhelming because of the following issues. 

Multiplication of fees

You will probably encounter the same fees across all your events vendors (licensing fees, update fees, cancellation fees, costs of switching vendors, etc.), which means that every time you add a new supplier, you have a new set of fees. 

Higher administrative cost

Negotiating multiple contracts and managing them regularly requires a lot of manpower and time on your side. Also, don’t forget that the time spent training your team on multiple platforms costs money.

Harder to build relationships

Building relationships with each events vendor can prove to be a long and time-consuming process, and you’ll have multiple points of contact to deal with.

How You Benefit From a Single Events Vendor

Having only one provider can help you save time and money while facilitating communication.

Fewer fees

It is usually cheaper to buy multiple products from one events vendor than to buy from different suppliers. This stems from the fact that fees are not spread across multiple vendors, but it could also be that one unique vendor could offer you a discounted rate if you sign for several of their products.

Lower administrative cost

Dealing with a single vendor means one contract, one set of terms, one updating policy. Fewer headaches!

Your team needs to be trained only on one suite of products, which means faster onboarding.

Easier to build a long-term relationship

Building a relationship with one events vendor requires less energy and time. The vendor becomes more a business partner than just a supplier, and having a unique point of contact means less time spent trying to get in touch with people.

Providing a Better User Experience for Your Team Members

What Happens With Multiple Vendors

When using different platforms, you might experience the following problems.

No unified user experience

Using different events vendors usually means that you get as many user experiences as you have products. Some might be great while others not so much. Each will likely have its own content manager, and you’ll have the added task of working out the integrations between them. Also, your team has to constantly switch between platforms, which quickly becomes tedious.

Multiplication of training and onboarding sessions

Your team will need training and onboarding on each platform, which is time-consuming, and therefore costly.

Multiplication of identification information

It is unlikely that you will get a unified login when you deal with several vendors. Your team will, therefore, have to use different logins for different platforms.

No standardization

It is more difficult to standardize your event planning process when it is split across several platforms, especially if you don’t use those platforms consistently from event to event or department to department within your organization.

How You Benefit From a Single Events Vendor

An integrated platform means increased productivity for your team.

A unified user experience

The user experience remains the same across the whole process.

Faster training and onboarding

Because you have to train your team on only one type of solution, it is faster and usually more effective. There are also fewer risks for them to make mistakes during the product learning curve.

A single identification

Only one account will be needed to access all the functions of the event process, making it easier to manage permissions and access across your team.

Easier standardization

One suite of products gives you the ability to create and refine a set of workflows that can be reproduced for future events. When you consider the increased frequency of events and shorter planning periods, it will save your team time and help deliver good results consistently. 

Creating a Better, More Consistent Attendee Experience

The ultimate goal of event planners is to provide their attendees with the best experience. Because of the increasing number of events available, attendees are more discerning as to which event to attend.

Using one or multiple vendors for different parts of your event might have direct consequences on your attendees’ experience.

What Happens With Multiple Vendors

If you use different vendors for different parts of your event or different events across your organization, you might experience the following.

Inconsistent experiences throughout the event process

If you use different platforms for each part of the event process, the attendees can end up with very different experiences from the registration website to the mobile app. Branding consistency is a concern, as is the repetition of data entry if a user has to enter the same information during the registration process as they do to fill out their event app profile.

An inconsistent experience between events

The same goes if you don’t use the same mobile event app for all your events: the experience might not be consistent if they participate in several of your events.

Tech adoption can be hindered

Each time attendees have to download a different app, enter their information again, and learn how to use a new app, this constitutes friction that might affect your adoption rates and ROI.

How You Benefit From a Single Events Vendor

A single-vendor solution will ensure a better experience for your attendees.

Consistent experience throughout the event process

With products provided by only one events vendor, your attendee gets a consistent, branded experience throughout the event process and a streamlined flow.

Consistent experience across all events

If you have recurring attendees, they will encounter the same great experience across all the events you are hosting. This means that they’re more likely to adopt the technology you’re using from event to event, as they have already learned it.

Less friction

Regarding the mobile app, people have to download it and create their profile only once, and it will be available if they attend another one of your events. Also, recurring attendees won’t need to be onboarded.

Conclusion

Events have become a tool of choice for brand awareness, sales, and marketing purposes. Meanwhile, event planners face increasing pressure to improve their process while bringing a better experience to their guests. It’s a lot to juggle, and managing multiple vendors just adds more to the toss.

Choosing a single event vendor like Cvent, that offers integrated solutions for all your event needs, will help you streamline the event process, handle data more efficiently, save money and time, and increase productivity across the team and organization. 

But most importantly, it will create a better experience for attendees by reducing the burden of entering the same information multiple times and learning new tools at different events.

Cvent

Cvent

Cvent is a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with more than 4,000 employees, 27,000 customers, and 300,000 users worldwide.

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