Event-Project Management Power For The People
Event-Project Management Power For The People16-Nov-2016
Corporate-event marketers have two major pain points: managing the logistics of diverse multi-event portfolios and determining which events deliver the highest return on investment to the company. For them, events are morphing, moving targets that they have to bend to the will of their many masters—from the CMO to the Director of Sales to the business unit managers with the budget. There’s good news though. One software platform specializing in event-project management is focused on the person, not the process.
Managing The Pivots Of Corporate Event Marketing
The logistics around managing multiple corporate events and event types is complex. The to-do list for a user conference is different than the one for a trade show booth or a sponsorship execution. Most existing event-management platforms address the tasks of event planners as organizers. In other words, they work best when marketers plan events like conferences, meetings, or executive briefings. When the role changes from organizer to exhibitor to sponsor, few solutions can make the switch.
Choosing among event-management solutions has been daunting for corporate-event marketers. The category is huge. In addition to event-project management, it can also include registration and ticketing; conference, speaker, and abstract management; and trade show booth sales and online floor plan platforms. Event-project management software as a standalone product with features and capabilities designed specifically for corporate-event marketers is relatively new.
Finding Your Own Flavor Of ROI
ROI is a catchall concept. It means something different to every marketer. Even CMOs waffle on what metrics are really important. Plus, there is a difference between event ROI and the ROI from events. The former evaluates the performance of an event against event objectives. The latter pits the effectiveness of events against other marketing channels and alternatives for marketing spend. Most software platforms are in one camp or the other.
Calculating the types of returns on investment that CMOs want—proof that events contribute to brand awareness, sales, social media influence, or customer retention—is difficult. The components of ROI from events often come from different sources. The costs to produce or participate in events are tabulated in one database. The return is recorded in another, the CRM for example. So unless the event management platform integrates with other databases, its ability to provide such proof is limited.
People Vs. Process
EventGeek is an event-project management platform for corporate-event marketers with a nimble approach to measurement. “We have no set definition of ROI. We’ll integrate with a CRM, ecommerce, point-of sale purchases, website analytics, surveys, social media, or any component of an experiential activation because different companies have different needs at different times,” says Alex Patriquin, founder and CEO of EventGeek. He came up with the idea when he worked as a very busy corporate- event marketer managing a 50-event portfolio.
EventGeek is marketer-centric. It allows a corporate-event marketer to define the tasks required for a specific project and track its completion. It accommodates the marketer’s role as it changes from conference host to sales meeting travel planner to exhibitor. Users can import information from wherever it originates (email, FedEx tracking software, for example) and track indirect costs like shipping, printing, and travel. It gives marketers a dashboard to mix and match virtually any ROI components from other databases.
Most other event management platforms are process-centric. They focus on automating a process—registration, RFP submission, strategic meeting management program (SMMP) execution, seating plan development, etc.—as defined by industry standards. While these solutions are typically robust with dropdown menus and entire modules dedicated to accomplishing a single goal (managing a budget or deploying a survey, for instance), they can also be complex and relatively expensive.
A New Event Software Niche
EventGeek isn’t alone in the event project management category. Recent market entrants like EventCollab are also hoping to compete in the space. The platform’s emphasis on addressing the unique challenges of corporate-event marketers helps it stand out in a sea of similarly categorized event-management solutions. At a starting price point of $50 per month, EventGeek is very attractive for marketers who need to consistently pivot and constantly measure to keep their programs alive. Now they have software to call their own.