While CRMs for events are strong in some areas, they significantly lack in others. In order to pick the right software for your business, you need to understand your options and compare those to your desired outcomes.
There are two popular ways to incorporate a CRM system into your event management strategy. You can choose:
A CRM for events built with a full suite of event promotion tools, like event marketing via email or social media campaigns, as well as standard data and analytics features.
An event guest management platform that enhances the guest experience and integrates into an existing CRM to leverage attendee data and analytics.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both, and it ultimately depends on what you’re looking to gain from the technology.
CRMs for events
- CRMs can generate compelling event data, analytics, and reports with regard to registrations, website clicks, detailed attendee information, and more.
- They can easily automate marketing efforts for attendees to help your team to qualify and nurture new and existing leads while saving them valuable time.
- CRMs focus more on data and analytics and less on event logistics and operations.
- Many CRMs do not have all of the tools that event managers and planners need to run a successful event or operation.
Event management platforms integrated with CRMs
- These platforms tend to offer highly specialized tools that focus on event operation specifics, such as online invitations, seating charts, event check-in, synced stakeholder portals, and more.
- They also boast powerful integrations and APIs that allow information from many tools to sync together to create a robust platform, uniting the best of both worlds in one experience.
- Because you are using more than one tool, it may be harder to keep track of your information and tasks across several platforms.
- The integration may not give you access to all of the CRM tools, leaving you in need of a more robust integration or to use a separate CRM tool for other needs.
If you don’t have any CRM at all, or have a CRM that does not have event-specific functionality, it’s certainly worth weighing the pros and cons of each choice.
In determining which option works best for you, the first and most important step is to evaluate your pain points and needs.
If your highest objective is to streamline event check-in, you should focus your research on event management tools that can help you optimize that process. From there, search for CRMs that your new tool integrates with, and make sure the CRM has all of the basic functionality you need for collecting, organizing, and automating data.
However, if your biggest pain point is leveraging event data to generate new, qualified leads and automate communication with them, then it may be worth researching CRMs for events first. As a second objective, you can search for the event management platforms that the CRM has existing integrations with, or ask if they are able to build a custom integration specifically for your agency. You may end up with one CRM that integrates or connects with several event tools to complement its functionality and suit your needs.
Let’s dive deeper into how CRMs for events, whether standalone or integrated with event management platforms, can help your event management business.