Impact Publications : MICEBTN_66
MICEBTN - MARCH-MAY 2017 • Page 33 able to use them with a CRM like Salesforce or systems like eTouches, Experient or other industry databases. All the technologies work seamlessly together and deliver the data (and thus information) that’s useful to all stakeholders. The bottom line? At the end of the event, the organ- isers have access to all the information needed for post- event analysis and reporting and attendees have a great, easy, stress-free set of one- time procedures that maxim- ise the value of the event. Key questions to ask a pro- spective event technology partner include: Q1: What’s your niche? Many individual event technology vendors specialise in specific fea- tures. For example, several mobile app vendors strictly focus on social media sharing capabilities, so event content takes a back seat. Other application providers specialise in medical and scientific abstract management, while others only offer event registration software as an add-on service. But they all should have honed relationships with leading CRMs and industry databases to make integration a snap. Q2: How long have you been in business? More experience equates to better industry insights, which can benefit events. For example, if you’ve sold out your event and can’t add addition- al booth space, expert providers may be able to recommend ways to generate additional revenue and deliver a better experience for attendees. Q3: How is customer service handled? When you’re deep in your event prep and need help, it’s critical to know you’ll get the support you need – fast. What you want is a provider who offers dedicated customer service so your contact knows every detail about your event, your process- es and your goals – and your questions or concerns are rapidly addressed and resolved. Q4: How much can we do on our own? The days when only ‘large events’ used event technology are gone. The right partner helps scale busi- ness intelligence needs – wheth- er the event has 100, 10,000 or 100,000 attendees. Some providers have hard-to-use interfaces, or want payment for programmers to make any need- ed changes. Ask specifically what adjustments, formatting and chang- es you can make on your own. Ask about the on-boarding process. Many platform providers share best practices and ideas to make on-boarding easy. Q5: What key metrics and in- formation do you provide? Remember, the goal of BI is to acquire, analyse, transform and present raw data into meaningful and useful information. Ask potential providers questions to understand what you’ll have access to, such as: • What data is available instantly/in real-time? • What off-the-shelf reports exist versus what can be customised for us? • What new insights/future oppor- tunities does your system provide? Don’t forget to also ask these other important questions to un- derstand how you’ll work together: • Who’s in the team that will be working with our organisation? • What industry databases and CRMs have you developed APIs for? • Realistically, what should our implementation time frame be? • How do you handle privacy and data security? And remember, a partner who’s invested in your success will ask questions too. Understanding your overall goals, how you manage your data, and what you plan to do with your data ensures any busi- ness intelligence solutions will be a good match for your needs. Realising the BI benefits In today’s era of accountability, organisers need to know what’s working and what could be im- proved – not just for planning purposes, but also for attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and speak- ers. The best business intelligence insights come from an integrated platform – and it will cost less than using time and money manually integrating individual slices of ‘piecemeal’ data.