Does the following scenario sound familiar? You find the latest and greatest event technology that is going to make your event planning so much easier and exciting, but a year after implementation it hasn’t, well, quite lived up to the hype. Maybe it wasn’t cost effective, attendees didn’t use it, it didn’t help improve your event ROI or it simply didn’t work. Regardless, you and your stakeholders are disappointed, and it’s back to the drawing board to find the next great solution. And repeat.
Finding the right event technology for your organization can be tricky, especially since every event’s needs are different and not every solution works for everyone. But when you come to the realization that it’s no longer working, one of two things likely happened: you selected the wrong event tech to begin with or you didn’t follow through with a proper implementation.
No matter the reason, if you take these steps, you’ll find yourself making better event tech decisions and therefore having more successful implementations (which equals to better events!).
Learn from your mistakes
Believe it or not, there is a silver lining to having a history of picking the wrong event technology solutions; you can learn what will work for you based on what didn’t in the past. Sit down and list your top event technology pain points, whether it was low attendee (or even staff) engagement, lack of customer support or lackluster customization options. Make sure to get input from all types of users and stakeholders, from management to the attendees themselves.
Knowing exactly what went wrong from a variety of perspectives can arm you with the knowledge of what to look for in your next event tech solution and with the right questions to ask during the sales process.
Drill down into your data
Along with a list of technology gripes, raw numbers also carry a lot of power. Remember that often costs or revenue isn’t always the strongest indicator of adoption success. Go beyond budget and price to find more specific issues that can help you better understand why your current solution isn’t working, such as wait times, attendance, traffic patterns, demographics, etc.
Don’t have robust reporting or data measuring tools? Then there lays a problem in of itself. It’s important to find solutions that allow you to analyze ROI over time, as well as your more immediate successes and failures in real time.
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Don’t stop training
Like I mentioned before, sometimes it’s not the product itself that went wrong, it was the implementation. With that being said, a couple training sessions before implementing a product is not always enough to ensure success. Instead of just learning the basics, aim to become an expert with your new event technology! That means routinely taking training sessions when new features are introduced or when you just need a refresher. Take it to the next level by registering for both product and industry webinars, attending user conferences or setting up regular check-ins with your account manager.
A good product will never stop changing or evolving with industry and client needs, so you should try to evolve alongside it by growing your knowledge base of the system.
Look for customization and scalability
Speaking of evolution, perhaps the two most important factors besides the actual functionality of your new event technology, is the provider’s ability to adapt along aside your organization’s growth in the years to come. When you’re talking to prospective providers, ask if the product can handle multi-events and events of different sizes. If there is a feature that isn’t quite meeting your needs, find out if they will work with you to create a customized experience or note how easy it is to add on or integrate other tools as you need them over time. It's these factors that will signal that this provider is one that will likely end up being a long-term partner with long-term event technology success.