Managing events is no small feat. Whether you’re an in-house event manager for a fortune 500 company, the head of events for a higher education institution, trying to promote your venue or anywhere in between, events and venue management are rife with tasks and potential stumbling blocks.
In the past, a pen and paper were all you needed to successfully manage events. That, and a team of specialists and a phone. Today’s events have grown in complexity and size, with demands forcing shorter timelines, a need for streamlined booking processes and a larger emphasis on security — all with an increasingly tight budget.
The events industry is bigger than ever, and it’s only getting bigger. What worked in the past simply won’t cut it anymore. Successful venue and event management in today’s landscape requires a digital way forward. Venue and event management software is the solution.
What is venue and event management software?
There was a time when virtually all venue and event management was done via the infamous big book. For the uninitiated, this book acted as your single source of truth. It held all appointments, notes on any changes, financial details, catering notes and more. So, what is event management software? It’s the big book and more.
Event management software varies in functionality depending on the provider. Some platforms focus on booking, others on the financial side, others on virtual events and so on. Regardless of the provider, venue and event management software typically assists with any number of the following:
Invoicing and payments
Regardless of the services offered by a particular event management platform, the end goal is often the same: help today’s venue and event professionals keep up with the increasing pace and benchmarks of event management success.
Why use event management software?
Event management software offers a number of clear perks. But still, if the book acted as a single source of truth, it’s easy to wonder why this approach isn’t applicable anymore. There are a number of reasons:
Today's events processes are larger and more complex.
Events can span multiple venues and carry a digital/virtual element.
Safety is a larger focus than ever, requiring more security and compliance.
Larger events necessitate more efficient booking and registration processes.
Budgets are tighter, requiring more efficiency across the board.
Staffing is in flux, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
A big physical book doesn’t lend itself to efficiency, nor does it allow for quick or easy management of third-party security contractors. A big book doesn’t make it easy to collate historical data from previous events and fiscal years, either.
Simply put: event management software is more capable of keeping up with today’s pace and complexity than any manual process or methods.
“Some organizations still use the big book approach. Others, looking for a digital solution will turn to something like Excel. This is an improvement, but a lot of organizations quickly realize there’s no historical data or changelog with something like Excel. This presents its own problems, which drives a lot of people to a proper event management platform eventually.” — Michelle Whittle, Team Lead of Solutions & Engineering at Momentus
Are all event management software platforms the same?
No two event management platforms are equal, with many trading one feature for another or prioritizing one type of event over another. Where some event management software vendors focus on venue management for performing arts, others tailor their offerings to virtual events and so on.
These differences make it important to understand your own organization’s workflows, audience, pain points and more. As you think about what kind of vendor to look for, consider the following:
Number of event spaces you manage.
The complexity of your event booking process.
The complexity of your event registration and ticketing processes.
Whether the vendor offers a mobile app.
If the vendor provides real-time insights and analytics.
Once you have a firm understanding of your event management needs, then you can begin your search for the right venue and event management software platform.
A more efficient future with an event management platform
The events landscaping is shifting, with an increased emphasis on sustainability and larger, more extravagant events. It’s impossible to say what tomorrow will bring, but one thing is for certain: venue and event management software is essential if you want to thrive in today’s environment and start future-proofing your organization.
Ensure your organization is prepared and see what the current and future events and venue management landscape looks like.