Every successful event relies on a combination of trustworthy vendors and choosing the right ones oftentimes can turn into a challenge. Because of the rapid changes in technology and the increasing amount of providers in the market, you can end up with too many options – some of them may offer the service that will fit your needs, others may not. These factors could make the search a little more complicated. Fortunately, there’s a way to streamline the entire process!
As an event management solution, we know all the critical aspects that you should take into consideration when choosing your onsite provider. So, we created a list of our top 5 best tips for choosing the best onsite provider:
1. Determine your needs and goals
The first thing to do as an event organizer is to brainstorm and come up with specific requirements that the provider should deliver for the event. But before doing that, you should ask yourself these questions: What are my current needs and goals? What do I expect from my onsite solution provider? Once you have an answer, you’ll see that listing your needs will be much easier.
Also, we strongly recommend having your requirements ready before reviewing proposals. Why is that? Well, by planning beforehand a solid list of conditions for the providers, it’ll be simpler to judge each one by rating how well those are met.
It’s always good to listen to the advice of professionals when taking an important decision. When reviewing the proposals, ask for recommendations along the way, so you can combine those with your own expertise and list of requirements. This is also a good indicator for you to see how experienced and skilled the providers are.
2. Compare your top solutions
After having a clear list of your needs and goals, you have to do some research to filter out the onsite solutions that meet your requirements, until you find the perfect fit. Of course, we know that looking around tons of providers can be a daunting task (and it takes a lot of time), especially if you’re an event organizer. So, the best way to narrow your options is to look into pages such as Capterra, event industry blogs, and other sites related to events to help you find the right solution.
When narrowing your options, take into consideration aspects such as reputation, years of experience, number of clients, type of solutions it provides, among others.
Moreover, having a checklist with your conditions helps speeding up the process, since you can immediately remove a company from your options if they’re missing a requirement. Another good way to filter them out is by rating the necessities you’re looking for in the software by importance, as one feature might be a nice wanna-have but not must-have. Once you have selected your favorite ones, you can compare all of them to see if there’s a solution that offers something different from the rest.
Here’s an overview of what you can usually expect from an “Onsite Solution” service provider:
- Badge Printing
- Attendee tracking
- Lead Capture
- Reporting and Analytics
- Mobile Event App
From the standard services that are offered, you need to find a provider that has a differential factor that could be more suitable for your event.
For example, one factor that separates us from other companies is that in Azavista we’re working on being the greenest provider by implementing biodegradable materials to products like badges, badge holders and lanyards, so they can be reused and recycled. If you’re interested in reducing the plastic impact at events, this solution could be the best fit. Is just a matter of looking for the right solution for your needs and goals.
3. Request multiple quotes
This is very important: don’t get a quote from just one provider! Even if you’re sure you’ll close the deal with a specific company, getting more than one quote is the best practice. Moreover, these quotes will serve as a benchmark for comparing providers in the future. Also, by looking at multiple vendors, you get a feeling for the standard industry prices.
In Azavista we offer tailored quotes for each one of our potential clients since we understand that their requirements and goals are unique, so the offer should go along those lines.
4. Go with your gut feeling
At the end of the day, you’ll be working with your selected provider before, during, and after your event, so take your time to weigh out all your options.
If you don’t feel confident with your choices, ask for more information, or go back to the list that you created and request different quotes from the providers. When you do find the best choice, you’ll know that’s the once, because it’ll feel right.
Once you have chosen the provider, don’t rush the process of closing the deal, since you might miss out some important details because you didn’t double-check that information. From our experience, we know that this type of deals take time so we try to have all the necessary calls and/or meetings with our potential clients until we find the best deal.
5. Set yourself up for success
Now that you have sealed the deal with your Onsite Solution Provider, it’s time to make sure your onsite experience goes seamless by delivering an outstanding attendee experience during the event. Before the event, you should know all the details about the Onsite Team that will be supporting you during the event. Services such as the check-in, badging, lead retrieval and more, should be explained and arrange with time.
In Azavista, we provide a conference team to support your onsite staff during the event, also, days before, we equip your team with proper training sessions. In addition, we help to ship, step-up, configure and test your onsite technology for the event.
Do you have other ways of selecting your onsite provider? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section!