When working with our clients, we often find that they come to us with a checklist of product features they’re looking for; polling, agenda, speaker profiles, networking – just to name a few. While ensuring that the event management software you are selecting meets your feature requirements is important, it’s a good idea to think grander in scope and go beyond just product features. To ensure the best possible experience you have when setting up and using your event software, you’ll also need proper customer support, customizability, and training, especially if it’s your first time using the software. Deciding how to choose your event software comes down to finding the right partner, not just provider. You want to select an event software partner who’s looking to work with you to ensure your technology helps you reach your event goals.
Here are the top five most important factors to consider beyond product features that should be on your checklist when choosing event software.
1. Variety of Customer Support Channels
It’s important to understand the customer support hours and response times your event tech partner provides, as well as what channels they are using. As consumers, we all have preferences for the way in which we like to get support or service. Some people prefer to be able to make a quick phone call, especially during the event itself if something needs to be addressed right away, while others like to be able to send off an email and include screenshots when they have a chance.
It all comes down to preference and urgency. You should consider selecting a partner that offers hours that will support your planning and event timezones. Also consider the variety of channels offered so you can get the answers you need, when you need them, according to how you want to receive them.
At EventMobi, we provide support by phone, email, and live chat. The live chat option is unique as it allows you to ask questions and get support in real-time, while you’re working on our Experience Manager platform. Through our North American and European offices in Berlin and Toronto, we are also able to provide you with extensive coverage – even on the weekends!
2. Best Practices & Customized Recommendations Are Provided
When selecting an event software partner, you also want to ensure that you’ll be covered in terms of knowing the best practices and receiving customized recommendations. We know that your events are unique and it’s likely that, even though a platform might meet your feature requirements, understanding how to successfully implement them to achieve your event goals is another matter. When asking about features during the sales process, make sure to ask what resources are available to support you along the way.
At EventMobi, our Knowledge Base and the Resources section of our website are great self-help tools. As another resource, our Event Success and Customer Care teams are always willing to hop on a call to help you apply those practices at your next event.
3. Easy to Use
Considering the ease of use from both the perspective of you as a user of the event software platform, and the end-user experience of the attendee perspective is very important. It’s great if the tool meets your feature requirements, but if it’s going to be too time-consuming to implement and manage, or too difficult for attendees to learn, adoption from both your team and your event attendees will be low. That means you would have invested all the budget into software that definitely won’t yield much ROI.
Ensuring you select a tool that’s easy for your attendees to use and navigate is crucial. Many event planners already face the challenge of getting their attendees to embrace new technology, and if the first experience they have with a tool like an event app is bad, chances are they won’t want to try it again (at least for a very long time).
You’ll want to ensure that they can be self-sufficient when registering or using your event app to limit the number of support emails or questions you get onsite. A best practice is to ask your potential providers for demo examples and a trial of the backend so you can see how easy the platform is from a new user perspective.
4. Achieving Your Event Goals
You’re likely purchasing an event technology solution for a specific purpose – perhaps you want to increase attendee engagement, provide more value to your sponsors or make your sessions more interactive. Understanding the goals of your event and how your technology can help support them is a critical part of the event planning process.
During the purchasing process, you should be asking your potential partners about how their technology will not only help support these goals – but how these goals can quantifiably be measured. At EventMobi, you’ll be paired with one of our Event Success specialists to get you started on building out your event technology and they’ll be sure to help you brainstorm on these goals, and what success actually looks like for them. You’ll also have a debrief so our team can help pull together the measurements and metrics you need to demonstrate that your event goals were achieved.
Different providers will offer different options for training which is important to ensure that you and your team are familiar with the technology platform. At EventMobi, we’ve just rolled out a series of on-demand training videos that will guide you through the process at your own pace and on your own timeline – as well as a weekly training webinar that will give you a complete platform overview as well as include a live Q&A session. Ensuring you’ve got a foundational understanding of the platform is a great way to kick-start your technology implementation process.
While selecting an event technology partner that meets your feature requirements is very important, you should also consider the support and services that you’ll be provided. Ensuring that you will have the support and guidance you need, as well as someone who can provide customized recommendations on how to bring your event technology to life is imperative. Our Customer Experience team is ready to help make your event tech dreams a reality.