Technology for Planners | CEME


Event Technologies for Planners
For each technology available to event planners for planning events, and presenters and attendees
for making them audio/visual successes, there are dozens of manufacturers and suppliers.
Many technologies are available only online, others require the download of software and
hardware installation. With a bit of research, you should be able to find planning technologies
that fit your needs and budget, and event technologies that will blow your budget and
your guests’ minds, or give them an entirely fulfilling experience without breaking the
bank. Because there are thousands of options available,
and this video could easily be hours long, we’re going to essentially list the function
or functions, and features of one of many prominent offerings per category. This video
module is intended to give you a broad overview of event technology and a sound understanding
of what’s available within each technology category. At the end of the day, if you can
imagine it, it probably exists! Association and Member Management: If you
plan events for a membership organization, your event planning relies of full-functioning
association management software that is also capable of managing event registration for
members, assisting in their travel and accommodations planning, and much more. An online or software
package that handles membership association events will:
Offer multiple options for communication, including email, fax, and/or mail
Allow effortless collection of feedback on events
Enable easy communication between members Keep membership rosters and information current
Facilitate comprehensive planning and communication of meetings and events
Promote efficient processing of registrations and payments
Precisely time and control registrations for each event
Automate online registration Deliver detailed reporting of registration
and attendance Store of member and guest data for future
events Process multiple types of dues and track dues
status Perform invoicing and payment processing
Reduce paper and mailing costs Maintain a secure system while allowing access
to members Attendee Management/Registration: Most companies
that provide registration services sell both software and online services that provide
data security, and redundant backups; these packages are typically scalable to the size
of your planning operation and the events you manage. The registration process takes
place online and comprehensive packages offer: Easy online access
Online refund processing Auto-population registration forms
Flexible pricing options pricing based on attendee types, availability and promo codes
Instant credit card authorization and processing Support for substitutions and complete or
partial payments Automatic registrant confirmation emails
Automatic inventory control and messaging Group sales
Wait listing on sold out booking options Online check processing
Support for no-charge events Ability to save orders and return to complete
them, and alter completed orders Allows registrants to register for multiple
events at the same time Uses custom authentication process for members
and invitation-only events Has a gift card feature
Audience Polling/Interactive Response: The old-fashioned way of obtaining audience response
to your event works very well; just ask everyone to fill out exit surveys or respond to polls
at the end of each session or the event itself. Traditionally, if you run a good event, most
are happy to oblige. With the technology that’s available now, obtaining feedback is faster
and easier, and arguably more fun for the attendees. Some systems use interactive presentations
with keypads, kiosks, cell phones, internet sites and even your television. Regardless
of the type you choose, it should: Improve attentiveness
Increase knowledge retention Poll anonymously
Track individual responses Display polling results
Create an interactive and fun learning environment Confirm audience understanding of key points
Provide feedback key to future planning Gather data for reporting and analysis
Badge Making: Where once we had to hand write, type or print out name badges from our computers,
there are now all-in-one devices that take a photograph of the badge recipient, database
the attendees information and generate fully laminated badges that can be coded by type,
and bar-coded or information stripped for security access. Badges can be generated on-site
and online and include: Color coding
Bar coding Security strips
Color photographs Printing
Laminating Attendee databasing
Replacement cards Attendee authentication
Contact – Customer Relations Management or CRM: CRM software packages like Goldmine have
been around for many years; it is one of many databases that help you manage all of your
event related contacts from venues and suppliers to presenters and attendees, coded by specialty,
event or events attended and any other combination of qualifiers. These software packages help
you: Understand your customers
Increase user productivity Provide numerous reporting and analysis functions
Marketing Automation Improve marketing effectiveness
Convert leads to sales Perform campaign analysis
Sales Management Drive more revenue
Increase sales productivity Track sales potential
Leverage service center functionality for complete customer lifecycle support
Improve customer Provide optimal customer
Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Management/Destination Marketing: When you use CVBs and DMCs to plan
events, there’s a very good chance they are using this type of software to organize
information and readily and accurately respond to your inquiries. If you manage numerous
events in specific locales, it may be useful to you to utilize this type of software yourself
as it provides: Client Satisfaction Surveys
Complete Financials Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Document Management Economic Impact Measurement
Event Registration and Housing Lead Generation and Response Tracking
Lead Management and Distribution Marketing Campaign Tracking
Meeting Management Membership Management
Online Lead Generation Press Release and Publication Management
Property Calendaring Public Relations
Room/Bed Night Tracking Sales Opportunity Management
Tour Sales & Marketing Visitor Inquiry and Fulfillment
Event and Meetings Logistics Management: Event management software packages and online services
provide vital scheduling for events. If you manage many events or just one with many activities
and sessions, this type of software can save dozens of manpower hours by:
Maintaining your database Providing a seating and room setup design
planner Supplying a budget manager
Managing venue and supplier information Tracking multiple events
Developing the sessions, audio/video, food and beverage and handout
Managing your speakers, their requests, session assignments, hotel reservations, and travel
arrangements Developing custom online surveys and analyzing
feedback per event or per session Capturing proposed sessions from your speakers
using Sharing your program content through expedited
web publishing features Gathering, analyzing, exporting and sharing
your event information Being accessible online from anywhere 24/7
Exhibition and Tradeshow Management: These events require the management of the venue,
exhibitors needs, suppliers and attendees. There are a number of feature rich software
and online service providers that specialize in the complexities of planning and managing
trade shows, consumer shows and expos. These systems will offer all of the following features
and then some: Secure Online Registration
Secure Credit Card Payment Double Entry Book Keeping
Fully Customizable Forms Unlimited Custom Fields
Full Program Management Electronic Invitations/RSVPs
Accommodation & Travel Track Session Attendance
Personalized Itineraries Badges, Labels, Ticketing
Automated Check-in Import / Export any Data
Search & Report 100+ Built-in Reports
Exhibit Space Management Online Floor plans
Online Booth Selection Delegate Messaging System
Microsoft SQL Server Based Fundraising Events and Auctions: If your events
make money for causes or serves as a vehicle through which products are bought and sold,
you may want to source a foundation management software or fundraising software. These packages
are designed to categorize types of income, where it comes from and where it’s going.
Features include: Campaign Management
Contact Management Donor Management
Gift Management Relationship Management
Gifts and Giving Income and Expense Management
Budgeting Word Processing and Email
Groupings Reports
Tickle File Duplicate Checking, Custom Page and Export
File Merge, Import and Backup Sports, Golf and Tournament Events: Software
packages geared specifically to planning and managing sporting events and tournaments have
all of the features of event management packages we’ve already covered as well as:
Entering or importing essential information about participants
Tracking details, such as handicaps Tracking clothing sizes
Running multi-day events Assigning sponsorships and logos to teams
and locales Instantly producing signage, score cards,
fliers etc. Automatically producing start times
Generating scoring Posting scores
Managing events with fewer staff and volunteers Reporting accounting and statistical information
Generating special acknowledgements and thank you correspondence
Ensuring data integrity for logistics and attendees
Offering participant registration online Managing venue security accreditation
Managing protocol arrangements Handling VIP arrangements, including itineraries,
scheduling, and activity preferences Tracking hospitality arrangements
Housing, Hotel-Facility Management and Catering: If you work as an event manager for a hotel,
conference center or other venue, you will likely use a facility and catering management
software package that allows you to plan and manage multiple in-house events simultaneously.
This software provides: Management of single property or city-wide
inventories Room blocking and availability tracking
Sub-block management Highlighting of peak nights, minimum stays,
or rate differences Tracking of multiple bookings per guest
Variable room rates within the same reservation Cumulative history of original inventory,
adjustments, bookings and current availability Multiple arrival and departure dates for the
same rooms Fixed or variable cancellation mechanisms
Graphical reporting Confirmation statements that integrate registration,
hotel and accounting transactions Detailed price point breakdown of room rates
Check-box tracking of special requests Credit card verification and charging
Email confirmations Cross-referenced roommate reports
Registration and membership integration Incentive Meetings: If you plan events that
incentivize participation, you may want to use a software package that allows participants
to register online and choose and fulfill incentives while doing so. These packages
provide such services as: Branded, Online Member Rewards Website
Login from Member Portal Delivery of Instant Rewards at point of completion
Customizable Group Segmentation Mobile Communication Capabilities
Participant Tracking Dashboard, Reporting and Analytics
Online Redemption Center – merchandise, travel, gift cards, charities and much more!
U.S. and International Localization Mobile Technologies: RFID and Digital Signage:
There are a number of technologies in this category. They include:
Intelligent Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) with features such as:
Electronic Event Guide and Personal Scheduler Social Media and Attendee Networking with
Twitter and Event Mail Session Surveys and Conference Evaluations
Floor Maps and Exhibitor Information Tracking of attendance and duration in each
place or at each product Analysis of attendee interests and preferences
Continuing Education Units (CEU) tracking Tracking of expo and trade show booth visits
and duration by product Analysis of product interest by attendee type
Reporting of leads and visitors in real time Notification when a key prospect enters the
booth Analysis of the most valuable events
Creation of customizable lead qualification surveys
Digital signage which allows for: Always-relevant, up-to-date event info
Reinforcement of key messaging with dynamic multimedia content
Creation of a lasting brand impression by leveraging unique branding opportunities
Increasing sponsorship opportunities by letting exhibitors purchase space on show signage
Registration and Ticket Sales: Registration interfaces are integrated into most event
planning software packages, but they are also available as online services and enable:
Flexible Registration Forms Multi-Lingual Registration
Payment Processing Custom Pricing
Social Networking ROI Measurement
Security (i.e. e-sponder): These integrated solutions provide digital support to your
security team by providing: Email and pager notification
Telephone notification Short Message Service (text messaging) for
cell phone notification Validation of message receipt
Tracking of responses Visual mapping of existing and new data
Import data from compatible third party applications Scalability and scope, handling extensive
amounts of data Speaker Management: Whether you subscribe
to an online service or invest in a software package for speaker management that communicates
via the internet from your own server, you can database your speaker and presenter information
and fully automate: Contact information/Special requests
Faculty Agreement Waivers Disclosure Forms
Speaker Objectives Speaker Bio’s and CV’s
Travel Information Hotel Request
Ability to upload presentation slides Audio/Visual Needs
Choose your technologies based on an analysis of how much they can improve your performance,
guarantee accuracy and reduce man hours, hence investment. As your business grows, you’ll
probably need to scale up your technologies, so make sure you invest in systems that will
scale up with you, and are multi-platform friendly and not designed to be proprietary
or have built-in obsolescence. If you do your due diligence in listing your
technology needs and researching what’s available, you will be able to find technologies
that improve your events and the income you make from planning them.

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