There are big changes on the horizon and event technology is going to see some serious innovation in 2017. Event management software vendors are stepping up their game as the market consolidates.
2016 has been a fruitful year for event planners, but has also been wrought with lots of changes and challenges for event technology. While more and more event planners are embracing technology, the process has been anything but seamless. Event technology companies have dwindling marketing budgets and are trying to reach the most amount of planners in the least amount of time.
I witnessed a number of event tech companies close shop in 2016, but also saw a trend in event management companies restructuring to save cash. This is not a bad thing for customers.
When vendors consolidate, the overall quality of products increases, we can see that now in event management software.
While trends are always hard to accurately predict, here are a few things I see for event management platforms in 2017, based on my conversations with professionals in the field and what I’ve observed with the evolution of event technology companies in 2016.
Event planners use many tools throughout a single day – from task management to email management to registration platforms and on-site event platforms. We are constantly logging in and out of systems, importing and exporting data, and trying to make sense of systems that were not designed to work together.
As technology becomes more attuned to our needs, we will see more and more seamless event planning platforms be created.
This is a great opportunity for event planners to use a single platform to manage the logistics of planning, the on-site technology and even the post event data collection and analysis.
There are a few companies already currently in the market doing this well, but this is a huge need for event planner so I expect we will see iterations of the current solutions with increased functionality as well as the birth of new companies occupying this space.
An alternative to a single platform to address all of an event planners needs is a group of companies that decide to work together. They open their API, ie: enable other coders to collaborate with them. It’s a way for data to flow seamlessly from one platform to another so that there is less cumbersome planner user experience.
As companies decide to not just build their own solutions, but collaborate with solutions that manage other parts of the process, event planners will find more useful event management software products.
An example of this is when a registration company allows their data to easily flow into a mobile app companies environment. Registrations are automatically updated in the app which allows a user to register one time and already have their information and all other platforms.
From a planner’s perspective, it limits the heavy lifting that comes with importing and exporting and cleaning of data that we are so used to having to manage.
Data Management and Integration
Data is a growing need in our industry – collecting it, owning it, making sense of it, and analyzing it to make business decisions.
One of the best things about event management software is that as it becomes more integrated, so does our data. Information becomes easier to collect, analyze, and manage; cleaner data is a win for everyone in the industry.
Event planners can more accurately identify influencers in their audience, make decisions about and monitor audience behavior to deliver a richer guest experience. Sponsors get more in-depth information about the people who attend the event they support. Speakers get more in-depth information on the effectiveness of their content and presentation style.
In short, data is something that gives us great power on all sides of the event planning process and we would do well to harness it and make it accessible to all stakeholders.
I’m very excited to see all the changes that 2017 will bring to event management. The work that we do as event planners is nuanced enough, and I’m excited about the possibilities of having a more efficient and effective system that allows us to produce better work for our clients and audience(s) in a more concentrated window of time.
WRITTEN BY LIZ KING
Liz King is founder of TechsyTalk, a platform for event professionals to explore technology. Liz is one of the industry’s acclaimed social media experts and a regular guest author on zkipster’s blog.