Event planners already know that in general, they are overworked and have a stressful career. Countless studies and articles written in the past few years talk about this as if it is something new, something we have not already learned.
Every month there are articles detailing how meeting planners need to be more organized, learn how to multi-task (or learn how to avoid multi-tasking), to create efficient routines, to get enough sleep and exercise as well as how to effectively delegate and much more.
Much of what you read is common sense. Multi-tasking, handled poorly, will make you less efficient and create more work. Poor delegation of tasks will just make more work for yourself. Not getting enough sleep, not getting enough exercise…well you know where we are going with that.
But, what if your event technology is getting in the way?
What if your technology is making more work for you?
Many platforms in use today rely on technology dating back to 2005 or earlier. We all know about technology that makes you open up one attendee record at a time, close one event before you can open another, and if you are running a couple of reports, well, you might as well go out for a cup of coffee.
If that describes your work day, then it’s no wonder you are just a little bit stressed out!
The challenge of getting attendees to sign up for your events has always been a part of the meetings business. Nothing new there.
It used to be fine to send out postcards. But then, the Internet happened.
Then, it became standard to send out email invitations and build an event website.
But then, Social Media happened.
Today, meeting planners are faced with either jumping into the world of social media or risk getting left behind.
Today’s meeting and event attendees are more and more inclined to be connected on many different social media platforms. Even attendees who didn’t grow up in the social media revolution have adapted.
According to Facebook, out of its 1,590 million users (as of April 2016), more than 60% of adults ages 50-64 use Facebook on a regular basis.
Younger generations? Usage approaches up to 85%.
So, let’s burst that myth that only Millennials and Gen Xers use Facebook, Twitter and all those other social media platforms.
That’s really good news for today’s meeting planners.
Meeting planners and PCOs organize and run meetings. That’s what they do!
Associations and non-profits also organize and run meetings – that is just one of many things that they do! They also have to manage their membership, such as signing up members, managing renewals and much more.
There are many association management systems in use that also offer event management functionality. However, most of these registration modules are afterthoughts – their focus has always been on the tools and processes to manage a membership. Event management in membership platforms is typically costly and lacks features found in more robust meeting management solutions.
Which brings us back to meeting planners and PCOs.
Many PCOs and meeting planners often work for associations and other non-profit groups. In many circumstances, the database of members and the database of event attendees can often be the same. Why not involve meeting planners in association and membership management?
There are many reasons why this is a fantastic fit for both…
Seattle, Washington – March 29, 2017
Centium Software, publisher of the award-winning event management platform EventsAIR, announced the release of a major enhancement to the Organizer App that is part of the EventsAIR platform.
The EventsAIR Organizer App, which is accessible to an event organizing team as an Apple or Android app, has a revolutionary feature – the ability to operate the app in offline mode. Event Organizers can choose which data they wish to save locally, allowing them to perform dozens of onsite tasks even if they lose Internet connectivity.
“We know how critical it is for organizers to be able to manage hundreds of onsite tasks and jobs from a cloud-based smart device.” said Trevor Gardiner, CEO of Centium Software. “Now, the EventsAIR Organizer App is even more powerful with the ability to operate even if you lose Internet connectivity.
You can instantly switch to your locally stored data and operate essential tasks such as managing run sheet activities, checking people into sessions or functions and viewing reports. When you regain Internet connectivity, you can instantly switch back to the cloud without any interruption in the app. Everything stays synchronized and operational.”
We’re a cloud-based industry, that’s for sure!
There’s a lot of statistics and reports out there pointing out that anywhere from 75% to 95% of the event industry now operates in the cloud.
It’s a given that there’s a huge upside to operating in the cloud – the real time and collaborative nature of the cloud allows technology platforms to provide services and functionality that were unheard of just a few years ago.
But what happens if you have opened onsite registration at your biggest event of the year and you experience an Internet slow down or outage? It’s not like you can close the doors for a few hours!
Like any new industry, smart event planners are figuring out how to take care of business and plan for the unexpected.
One useful trick is bringing in your own router equipped with a 3G/4G sim card installed. Use it as the main access point between the venue’s Internet connection and your onsite systems. Hopefully nothing disastrous ever happens, but if there was an outage, your router will automatically switch to the mobile data service via your sim card.
That way, badges can be printed, attendees can still check in and you can still run reports and take care of business.
Melbourne Australia – February 21, 2017 – At the 2017 Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), Centium Software, publisher of the award winning event management platform EventsAIR, announced the release of the EventsAIR Continuity Server.
The first ever product of its type released to the meetings industry, the EventsAIR Continuity Server is an innovative new technology that constantly synchronizes an offline version of the event database that is being served by the cloud. If a slowdown or outage occurs, the Continuity Server automatically switches to the offline version and allows event check-in, badge printing and many other critical services to continue without interruption.
When the Internet connectivity is restored, the EventsAIR Continuity Server re-synchronizes all data back to the cloud so all operations continue in real time.
It’s an exciting time to be a meeting planner!
Meetings technology has been rapidly evolving, driven by dramatic growth in cloud computing, mobile devices, and moved along by the parallel growth in the overall world of technology.
Every month, meeting organizers are being bombarded with all types of new tech to consider! Every month there is a blog or magazine article talking about what is new, what is coming and what is on the horizon in meetings technology.
We’re all talking and discussing things like augmented reality, body heat mapping, the Internet of Things, beacon technology, wearable devices, event intelligence, and that oldie but goodie, virtual meetings.
It’s exciting, it’s fun, and it has great potential to make our meetings more effective, efficient and less costly. What’s not to like?
The short answer is while there is a lot to like, there’s a lot of reasons to exercise some caution!