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Top 20 Features that a Good Event Management Software Must Have

Event management software has revolutionized the way businesses and organizations plan and execute successful events. However, with the myriad of options available, finding the right platform that offers the perfect combination of features and capabilities...

event management software features

Event management software has revolutionized the way businesses and organizations plan and execute successful events. However, with the myriad of options available, finding the right platform that offers the perfect combination of features and capabilities can be a daunting task. In this comprehensive article, we will highlight the top 20 must-have features and capabilities that an elite event management software solution should possess. Whether you're organizing a small corporate gathering or a large-scale conference, these important features will guide you in finding the best event management software for your needs.

1. Robust Automated Scheduling

A powerful automated scheduling tool is a game-changer for any event planner. Look for a platform that allows you to effortlessly create, customize, and manage event schedules, sessions, and activities with drag-and-drop simplicity. Advanced algorithms can generate optimized schedules in seconds based on your custom parameters and restrictions. Automated rescheduling minimizes disruptions, and intelligent assistants even recommend tweaks to improve flow and traffic management.

2. Seamless Registration and Ticketing

Seamless registration setup and integrated ticketing are essential features that impact both event planners and attendees. Your software should provide an automated, streamlined experience, from customizable registration pages to payment processing. Look for features like promotion codes, waitlisting, and confirmation emails. Additionally, ticketing capabilities should facilitate varied pricing, discounts, and volume purchases. The ability to process payments directly within the platform via popular gateways like Stripe is a plus.

3. Customizable Data and Reporting

Understanding event data and metrics is crucial for evaluating success and targeting improvements. Look for customizable reporting features that allow you to extract and analyze the specific event metrics you need. Dashboards, graphs, and visualizations give you data insights at a glance. Segment and filter data using tags and categories for deeper analysis. Powerful data analytics capabilities are vital for event management software.

4. Seamless Email Marketing Integration

Email marketing plays a crucial role in event promotions, registrations, communications, and surveys. Choose software that seamlessly integrates with your existing email platform or provides robust native email features. Design beautiful templates, create targeted campaigns, automate mail merge personalization, and trigger event-based reminders. Simplify your email marketing efforts with this key event management software feature.

5. Intuitive Website and Registration Page Builder

An intuitive website and registration page builder make it simple for you to create custom landing pages that represent your brand. Look for a platform that requires no coding expertise and offers modern page builders with drag-and-drop editors, SEO optimization, and mobile responsiveness. Pre-made templates can help you get started quickly, and the ability to customize colors, fonts, layouts, images, and dynamic content is a must-have feature.

6. Comprehensive Sponsor and Exhibitor Management

Effective management of event sponsors, exhibitors, and vendors can significantly increase revenue. Look for a software feature that provides the tools you need to track relations, fulfillment, assets, and more. Key capabilities should include sponsorship tiers, packaged offerings, promo opportunities, badge printing, floor plans, booth profiles, lead retrievals, and sales automation. Simplified payment processing is also essential.

7. End-to-End Venue Sourcing and Management

Venue selection optimization is a crucial task in event planning. Look for software with venue search filters, automated RFP (Request for Proposal) processes, and centralized venue profiles that include details and assets. Additional features like floor plan design, room blocking, onsite vendor coordination, and more make the venue sourcing and management process significantly easier. A comprehensive venue management tool is invaluable for event organizers.

8. Intuitive Guest Management Capabilities

Proper attendee list management and an optimized guest experience lead to better events. Look for software with intuitive features like seating assignments, dietary preferences, access accommodations, CRM integration, front-of-line check-in, and more. Robust guest management tools make it seamless to track RSVPs, manage groups/tables, print specialty badges, and adapt to changes. Post-event follow-up sustains engagement and enhances the overall attendee experience.

9. On-Demand Onsite Badge Printing

On-demand badge printing is an excellent feature that allows for onsite flexibility and fast changes. Rather than printing names weeks in advance, you can quickly generate badges as needed. Easily accommodate walk-ins, staffing changes, and sponsor requests. Badge templates make adding logos, barcodes, and custom attendee details simple. This feature is a game-changer for onsite agility and seamless event management.

attendee engagement app

10. Engagement-Driving Mobile Event Apps

A dedicated mobile event app is a must-have feature that allows attendees to access event schedules, maps, speaker info, networking opportunities, and more from their smartphones. This modern event feature reduces the reliance on paper, enables interactive content sharing, provides location-based notifications, and introduces fun gamification elements to enhance attendee engagement. Offering discounts to incentivize app downloads can be an effective strategy to increase adoption rates and improve the overall event experience.

11. Built-In Event Gamification and Polling

Interactive tools like gamification, live polling, quizzes, and quests are excellent features that boost participation through fun and rewarding engagement. These interactive elements not only create memorable event experiences but also provide valuable data. Use real-time leaderboards to track participation and offer prizes. By understanding attendee interests and behaviors through gamification data, you can continuously improve your events and gather valuable feedback.

12. Robust Event Marketing Automation

Marketing automation simplifies pre and post-event promotional campaigns. Look for software features that help you consistently promote your event through email, social media, digital ads, and other channels. Easily repurpose content into customized emails, social posts, and ads for each platform. Automated reminders and notifications help re-engage attendees, reduce manual tasks, and drive better results for your event marketing efforts.

13. Comprehensive Speaker & Agenda Management

Efficiently tracking speaker details, building complex schedules, and sharing content in one centralized platform is crucial for successful events. Look for event management software with robust speaker and agenda management tools. Speaker management functionality should include communications, bios, itineraries, and presentation sharing. Customizable agenda builders make programming events simple, and the ability to share speaker, session, and venue details across all event collateral is essential.

14. 360 Exhibitor Management Software

Managing exhibitors, vendors, and sponsors requires a multifaceted approach. Look for comprehensive exhibitor management tools that include floor plan mapping, booth management, sales automation tools, promotions management, lead retrieval integrations, and more. Make it easy for exhibitors to manage booth logistics, assets, schedules, staffing, and leads. For event planners, customized reporting provides actionable data to improve future events and maximize exhibitor satisfaction.

15. Built-In Networking & Matchmaking

Networking is a primary goal for many event attendees. Powerful matchmaking and engagement features make connecting with relevant individuals easier than ever. Look for software that offers 1:1 messaging, interest-based recommendations, private chat forums, networking prompts, and gamification. These features foster meaningful interactions between all event stakeholders before, during, and after the event, enhancing overall attendee satisfaction and engagement.

16. Hybrid & Virtual Event Capabilities

Given the unpredictability of current times, having hybrid and virtual event capabilities is essential. Look for integrated tools that allow for seamless transitions of components or your entire in-person event to a virtual environment. Features like live streaming, on-demand video libraries, interactive online event hubs, virtual exhibitor showcases, chat forums, and built-in presentation options are invaluable for event organizers. The ability to automatically migrate content from live to virtual events is a significant advantage.

17. Actionable Event App Analytics

Robust analytics provide data-driven insights into event app experiences, feature usage, content engagement, lead generation, and overall event ROI. These intelligent event features are invaluable for both current and future events. By tracking usage metrics like adoption rates, popular pages, networking activity, session feedback, booth traffic, and gamification participation, you can make data-informed improvements to your event app and program, ensuring continuous enhancement and better attendee experiences.

18. Seamless Integrations via Open API

An open API allows for seamless integration between your existing event tech stack, including registration systems, payment processors, survey tools, email systems, accounting software, CRMs, and more. This interoperability optimizes workflows by eliminating the need for disjointed solutions and creating a unified event ecosystem tailored to your needs. Key data flows automatically between integrated tools, reducing manual effort and improving overall efficiency. Make sure to consider the availability and capability of an open API when choosing event management software.

19. Ironclad Data Security

Protecting event data is of utmost importance when selecting any software platform. Look for providers that prioritize security and compliance, offering features such as encryption, access controls, stringent policies, certifications, audits, and backups. Compliance with regulations like GDPR, SOC2, and PCI ensures adherence to privacy regulations and data protection standards. Don't hesitate to question potential providers on their security practices and how they manage and govern data to ensure the safety and confidentiality of your event information.

20. Exceptional Ongoing Customer Support

Even the most advanced software is meaningless without exceptional ongoing support, training, and service. Ensure that your chosen provider offers robust resources to help you optimize their platform and make the most out of your events. Look for readily available options like phone/email support, chat, online knowledge bases, live demos, and an online customer community. Regular product updates and optimizations are also important to keep up with industry trends and stay ahead of the competition.

How to Choose the Right Event Management Software for Your Company?

Selecting the right event management software is a critical decision that requires careful evaluation of solutions against your organization's unique needs and priorities. Follow this step-by-step guide to choose a platform that will optimize workflows, enhance engagement, and drive event success.

  • Clearly define your must-have capabilities, identify problem areas to resolve, and establish overall goals. Involve key stakeholders to get comprehensive input.

  • Make a detailed list of features and functionality based on current pain points and desired improvements. Consider long-term goals and forecasted event growth to ensure scalability.

  • Research top-reviewed platforms that align with your needs. Schedule demos to experience firsthand and get your questions answered. Use your checklist to evaluate each platform against your criteria.

  • Pay attention to the platform's workflow, ease of use, and automation capabilities. It should simplify tasks rather than complicate them. Inquire about integrations with your existing systems and optimization for different event types.

  • Review available training, support, and ongoing customer success resources. These resources are invaluable as you onboard and continually optimize the software.

  • Evaluate the level of customization allowed for workflows, forms, branding, and page design. Consider the various pricing models available and how easily the platform allows you to scale features.

  • Prioritize data security. Vet provider policies, technology, and procedures related to data encryption, access controls, compliance with privacy regulations, and backup practices.

  • Compare pros, cons, and tradeoffs across your top solutions. Weigh how each platform meets your must-haves and aligns with your long-term strategy. Focus on total value delivered and don't compromise on data security, support, and transparent policies.

  • Finalize vendor negotiations around pricing, contract terms, and agreements that maintain flexibility. Develop an implementation plan and designate team members to oversee software management and optimization.

  • Periodically review changing needs and new product features to take advantage of innovations and continuously enhance your event management capabilities.

Thoroughly assessing platforms against your specific requirements will pay dividends through optimized workflows, reduced administrative burdens, and more impactful events. Use this comprehensive guide of the top 20 event software features and capabilities to select a solution tailored to your organization's unique needs and goals. With the right event management software partner, you can elevate your events from time-draining administrative tasks to strategic drivers of organizational success.

event management software

Justin Veerasammy is a Software Support Specialist at Engineerica Systems, Inc. He works with clients to troubleshoot issues and helps them set up their cloud-based event management software - Conference Tracker. He is also a speaker for Accudemia Monthly Sessions, where he shares various tips and tricks to maximize the use of Accudemia. Justin holds a B.S. in Information Technology from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL.

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