Believe it or not, there is not one software package in the marketplace today that can handle your entire event needs from registration to attendee session tracking. And while many meeting planners focus on the front part of the meeting process (i.e. registration, revenue and overall budget flow), there is often no connection between the revenue collected and the total attendee experience.
To illustrate this point, I recently attended a one-day seminar where the event host’s mobile app was a requirement of the meeting. However, there was no tie back to determine if I had registered for the event, other than the badge I wore around my neck. I could have wondered in off the street for all the technical helpers knew.
This post will focus on what an end-to-end system should look like, why it is important to meeting planners and who is working toward a comprehensive solution.
End-to-End Automation Components
A strategic meeting automation system will have the following:
- Complete meeting budget
- Negotiated savings on each contract
- Contract history
- Price per attendee
- Year-to-year budget and price per attendee comparisons
- Vendor management
- Attendee registrations
- Compliant provisions
- Attendee tracking – including what sessions they attend and how long they stay in each one
- Audience surveys
- Social sharing through video wall rentals
The truth of the matter is, the top 7 items are very analytic-oriented and are usually carried out on a desktop before the conference, while 8-12 are generally delivered through staffer verifications, mobile meeting apps, smart badges or RFID-enabled floor mats at the event.
Meeting Planners: It’s a Matter of Meaningful Metrics
“Meetings give off intense volumes of data. However, combing through that data to get to meaningful metrics is a daunting task that the industry is grappling with overall,” stated Kevin Iwamoto, Senior Consultant at GoldSpring Consulting.
Mike Mason, Vice President of Sourcing and Hospitality Solutions at etouches concurs. “Meeting organizers have no idea how to pull the data out and make decisions from it. However, it’s our job to deliver that intelligence.”
With the right end-to-end automation solution, big data and AI can work together to deliver measurable, actionable results that can impact all twelve areas listed above without human bias or employee resources needed to crunch the numbers.
The Players to Watch
The following organizations are working toward end-to-end solutions that either will be modules within their software solution (think SAP) or a collaborative, partnership effort to deliver a seamless end-to-end solution for planners.
As of today, here are the 4 organizations to watch:
Cvent: Their meetings management software solution helps increase visibility, drive compliance, and save costs in one end-to-end platform. They have a strong solution on the front end, but recognize they need to improve upon attendee tracking and engagement deliverables.
etouches: Their solution includes most of the 12 items listed above but do not deliver on an easy way to draw conclusions from the data. They are working on an AI component to help planners in this arena.
DoubleDutch: This mobile app focuses in items 7-12 listed above and are known extensively for the mobile meeting experience. Infused with $45 million in venture capital monies, their focus is to deliver on items 1-6 and integrate the results through their own solution or partnering with another company.
Event Tech Tribe: These are 6 event app providers that have chosen to work together to bring the event professional an end-to-end solution. They connect their solutions in a way that's totally seamless but also allows a “pick and choose” capability if the planner does not require all six apps.
Hartford Technology Rental Has Hardware for End-to-End Automation
No matter which solution you choose, your event will still require everything from tablet rentals to video walls. Give us a call at 800-520-5667 to learn more about all our offerings and the many ways we can make your event planning easier using technology.