Are you looking for the best event management software? Software for event management is not all created equal. These questions will help you select the right software partner for your unique event needs.
It’s not surprising that the events industry has experienced a significant increase in event software sales over the last few years. The need for software to aid event organizers in planning, executing, and measuring the success of virtual, in person, and hybrid events has increased dramatically since the pandemic.
Which event management platform is best for your company? As more software is available, it becomes more difficult to decide. Grandview Research estimates that the industry will grow to $14.48B by 2028, up from $6.36B at 2021.
It is no surprise then that Capterra offers 700 event management solutions and features 17. These numbers were updated in April 2022.
We’ve collected more than 20 questions that you can ask event management software providers to help you make an informed decision and vet potential partners.
The Event Management Software Industry is Growing
Let’s first look at the context which has shaped today’s event management software market. These are some interesting statistics about event technology:
- 90% of event marketers believe technology can make a significant positive impact on the success and growth of their events.
- 89% of companies using event technology save approximately 200 hours annually, while 20% save 360+ hours each year.
- 62% of marketers believe that a mobile app can drive attendee engagement at events.
- 92% of marketers believe that event software makes it easier for them to achieve their business goals.
- 79% of event marketers integrate their event software and a CRM.
- Event marketers are searching for a hybrid solution that can manage both in-person events and virtual ones.
- 51% of event decision-makers are happy with their virtual events platform. However, 94% experienced issues with the platform’s setup.
There are 20+ questions to ask when choosing the best event software
These are the key questions to ask before you sign on to the dotted line.
1. What are your weak points compared to the competitors?
Do not be afraid to ask the hard questions. Comparing their event software with others will allow you to assess how honest they are in selling. This will also help you determine if the company’s values are being reflected.
2. Can I track the performance of my campaign and event registrations in real time?
Event Registration is an important metric in event marketing success. You need to be able assess performance so that you can adjust your strategy as needed.
3. I would like to see examples of event websites that were built using your platform without the assistance of developers or designers. Can I embed images and videos using my brand colors and logo without the need for a specialist?
It is crucial to create a memorable event website that represents your brand. You can see examples of websites that have been built using the platform to help you visualize what you could create on your own.
4. Does the website design work across all devices?
54.4% global website traffic was generated by mobile devices in Q4 2021. Your event website should be accessible from desktops, tablets and mobile devices. This applies to sponsors and partners as well as attendees.
5. What are private label options? What can I do to customize the URL and brand my software? What platform features are possible to be integrated into an existing website?
Each touchpoint must deliver a consistent, branded and on-theme experience. You’ll need the ability to add branded elements to your website or other channels. A branded URL should include your company name and event name, not that of the tech partner.
6. How simple is it to change or set prices (e.g. VIP tickets, early-bird)? What payment types/processors does your registration platform support
It is possible to avoid frustration and time-consuming work by learning about the registration and ticketing capabilities of an event platform and whether it can support your ticketing plans. Ask the vendor to show you how to register for a conference in person to get a complete overview.
7. Do you offer customized registration options for different types? What content access controls are you able to offer?
You can improve your registration conversion rates by offering personalized registration journeys that are more meaningful and personal to potential registrants. This feature is crucial to control who can register and for what, and what each participant will be able access.
8. Your software can I manage private events?
Event software is required to manage the visibility and accessibility of your event website.
9. What if I don’t have the resources to create custom, branded emails?
Email marketing is an essential part of event marketing. You need an email builder that is easy to use, flexible, and reflective of your brand and event’s theme. Ask to see examples of email marketing for event during your demo to get a better idea of the capabilities of the platform.
10. Is there a limit on email or phone contact?
You may not be able to properly market your event if you use an event management system. You can avoid unexpected costs and limitations that may arise as you grow your events list. A future-proof solution must be able to scale with your event strategy.
11. Are you able to offer an event app? Is it more expensive? Is it compatible with both Android and Apple devices?
In today’s mobile-first, hybrid world, an event app is essential. Imagine an event software offering a mobile app. It will allow you to connect all participants, regardless of their location, and gather engagement analytics after the event.
12. Is your platform able to provide reporting on community engagement and app adoption?
Even though an event app is available, it doesn’t guarantee that attendees will use it. You should choose event management software that offers contextual data about app adoption, and the channels that drive most conversions.
13. Is the software compatible with social media? Is it possible to network via social media?
Event platforms should enable attendees to share their excitement with friends and colleagues. It should make it easy for participants to network with each other to increase community-building and networking opportunities.
14. Is there a way to promote exhibitors and sponsors? These promotions can I measure attendee engagement?
Event sponsorship requires that you can provide tangible value. To show sponsors that you are able to provide measurable value, attendees engagement metrics will allow them to develop more thoughtful and comprehensive sponsorship packages.
15. What integrations does your platform have with existing CRM and martech platforms? Are event integrations more expensive?
You’ll be able to avoid any hassles and improve your event promotion stack. Additionally, cross-platform analytics will give you a better understanding of how your events program is driving ROE and business growth. To make your future campaigns more personal and effective, don’t underestimate how important it is to incorporate event data such as session attendance into your tech stack.
You should also look into the entire integration process thoroughly to ensure there are no surprises. Can the vendor reliably obtain all data you require, from where you need them, and in the timeframe you require — without any manual intervention?
16. Is reporting made easy by the software? What type of data, insights, and analytics can I expect from the software? To create useful reports, will I need a data analyst or SQL expert?
A clear dashboard should be provided by your event platform that shows you the current event KPIs. Report templates are needed to provide actionable insights that will help you show ROE and create truly memorable events for participants.
17. What kind of customer support are you able to provide my team and our attendees for their needs? Are you available 24/7 via chat/phone/email support?
Even if you have the best plans, there will always be questions or technical problems. You can be sure that the vendor will support your success by providing a professional onboarding process, as well as levels of support from real people that are tailored to your needs (without any hidden fees).
18. Which event has your platform supported the most? What can your platform do?
It is important to make sure that both the event software and infrastructure you select are built to support large-scale events. This means that there is minimal performance impact and zero streaming latency.
19. What was the last time that the platform was down? What was the duration of its existence?
Ask your provider to explain the root cause analysis and the team’s response. You want a reliable, secure solution that is scalable and has zero downtime. However, you must be certain that vendors will promptly resolve any issues and communicate with customers clearly. This will not impact your event. You should look for vendors that are open and willing to publish online service levels.
20. Can I speak to customers in my industry that use your platform?
It’s a great way for you to connect with other companies that use the same event software as yours and get an impartial review. You can also learn about the nuances of the sales process.
21. Is it necessary to sign a multiyear contract? Is there a cancellation policy? Are there fees for terminating early?
It would be great to find an event platform that fulfills all your needs forever. But, you need to understand the consequences of changing your mind later. Avoid getting locked into long-term contracts or auto-renewals with predatory terms that could increase future costs.
22. Will I be charged an additional fee if I cancel my contract?
It is important that the vendor be clear about who has access to and control of your event data. It can be difficult to understand compliance and data privacy policies. You may find yourself in a quandary if vendors are just Data Processors.
Get started: Select the right event software partner
Whether planning a 50-person event at a local venue, a webinar with 500 folks, or a 5,000-attendee-strong hybrid user conference, your job is to deliver impactful event experiences every time. You can do this with the right event management software.
Finding a partner that is equally invested in the success of your event is the challenge. We hope you find these questions helpful, as so much is riding on your decision. We can help you choose the best event management software for your needs.