Published April 17th, 2016 by

Event Planning Software for Pros

We have spent so much time talking about marketing software that I think it’s time for something different. In a previous work we looked at some supply chain management and logistical type software. Well, today we’re not going to talk about that. But we ARE going to talk about something remarkably similar in many respects.

Suppose you are throwing a huge networking event. Maybe it’s a trade show. There is a mountain of stuff to keep track of. How many people are attending? How many need booth space? What are the terms for the venue? How are you going to get tickets to everyone? What’s the agenda going to be? The list goes on, and on, and on. It’s no surprise that planning large events can be a massive headache, but fortunately this doesn’t have to be the caevent planning softwarese.

In case you already saw where this was going, yes, there is even software for managing events. It’s aptly called event management software, and there is a whole boatload of great applications out there to help you keep the event on track and on time. In this article we’re going to take a deep dive into the functionality of this incredibly helpful software.

The features can be broken down into a few different areas, and we’re going to look at each of them in turn. There is event management, of course, that handles the logistical aspects of the event itself. There is also an entire feature set centered on marketing your event. After all, you aren’t throwing an event just so you can sit around by yourself. In addition, you can get software with features that cater to enhancing the experience of the attendees as well as measuring the success of the event.

Let’s take a look.

What are the core features of the best event management software?

Let’s start with the obvious feature set. This would be the features that center on the management of the event itself. This is a set of features that are going to be most helpful to the people throwing the event, at least from a logistical perspective.

Let’s start at the beginning – registration. Your software needs a mechanism to indicate who is coming to the event, and that is of course the registration feature set.  Want to support early bird discounts? How about bulk discounts for a group? Student discounts? Military discounts? Discounts just because? Unlike people, tickets are not created equal. Make sure your event management software has the capability to distinguish between all the different types of ticketing that you’re going to have.

The event management software should enable potential attendees to register straight from your website. The best event management software lets you have customizable widgets directly on your webpage to facilitate easy registration by your guests. Moving beyond that, some software even allows attendees to register from LinkedIn.

While you’re at it, make sure the software allows for the use of custom event registration inputs. You should have the freedom to get the information that is most useful to you. If you want to make them tell you their shoe size, hey, go for it! No but seriously, more important information like dietary restrictions or prior attendance is really useful information to have. The best event management software will accommodate all of these and more.

One of the biggest draw backs of events is the problem of lines that stretch for a quarter mile. Who said it has to be that way? That’s a relic of the 20th century. In modern times, everybody carries a smart phone. The most useful event registration software lets attendees check in without using any paperwork. Simply scan their smart phone and they can move on. BOOM.

What about contact lists? Suppose you have 1,000 attendees and the schedule changes. How are you going to let everyone know? I mean, I suppose you could use a bullhorn, but why? In the 21st century we have advanced software that lets you email every single attendee with the touch of a button. It couldn’t be any easier. Quickly get them the information they need.

But of course the aconference planning softwarettendees are not the only contacts that need managed. You can also keep track of sponsors, vendors, and partners. Event management software will let you blast out emails to different groups so that you don’t deliver the wrong message to the wrong people. Truly powerful stuff.

Backing up a little bit, before the event even begins, you’re going to have a mountain to climb. That mountain is getting the word out – effective marketing. The best event management software sets you up with a number of features to make marketing easier than ever.

For example, Bizzabo offers a fancy event website for your marketing ease. Their templates allow you to get a website up in just a few minutes, without the need for a team of expensive designers and developers. You can select from a number of templates and color schemes to give the site a look consistent with your own personal branding. The site includes the agenda, ticketing information and more so that the attendees have everything they need all in one place.

In addition to the website, you can embed social media features to allow your future attendees act as brand ambassadors by tweeting, liking, and sharing your website. Even better, some platform swill include LinkedIn integration to really broadcast the professional nature of the event.  Needless to say, the incorporation of social media features is a huge benefit for generating word of mouth buzz, interest, and ultimately ticket sales.

Moving on to the event itself, we know that you want the attendees to have the best experience possible. The best event marketing software accommodates this through robust event experience features. Returning to the Bizzabo example, they offer their own event app that integrates a number of important features. They offer networking features such as a private messaging system, attendee profiles, and social media integration. This allows attendees to connect with each other and network like never before. While the event itself is important, don’t forget that most people come to meet with other professionals and grow their professional social network. The best event management software facilitates this, as it’s really the point of the event anyway.

In addition to networking features, you should be on the lookout for mobile enabled agenda tracking. This helps your guests stay on track to see who they want to see at the right time. This is particularly important at events such as scientific conferences, where the attendees are highly specialized in their interests and will want to attend a series of talks by a handful of people. Speakers can “measure” their success by how many likes and shares their session demonstrates. Making it easy for your attendees to know where they have to be and when will go a long way towards improving their experience and making sure they rave about your conferences all year.

Finally, we come to the suite of features that help measure the success of your event. In the past, you had to rely on repeat ticket sales to know whether your event was successful. You could ask people in real time how much fun they were having, but it would be unreasonable to expect an honest response.

The best event management software comes with an event dashboard that helps you keep track of everything that is going on. For instance, if you want to know how sales are going, social media engagement, as well as trends over time (for repeat events), then the best event management software can help you do that. This is critical to let you know how things went, how they are going, and what you can do to make the event even better in the upcoming years.

But maybe you’revent management softwaree not satisfied with after-the-fact information. Perhaps you want something a little more real time? The ability to create user polls is something that you are going to want to look into. Want to know how much fun people are asking? Ask them in bulk and let them reply via text, your website, or the mobile app. Want to know which session was the best? How about what their favorite food was? All of this information can be gathered via intelligent polling and later analyzed. This is truly revolutionary for the event planner. The ability to act on real hard data, rather than a sort of vague gut feeling you get by walking around and looking at peoples’ faces is essential to the future success of your event.


Wow, that was a lot of stuff to mull over. Event planning can be incredibly stressful. There are a million things that have to be kept track of, and a lot of moving parts. When you want the event go off without a hitch and be one smooth experience for everyone involved, you should really consider using some event planning and management software.

The cutting edge features will help you market the event beforehand, allow you to handle ticket pricing, set up and broad cast the agenda, as well as keep in touch with the attendees during the event. All of this functionality comes together to create a great experience for your guests and will really get them raving about your conference.

After all, that’s the point. You don’t want a 1 off event. If you’re in the event planning business, you want to keep the ball rolling. That means you need infrastructure to support a system so that you can be successful. Each. And. Every. Time.

The best event management software can help you do this. Take a look at our own reviews of the best event management software to see which software packages would be right for you and your event.

We hope this has been helpful. Be sure to check our next article!


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