In reality, your new event software has to be a perfect fit for your overall event marketing strategy— and finding the glass slipper for your event Cinderella isn't always an easy task, no matter how much time you've spent reading websites and reviews.
When you factor in convincing your boss you've made the right choice for your company's overall goals and budget, it turns out picking your new software partner isn't as simple as it sounds (we know, we were bummed too).
The price is usually the biggest factor, but there are a few other key pieces of info your boss will probably need before signing off on your choice. We laid out a few questions they might hit you with so you can be prepared to defend your pick.
1) How does this software help us market our events better?
Your boss wants more butts in seats— but you knew that already, didn't you? The first thing they'll want to know is about the product's marketing capabilities.
Let them know how the product promotes your unique branding, it's in-depth marketing functionality (think contact management, email campaigns, etc), and what the User Experience (UX) is like.
Responsive site UX in Swoogo
It's a good idea to choose a registration product that includes email marketing— it will help ensure you're not double-sending emails or sending them to contacts who have opted-out.
You could also highlight a few use cases, which will give you some brownie points for innovation. Here are some examples:
- Sending out emails to anyone that has attended in the past, but isn't registered for this year
- Creating personalized event marketing campaigns, like sending out a happy birthday message with a discount code or a loyalty reward for attending 10 events
- Using retargeting to show ads to those that have started the registration process but haven't purchased a ticket
- Adding widgets or lightboxes (on-site pop-ups) to your website that give attendees a special discount or content offer when trying to exit your site
2) How will the software be better than our current (in-house) solution?
We both know that your in-house registration software sucks (it's cool, this is a safe place).
Secretly, your boss probably thinks the same— but put yourself in their shoes for a second.
They have to justify the investment to their boss too, so you need to clearly highlight the benefits of switching; and numbers speak louder than words.
Can you find out how long it takes you and your team to plan, setup and launch a new event website and registration from scratch on your current platform?
How much time could you save by using Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools like Swoogo?
How much time will this free up for your team to focus on other value-adding activities like securing sponsors or selling exhibitor packages?
How much effort does it take to make small changes to your reg site when you always have to involve your developer (or that freelance dude who never gets back to you on time).
3) Is the software suitable for our types of events?
What's the point of working with a software provider who specializes in, well, all types of events? That doesn't make sense.
"We're end to end and you can manage all your events with us."
I dare those suppliers to ever pitch that to you again (nasty liars 👺).
No event software can really be suitable for all types of events. Sure, you can use workarounds to force-fit a solution to your needs, but it makes more sense to pick a partner that's designed for your specific event types.
The best way for you to address this question is by giving examples of clients similar to you who are already successfully working with your shortlisted supplier.
It's obvious that you don't need seating blocks unless you're running B2C events like concerts or sporting events.
It's equally pointless selecting software made for exhibitions and tradeshows if you're really looking for software to run your flagship annual conference.
If you're a publisher or media company, using sites like Eventbrite won't do the trick for you as branding is your daily bread and you can't afford to push the brand of your supplier.
Still with me?
4) Will our attendees love the software?
What your boss is really saying here: "Will our non-techy attendees be able to easily complete the online registration form without losing their mind?"
The best approach here is to run your boss through a custom platform demo to ensure she understands how everything works and how easy it is, not only for you and your team, but also for your clients.
Equally, if your audience falls under the tech-savvy category, highlight some of the other more innovative features the platform can assist you with like facial recognition, integration with other best-in-class software providers, or event chatbots.
Nothing works better than a hands-on demo, but you can also share some customer testimonials or links to G2Crowd or Capterra.
5) Can we keep our own branding?
Using tools like Eventbrite seems like a clever idea, but only if you don't mind driving the Eventbrite brand instead of your own.
B2B focused event software (like Swoogo) helps you put your brand front, back & center and gives you full control over the look & feel of your event website, registration form, and email communications.
Nuff said...Onto the next 🧐
6) How can we become more efficient by using this?
If you're working in an organization bouncing in and out of multiple different tools like Wordpress, Eventbrite & Mailchimp it takes you a lot of time setting up new events.
It will be difficult for you to report on your data in a clear, thorough way. Your boss wants to ensure you're being most efficient with the platform and the best way of discussing this is by showing numbers & facts:
- What tools can be replaced by using said event software?
- How much money can be saved?
- How much time do we currently spend learning the software vs. being intuitive out of the box?
ROI is key. If you can save just one hour per person per day, that's 5 hours per week, that's 260 hours per year. If your team has 5 people working with the event software, that's 1,030 hours saved.
7) When will our staff be fully up to speed with the software?
You're working in the face-to-face industry, so it's no surprise that you value dedicated support. And so does your boss.
Your boss wants to ensure that the team gets the most out of the software in the quickest time possible.
The best way for you to get prepared is by understanding the support structure of the supplier you're talking to:
- Do they offer 24/7 support?
- How efficient are they?
- Do they understand events?
- Do they come up with solutions & new ideas?
- How long does it take for the training?
- Will we get notified about new features?
Ultimately, the support you receive will determine your success with the platform.
So how was that for a change? Do you think we've missed anything here? Please leave your feedback in the comments below or download the event software buying checklist.