When to Spend on Event Planning Tech

Lauren Hall, founder and CEO of iVvy, a cloud-based event management platform, offers a list of questions to ask before investing in new tools.

Lauren Hall Headshot

Lauren Hall

From conferences to meetings, training seminars and more — the global MICE industry represents a lucrative billion dollar market opportunity. And yet, the booking and RFP process is one which is notoriously time-consuming and wrought with communication breakdowns, disparate systems, overwhelmed staff, and outdated methods.

We all know the stresses that come with planning a meeting or event. And trying to plan one knowing you won’t get a response from the majority of properties you reach out to makes an already difficult process all the more stressful. According to some estimates, the average response time is 19 days. Worse yet, the non-response rates are estimated to be at 30 percent. Essentially, event planning has become a waiting game, rife with delayed emails and repeated information exchanges before even the most basic details are solidified.

Rather than relying on an antiquated email chain, event planners can utilise a number of tools that provide all necessary booking info, property capabilities, amenities, and FAQs at a glance. This allows them to effectively review and send enquiries in a timely manner so they can focus on the more creative aspects of their event.

But this is becoming a saturated market, and comparing event planning tools isn’t easy. Here is a list of the essential questions event planners should ask before investing in an event management solution.

1. Does it offer online access to venues and suppliers?
What better way to appeal to the modern, time-conscious event planner than to offer online bookings with all relevant details, including live inventory, virtual tours, and booking options?

2. Does it offer a level of personalisation?
The modern event attendee expects a hyper-personalised experience. From engagement opportunities to unconventional entertainment, seating, or catering — the possibility for personalisation becomes a key component when looking for a management solution.

3. Is it easy to implement and user-friendly?
New technology cannot be introduced and implemented effectively if it isn’t user-friendly. This applies to event management solutions as well. It’s imperative that the software can be readily understood by new staff with ease, while enhancing day-to-day event planning processes.

4. Is it accessible anywhere, anytime?
Mobile is the future. If it’s not mobile, it’s not capable of truly advancing your operations.

5. Does it offer seamless integration with your other hospitality applications?
When considering options, be sure to determine if they have the capability to integrate with existing systems (such as accounting software and point-of-sale systems), or if they are limited to specific platforms. Consider any resulting subsequent cost to your business.

6. Does it include advanced marketing capabilities?
In this age of hyper-personalisation, the tools you invest in should offer insight-driven communications to help improve your marketing campaigns. Custom invitations and email campaigns that lead to a better centralised database for managing RSVPs streamlines the event marketing process so you can maximise your responses.

7. Does it deliver robust business intelligence and reporting tools?
Before investing in a new event management solution, ensure the offering includes insight-driven analytics and reporting to shape future events.

Lauren Hall is the founder and CEO of iVvy, a cloud-based event management platform. With a background in programming, accounting, and marketing, her expertise spans manufacturing, retail, advertising, and technology industries in South Africa and Australia. This article was compiled by staff at Untangled, a Singapore-based content, marketing, and business strategy consultancy.

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