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Event orchestration | 16 July 2018

How to Evaluate Event Technology

Brandon Rafalson

Are you using the right tools to achieve event success? In this blog post we’ll review how you can evaluate your event technology stack.

Odd as it may seem, there was a time when event technology didn’t exist. Individuals registered for events via mail-in services, events were advertised completely offline in print ads and magazine ads and—at the end of an event—organizers were left with very little data to make sense of.

Contemporary marketers now rely on an intricate mix of tools (such as marketing automation software, CRMs and event software) that work together in what is called the event technology stack, to achieve successful events. They leverage this event tech stack to build websites that drive registrations, promote their event through email marketing and social media, and gather data at every stage of the event lifecycle.

However, not every mix of tools is the right mix of tools. Some may not fully work with one another, others may rely on the manual exporting and importing of data, and others may have hidden potential just waiting to be unlocked.

In this post we’ll review how event marketers can evaluate their event technology stack to fully unleash the power of their events strategy.

For a step-by-step analysis of your own personal event stack, try the Event Technology Assessment. Just click the button below!

Evaluating Event Technology

Your event is more than just the event day itself. Countless hours go into producing an event both before and after it happens. When analyzing the merits of an event technology it’s important to examine the full event technology lifecycle.

The event lifecycle stages can be broken down into Event Awareness, Event Management, Event Experience and Event Success Measurement.

In the below sections we’ll take a closer look at each of these event lifecycle stages and what event professionals like yourself should keep in mind when evaluating technology to meet the needs of each. We’ll also provide several sample questions that event professionals should ask themselves when considering whether or not their event technology is a good fit for their needs.

Event Awareness

If an event happens in a conference center and no one ever promotes it, does it even make a sound?

Adequately promoting an event is essential for driving registrations and, in turn, event attendance. However, the Event Marketing 2018 Report reveals that generating demand for an event is a common pain point among event organizers.

From building your event website to getting the word out, your technology should provide you with the necessary tools for getting get the job done.

Relevant Questions:

  1. Do you require designers and developers to create or modify your web pages?
  2. Do you incentivize registrants to share promotional codes upon submitting their registration?
  3. Do you use remarketing campaigns to capture contact information of potential registrants who did not finish their registration?

Event Management

Collecting and managing event registrants goes way beyond spreadsheets. Literally.

From ticket types, to dietary restrictions, to job titles, to lead stages—each contact that registers for chock full of data.

Some of this data is more important for providing attendees with a satisfying event experience (e.g. whether a contact prefers a gluten free diet, a vegetarian diet or a surf-and-turf diet) while other data can be critical to the success of your event marketing campaign and, subsequently, the success of your organization as a whole (e.g. whether a contact is a prospect, customer or partner).

An efficient event management technology process should enable organizers to create multiple ticket types, manage contacts data via software integrations, and seamlessly process revenue.

Relevant Questions:

  1. Do you manage different ticket types? For example single-day, multi-day, VIP?
  2. Do you integrate event contact data with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management)?
  3. Do you still find yourself managing event data in spreadsheets?

Event Experience

You can’t have an event without attendees. Well, you can, it just might make for an awkward post-event debrief with the rest of your team.

Whether you are planning an internal training event or a massive customer conference, providing a rich experience is crucial for keeping your attendees engaged, satisfied and coming back for more.

Fortunately, the right event technology stack can help you engage your attendees with tools that cater to networking, in-session polls, a smooth event check-in, an easy to use event agenda, net promoter score surveys and much more.

Relevant Questions:

  1. Do you offer an event app for attendees to use?
  2. Do you send real-time notifications to your attendees during the event?
  3. Do you deploy polls during your event to survey your attendees in real-time?

Event Success Measurement

Forrester Research reports that the average CMO allocates 24% of their budget to events. That’s a huge slice of the fiscal pie. In order to prove that an event is worth the slice, marketers need to be able to proffer meaningful data.

The right event technology stack will enable marketers to pull event revenue numbers, compare cross event KPI’s, and sync data to your CRM to paint a clear picture of how an event fits into a contact’s journey with your organization.

But event success is more than just ROI. That’s why your event technology should be able to connect the dots between email marketing performance, social media engagement, event app engagement, attendee preferences and sponsorship performance so that your next event can be better than the previous one.

Relevant Questions:

  1. Which reporting systems do you use to report your event success?
  2. Which reporting elements do you track and review?
  3. Do you track mobile application engagement KPIs?

Next Steps

Whether it comes to promoting your event, managing your event data, creating a valuable experience for attendees or drawing meaningful conclusions from event analytics, event technology can help marketers to drive the success of their events

Take the free Event Technology Assessment and receive actionable insights on your event strategy. Benchmark how well you promote your event, manage registrations, and report your event success.

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