November 15, 2019
By Felicia Asiedu

Event organisers spend their days surrounded by bright neon-coloured sticky notes, trying to make sense of information available on disparate systems, and staring at spreadsheets until their eyes glaze over. That’s why modern meeting and event organisers are automating and centralising their disparate systems, spreadsheets and sticky notes by turning to event management technology. The manual way of doing things may be a habit, but it’s one you won’t have a problem kicking when you realise the benefits of using event management technology.

Innovations in technology have allowed event professionals to scale their event programmes, elevate attendee experiences, and precisely track the impact of their events. In fact, organisers who leverage event management solutions not only increase productivity by 27%, but also boost event attendance by 20%.

You can experience the Automation Evolution throughout the several stages of event life cycle, be it finding a venue; marketing your event; managing and engaging attendees; handling onsite check-in, badging and attendance tracking; gathering feedback and reporting; integrating data; or spend management and budget reconciliation.

Finding a venue

Finding-a-venue-with-eRFP

The struggle

Venue sourcing can be frustrating. Since each request for proposal (RFP) differs depending on the hotel and event type, so does the format of each returning bid. It can be difficult to compare prices, offers, and additional comments without proper organisation. The result? Possibly missing out on the best venue for your event, while wasting time and money along the way.

The shift

By sending an electronic request for proposal (eRFP) to multiple venues, cuts down your sourcing time significantly. Since you are creating one master eRFP, all returning bids are in the same format and compiled in one place. Automating and standardising this process across all of your events allows you to build and distribute RFPs, receive bids, and share bid information with key decision-makers. You’ll save time on logistics, speed up decision-making, and ultimately consolidate venue sourcing activity across your event programme. Best of all, you’ll stay organised, so nothing falls through the cracks.

Event marketing and website

Event-website-and-marketing

The struggle

Marketing can be your event’s biggest attendance driver or deterrent. Since your event marketing is usually the first touch point you have with your audience, it’s important to make a positive, impactful first impression. Ensure your marketing strategies are measurable so you can prove the impact they have on driving registrations, exhibitors, sponsorships, revenue, and more.

The shift

Marketing your event doesn’t have to drain your budget to be effective. For example, organic social media doesn’t cost you a penny and can influence and engage attendees through every stage of the event. Your event marketing should be held to the same measurable tactics as any other component of your planning lifecycle. This includes thoughtfully segmenting your audience and tailoring your message appropriately, tracking social media engagement, and encouraging word-of-mouth promotion.

Here’s where an event marketing tool will pay huge dividends, since most successful events are powered by a robust event marketing strategy. By incorporating an event marketing platform, you’ll save costs, keep your messaging on brand, maintain consistency, secure a greater response rate by sending targeted emails, and ultimately keep your audience engaged.

Attendee management

Engaging-attendees-at-events-with-tech

The struggle

Understanding your attendees’ behaviour before, during, and after your event provides a wealth of valuable information, but the process can be nearly impossible if not automated. If you’re not managing your attendees digitally, you’ll most likely be drowning in paperwork and spending countless hours trying to connect data across disparate systems.

The shift

Event technology allows you to personalise the entire event planning process. You can create a branded event registration website that’s designed to identify who is visiting your website. This lets you modify the registration process based on attendee type. With more sophisticated software, you can even create dynamic registration paths and pricing based on pre-set criteria.

By integrating booking travel and accommodation directly into the registration process, you make registration quicker, easier, and more logical for your attendees. It also jumpstarts working partnerships with those in the travel industry.

Onsite check-in, badging and attendance tracking

Onsite-check-in-badging-at-events

The struggle

For attendees, check-in is not part of the event. It’s a time-consuming, stressful speed bump to getting the content they invested time and money to access. For organisers, the check-in and registration desk can be a nightmare. There are always last-minute onsite changes, new registrations, errors on name badges, and setting up lines alphabetically groups isn’t exactly the best way to impress your guests.

The shift

By incorporating self-service kiosks, you immediately streamline the transition from check-in to rest of the event. Onsite self-registration empowers and impresses your registrants by allowing them to check-in, make a payment, edit and print their badges all at once. That means no more pre-printing and stuffing name badges before your event and less staff needed at the registration desk.

Discovering sales opportunities and improving ROI starts with understanding what your attendees are doing at your event after they have checked in. Track the sessions they attend, topics or products they interact with, and stands they visit in order to build a complete attendee profile. Access real-time reports to make changes on the fly and automatically pass this information to your CRM and/or Marketing Automation tool to execute automated, personalised follow-up.

Stay tuned for our next blog where we talk about using automation to facilitate attendee engagement, gather attendee feedback and reporting, data integration and spend management and budget reconciliation.

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Felicia Asiedu

An experienced CIM qualified marketing professional, Felicia is the European Marketing Manager at Cvent and has nearly 15 years’ sales and marketing experience in fast-moving technology businesses. She's responsible for the strategic direction of the marketing team in Europe, including expansion planning, campaign execution, demand generation and event management.

Before joining Cvent, Felicia held multiple marketing and business development positions with technology providers including Rackspace, Telecity Group (now Equinix), Infinity Data Centres and Merrill Corporation (now Datasite). Having had a healthy appetite for events for many years, she also has experience in planning and hosting both corporate and private events as well as speaking at both live and virtual events.

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