6 revealing questions to ask
If you are considering implementing event technology for the first time, or want to quality check an existing provider, the ever-changing landscape can seem daunting. The number of providers offering marketing platform solutions has grown from just 150 in 2011 to over 7040 today. And the need for event technology is increasing too.
As demands grow on event planners to produce more, deliver more and return more from their events, the need for a little help from technology is bigger than ever. So, how can you decide which providers to approach?
These six questions will help any event planner navigate their way. Under this intelligent scrutiny, only a few providers remain.
1. Will this solution make event planning more effective or is it just another platform to take up my time?
We all know that in the beginning, not all platforms deliver on their promise of saving time. Using a technology solution that manages a number of functions (e.g. registration, lead capture, networking, survey management and your event app) will ensure that adapting to a new system is time well spent. Additionally, using an event platform that takes care of your event planning at every step means you only enter data once and this information updates across every element of your event in real time.
2. Is it really easy to use?
All providers will tell you their platform is easy to use. Look for a provider that offers extensive onboarding resources (such as training videos or webinars), user guides and easy support options, such as built-in chat functionality inside the platform. Ironically, the easier it is to find the ‘help’ function, the less you are likely to need it. And when you do, the answers are easy to find and easy to follow.
3. Technology evolves very quickly. How do I know I will be using the latest solution?
Check out their blog posts and social pages. If they regularly share platform updates, new feature launches and compelling discussion about the latest technologies, you can be confident the provider is invested in staying ahead of the game and using technology to its fullest potential, for your benefit.
4. Price vs value
When it comes to technology, the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is particularly true. If it is cheaper, ask yourself why. If it is more expensive, then find out what you get that other providers don’t offer. Sometimes a bigger initial investment will pay for itself in the long term, so it is smart to base your decision on more than just the lowest upfront price.
5. How do I mitigate business risk from this decision?
External proof is a powerful tool; find impartial information about a technology provider independent of what they have told you. Awards judged by external panels, client case studies and testimonials, and Google ratings and comments are all good sources of external proof. If these line up, it points to a provider that is as good as they tell you they are.
6. What experience do I want to create for my customers?
Customer-centric businesses put their customers at the heart of everything they do. Do you want event attendees to arrive to long queues, impersonal check-in machines and pre-printed name badges that impinge on their privacy? Or would you prefer them to be greeted warmly and in person before continuing to enjoy a seamless personalized experience throughout the event that delivers on their individual reasons for attending. The answer is clear.