What to look for in live event management software from Haven Nexus, to Bizzabo, CVent, EventBrite and Event Ready.
As publishers have struggled with print revenues during the last 10 years, many have turned to live events as an additional revenue stream. As a strategic extension of a publishing brand, events make a lot of sense. Publishers, especially niche newsletters and magazines, have always been good at developing an audience around a shared interest, so why not leverage that into a meeting, roundtable, conference or expo?
And despite our seemingly ever-increasing digital interconnectedness, live events still have a lot of appeal for almost any audience. No matter how good the digital tools get people still value networking and learning that comes from face-to-face meetings and talking with people who share their interests or concerns.
Live events also offer your audience a better look at you and your multiplatform publishing team. What better way to build your credibility in the marketplace than by displaying how smart you all are in a live situation? Your staff can learn more about your audience as well, leading to better content and more loyal customers.
But deciding live events are a good idea is just the first step. The backend operations of an event need to be managed just like the publishing part of your business. You need to create a budget, plan an agenda, recruit speakers, choose a location and secure it, develop pricing, create and execute a marketing plan, manage registrations and then execute the event as flawlessly as possible.
Given all that, what’s the right type of event for your audience? Most people will think of a conference, with keynote speakers, learning tracks and evening activities, but that isn’t the only option. Some markets lend themselves to smaller roundtable events, where a select group of participants can exchange ideas and get to know each other. Smaller events means smaller costs (and revenue), but often can create a higher margin.
Whether you are running 25-person roundtables or conferences and expos with hundreds of attendees, you need a system to collect funds, send confirmation emails, help with online check-in, manage different prices for early-bird pricing and track attendee information.
Mequoda’s live event management software: Haven Events
To help publishers properly execute and monetize live events, Mequoda created the Haven Events module as an integral part of our proprietary customer experience management system, Haven Nexus CXMS . We understand what it means to conceive, market and manage events, and have built a tool to help publishers maximize their revenue opportunities.
For marketing purposes, the system includes event display functionality. This display manager establishes the categories and templates necessary to support an event schedule and associated information such as dates, location, pricing and event schedule.
The system also includes complete order flows, so publishers can offer early bird dates and associated pricing. The system accepts credit card and purchase order payments, as well as group pricing. The administrator can register multiple attendees, and automatically assign discounts to registrations that qualify.
The system also is completely integrated with other Mequoda best practices. For example, when someone registers for an event, they also register for the free email newsletter that is part of the publisher’s email capture program. These registrants will now receive regular content-based emails that keeps them engaged and much more likely to spend money with the publisher.
As part of its logistics function, the system collects the appropriate attendee data needed, such as badge name, name is it will appear on a certificate, dietary restriction information, and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The administrator can set a maximum number of attendees, or set a date by which registration will end. Customer service also can receive a notification if any custom orders are made.
Once the order is completed, the Haven Events module helps manage many of the customer service functions needed. For example, the operator can lookup registrations by last name, company name, email or event name.
Haven Events can handle cancelled registrations and confirmation emails, send copies of receipts, and send email reminders to attendees at specified periods (e.g., two weeks before, one week before), and record who attended an event and who was a no-show.
For metrics purposes, the system provides source code tracking, as well as email performance so publishers can optimize marketing efforts. The module also records and reports total revenue per event, as well as weekly and annual revenue reports.
Other à la carte live event management software systems
If you are not using Haven Events, choosing the right event management system begins with documenting your specific needs. That’s because different systems provide different levels of support based on event type. Some of the more popular systems include Bizzabo, CVent, EventBrite and Event Ready.
Make sure whatever system you choose supports your goals and is easy to use. Many systems will look good on a vendor’s website, but you might be required to build an interface yourself.
It’s easy to get caught up in something like the number of features a system offers, but how necessary is each feature for your particular needs? How well does it truly work? Remember that quality can trump quantity for critical services.
Finally, make sure you have some level of live support. If you run into problems when event registration has started, you’d like to be able to speak to a live person to solve your problem quickly.
Haven Nexus is built with efficiency in mind
Haven Nexus CXMS is a state-of-the-art SaaS content management, content marketing, and content publishing tool—built, owned and maintained by Mequoda—to enable all the functionality that multiplatform publishing businesses need to be successful and profitable.
Unlike retrofitted websites with disparate systems that make customer service and reporting more difficult, Haven Nexus gives you a complete, central database that informs your marketing decisions and helps you maximize the lifetime value of each subscriber. We manage all the infrastructure, so you never have to look under the hood.
We’ve even identified the best partners so you don’t have to research software, email, hosting, and other functions on your own, or take stabs in the dark. When you put your system management into the hands of the industry’s only strategy-centric provider, your organization reaps the benefits of stress-free technology, content-focused implementation and ongoing profitability.
Schedule a 30-minute complimentary consult with Mequoda’s founder Don Nicholas to learn more about Haven Nexus.