EventTech doesn't solve problems
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
EventTech provides an exciting landscape of possibility. Especially now, so many EventTech companies are building, refining, and updating tools to make the work we do as event planners even easier. There is a tool to manage really anything. Event organizers can use sophisticated platforms that help you collect and report on data in one place, measure your performance towards goals, track registration trends, better understand how your marketing performs, organize attendee information and complicated logistics (hotel, travel, ground transportation, seating assignments, groups, event roles, etc.). EventTech IS awesome, but EventTech alone won’t solve your planning problems.
You can’t use technology to fix problems resulting from misalignment on your team; outdated, repetitive, or broken processes; a lack of data; inexact marketing tactics; imprecise messaging and positioning; stakeholder engagement (or lack of), and so on. If your solution automates processes, you must first craft a sound process before you can automate it. If you’re investing in a platform with sleek marketing capabilities, it won’t fix a messaging issue. If you are enticed by advanced reporting capacity, you must first define the questions you want to answer with the data you collect. Then identify the metrics you want to report on and make sure you capture the data needed to create the report. Before you even start to look at a solution you must have a very clear understanding of what your problem really is.
I really love to borrow some tools from the school of Lean Methodology. These two problem solving tools, 5 whys and Fishbone Analysis, help you to clarify your problem so you can then find an appropriate solution. Very rarely can technology step in to solve all your #planningproblems.
Once you really know what your problem is, you can begin to map out a solution. This will help you better understand what you need, what you want, and what is just nice to have. Make sure everyone involved in the decision making process is aligned as to what you are looking to accomplish and what you are solving for. I highly recommend including junior team members (or those who will be spending a lot of time in the system doing the actual work) in the decision making process. They can give you incredible insight into the ease of working with a platform and provide candid feedback.
Do your research when selecting a technology partner. Review as many as possible but get proposals and demos from at least three. When engaging with companies, pay attention to their ability to answer questions. Ask if they will give you a test account to test drive the tool yourself. Any technology partner worth having will be invested in your success and want you to try before buying.
Weigh your options carefully. Look at cost, service, ease of getting help and support, and DIY training and problem solving resources. All of these things are important when it comes to working within the platform on a regular basis and being able to do what you need to.
Make sure you are prepared to take the steps necessary to fully utilize whatever tool you invest in. Approach the rollout strategically and methodically. Implement a formal change management methodology. Once you do purchase a tech solution, whether it’s an Event Management Platform, Event App, or Virtual Event Platform, you will have your work cut out for you in terms of onboarding your team, training everyone, and getting them to work within new processes on the platform.
Technology isn’t a silver bullet but it has the potential to unlock brilliance for you, your team, and your audience. Proceed with caution, and optimism!
What Event Technology solutions have you rolled out successfully? What worked? What could be improved?