When the Magic is Gone…How to Break Up with Your Meetings Technology Partner!

november-imageIt’s been a great run.

You’ve been with your registration and meeting management technology partner for quite a few years. At first, it was exciting and productive. For the first time, you were able to collect registrations online, manage their details, run reports and even do things like print name badges and export to Excel!

You were giddy with the riches your technology partner offered.

Even when they started asking you to sign multi-year contracts to get preferred per-person registration fees, you didn’t mind. You were going to be with them forever!

Even when your meeting planner business grew, and your costs continue to grow with no end in sight, you sighed and simply tried to the make the best out of it.

However, one day you woke up and realized that the magic was gone.

You noticed that their web pages and registration sites didn’t look so hot any more (when viewed on smart phones and tablets).

You start feeling a bit taken for granted, like they just assumed you will keep signing those long term contracts and not complaining about it.

When the whole world had embraced cloud technology, smart devices, apps and lots of cool ways to increase productivity and provide exciting new technology, you simply were stuck with the same old browser-based interface and cumbersome work flows.

You started fantasizing about what it would be like to be with someone different. But how to go about breaking up with your meetings technology partner?

Cloud technology is driving costs down in a dramatic fashion. If you aren’t seeing your technology fees drop, maybe it is time to check out something new!

Step one is where you go out and research what’s new in the marketplace. Before you make a change, you need to know what’s out there and where you want to go in finding your new technology partner.

Today’s state-of-the art technology offers many advantages:

  • Responsive web design so your web pages, email communications and registration sites are properly sized and restructured to operate perfectly on smart phones, tablets and computers.
  • Secure, state-of-the-art cloud environment with best-of-class security and PCI Compliance.
  • Integrated native mobile apps for your attendees and internal organizer teams (even better, at no additional cost!)
  • Built-in app stores with advanced functionality such as exhibitor lead retrieval, meeting matching, audience live polling, group management onsite check-in portals and more.

Perhaps do a side-by-side comparison of services and functionality, and see if your current technology partner can keep up or is simply falling further and further behind as the months pass by.

Many technology companies are offering ways to help you transition from your existing technology partner so you can more easily transition to a newer technology. It would be quite prudent to allow for period of time where you are using both your current and new technologies as you transition from your old to your new solution. Event dates can overlap, and you want to be sure you aren’t putting up roadblocks to the successful transition of your events!

When you are researching a switch in technology, you should always allow for six to nine months of transition time. This allows for using both technologies during a transition window and allows you time to evaluate and work out new processes for your team.

Finally, do some research on the cost structure and contract lengths from your new technology partner. The trend is definitely moving away from long multi-year contracts and per-person registration fees. These pricing strategies make your existing technology vendor a lot of money, but absolutely are not in your best interest. Today’s cloud technology is moving far too fast for you to be locked in a multiple year contract, and per-person registration fees is a pricing model best left to the previous century.

No break up is easy, and no transition will be seamless and perfect. With a little planning and structure, you will be able to successfully transition to a newer technology platform, and in the end, you will come out stronger, happier and far more productive.

In the world of meetings technology, whoever said “Til Death do you Part” never encountered today’s rapid changes in technology. It’s quite OK to break up with your current technology partner if the magic has truly gone away.

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