For most of my marketing career I’ve worked in the high-tech sector, managing events and campaigns for software solutions that help Sales, Support, HR, Operations, and IT teams work more efficiently. It seemed ironic that I spent so much time marketing software solutions that improved productivity for almost everyone except the marketing team. It was an ongoing joke with my colleagues. We felt a bit of jealously at the advance systems and tools available to these other teams. Seeing the robustness and customization options of ERP, CRM, etc. we wanted similar (but less complicated) tools for events and campaigns.
Is marketing automation enough?
Then along came marketing automation in the form of Responsys, Eloqua, and HubSpot. These are great tools and we’ve enthusiastically adopted them to take advantage of their ability to improve engagement, lead generation, and reporting. But while these tools are great for digital campaigns, none of them really adequately supports events. Marketing automation is great for email nurturing, website tracking, and social media integration. It can help with some event promotion, but not for organizing and improving event engagement.
Although our buyers and the buying process have become increasingly digital, for most of us B2B marketers, face-to-face is still a critical part of strong relationships with potential buyers and with our customers. Events take up an important part of our time and budget. Now that we have Modern Marketing in the form of automation, isn’t it time for Modern Event Management?
Defining modern event management
At a time when our audience has so many engagement options and increasingly less available time, it’s more challenging to get participants to sign-up for events. We’re constantly trying to do more with less and need a tool that can adequately support us. Modern event management should ideally allow us to:
- More efficiently manage logistics like venue searches and supplier procurement
- Track and plan all event details across internal and external resources
- Drive higher attendance, improving engagement and reporting
- Quickly and easily create or duplicate registration pages with options for payment, breakout sessions, etc.
- Manage and report on budgets and ROI
- Provide analysis (on venue options, event dates, audience reach, etc.) that helps us plan successful events
- Integrate with existing systems like marketing automation and CRM
Event management technologies, like Azavista’s platform have begun to emerge in the past several years. Some solutions focus on a particular purpose – like an event app or online venue search tools. But true modern event management should be end-to-end.
Just the beginning
At Azavista we are continuously evolving our SAAS platform based on feedback from our customers. We’ve recently improved our event app and added options for paid events. So yes we do believe the time for modern event management has come but we look at it as a path with continuous opportunities for improvement. And we welcome input from event managers and conferences planners on what they consider more critical in an event management platform.