Planning and executing events can be a daunting task, and having the right event management platform can make all the difference. However, what happens when you realize your current event management software vendor is no longer meeting your needs?
Switching event management systems can be a challenging and time-consuming process, but it can also lead to improved efficiency and better results for your events. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips for effectively switching event management software to ensure a smooth transition and successful event planning.
Top 6 Reasons To Switch Event Management Software
In our fast-changing digital world, event management is also trying to be as innovative and efficient as possible. Bizzabo’s 2023 State of in-person B2B conferences report revealed that 67.4% of organizers are either switching or planning to switch their event software vendors within the next year, underscoring the dynamic nature of this industry. Here are some of the reasons organizers submitted as to why they’re switching:
- Poor user experience
- Want to reduce costs and time
- Better reporting and analysis
- Better performance and scalability
- Price, product functionality, and roadmap
Let’s look deeper at the top five reasons we saw repeated repeatedly among our 1,700+ event organizer respondents.
1. Your software is outdated.
If your current event management software is stuck in the past, switching becomes imperative. An outdated event platform may lack critical security updates and modern features, exposing your events to potential risks. Upgrading to a contemporary solution ensures you stay ahead of technological advancements, providing a secure and efficient platform for seamless event execution.
2. You’re missing key features.
Modern platforms offer a range of functionalities, from advanced analytics and marketing automation to integrated attendee engagement tools. If your current partner is not providing the features and functionality you require, it may be time to switch. Switching allows organizers to fill the void left by missing features, ensuring a more comprehensive and efficient event planning process.
To delve deeper into the essential features you might be missing out on, check this out: “32 Must-have Event Management Software Features.”
3. You’ve simply outgrown your current software.
As your organization grows and your events become more complex, you may need a more robust solution to handle your evolving needs. Upgrading to software that can handle more significant events, more attendees, and advanced features can help you streamline your event planning process.
We heard from a few companies in our survey who had built their own in-house solution, which is no longer effective long-term, so they plan to switch. Sound like you?
We have a custom event management system but are planning to move to an externally hosted event management platform.
4. Your software’s customer service is bad — or nonexistent.
If you have experienced difficulties in getting timely and effective customer service or support from your current vendor, consider switching. A partner that values customer satisfaction and provides excellent support can significantly enhance your event management experience.
Plus, poor customer service can trickle down to attendees and destroy the attendee experience — making your company look bad and leaving the software vendor slinking into the shadows.
5. You need to save money on your event software.
One of the leading reasons to switch event management systems is the potential for cost savings. In our survey, we received many free-response answers to why event organizers were switching event management software, including the following: “The price of our current software is too high, and we want to reduce costs” and “I need more efficient and budget-friendly software.”
Outdated systems may come with hidden costs or lack transparent pricing models. Switching to a more modern platform, such as Bizzabo, often allows organizers to choose packages tailored to their needs, providing clarity on costs and potentially reducing overall expenses. Plus, when you switch software, it allows you to negotiate the price. For example, some companies can get a reduced software rate in exchange for the promise of a case study, participation in the brand’s podcast, or the opportunity to sponsor an event.
6. You want the latest, greatest, and most innovative event software.
All of these reasons make sense in today’s economic environment — they’re the practical reasons — but another reason for switching caught our eye:
We’re always looking to stay ahead of the curve and to be a trendsetter in the market.
Yes, costs and time-savings are clutch when choosing the right event software partner, but if you’re trying to outshine the competition and pull in more attendees to your event, it’s all about innovation. Today’s attendees are more picky than ever about what events they’ll attend — and companies are cutting travel budgets left and right.
Suppose you’re looking for event software that embraces innovative technology like high-tech wearables. In that case, it’s time to switch from your outdated software to a company that is at the cutting edge of event technology.
The Biggest Challenges Event Planners Face When Switching Software
Switching to a new event management software can be a pivotal moment for any event planning team, but it often comes with challenges. From the complexities of data migration and the learning curve associated with new tools to ensuring seamless integration with existing systems and managing costs, each aspect is crucial for a smooth transition. Understanding these challenges is the first step toward a successful software transition, which ensures that your events continue to run smoothly and efficiently.
Migrating Data and Data Loss
Migrating from old to new event software poses the inherent risk of data loss. Valuable attendee information, historical event data, and intricate details meticulously stored in your existing system may be susceptible to corruption or oversight during the transfer.
Another potential issue that event planners may face when switching software vendors is compatibility issues between the old and new event software. Different software partners may have different file formats and data structures, making it difficult to transfer the data seamlessly. It is essential to carefully evaluate the compatibility of the old and new platforms before switching.
Addressing the Challenge of Change Management
The time and effort required to train staff on a new event management system can vary depending on the complexity of the software and the proficiency of your team members. It is crucial to allocate sufficient time for training sessions and provide comprehensive resources such as user guides, video tutorials, and hands-on practice. By investing in proper training, you can ensure your team members have the necessary skills to effectively use the new software.
We just ran our conference with a new vendor. It was hard. I need at least one year of familiarity before trying something new again.
Even when you offer training on the new event management system, you may encounter resistance to change from some team members. Change can be difficult for individuals accustomed to working with specific software or developing workflows around it.
To address this, it’s crucial to communicate the benefits of the new system and involve your team members in the decision-making process. Encourage open dialogue and support during the transition period to help alleviate any concerns or resistance.
Integrating with Other Tools
When thinking about switching to a new event management software vendor, be sure to carefully check and make sure that the new software works well with all the tools and platforms you are currently using.This ensures a seamless integration and avoids potential disruptions in your event management processes.
Tackling Cost Implications
Hidden costs associated with switching event management software vendors can often catch businesses off guard. Although the initial cost of the new software may seem reasonable, you should consider several additional expenses.
One of the main hidden costs is the training required for your team to effectively use the new software. Switching to a different event management system may require your staff to learn new features and functionalities. This could involve investing time and resources in training sessions or hiring external trainers to help your team transition.
Another potential hidden cost is the need for additional modules or add-ons. Although the basic event planning software package may meet your immediate needs, you may require additional features to fully utilize the software’s capabilities. These may come at an extra cost, and it’s essential to consider these expenses when evaluating the overall cost of switching partners.
In addition to training and additional modules, there may be other hidden costs associated with switching event management software vendors. These could include data migration fees, customization fees, or support fees. Take the time to thoroughly research and understand the pricing structure of the new software to avoid any unexpected costs.
Avoiding Software Downtime
During the transition to a new event management software vendor, it’s possible to experience disruptions to your event planning and execution. These disruptions can occur due to a variety of factors, such as the learning curve associated with the new software, potential technical issues, and the need to adjust processes and workflows to fit the new system.
5 Tips for a Smooth Event Management Software Transition
Transitioning to a new event management software is more than just a technical switch; it’s a strategic move requiring careful planning and execution. This section offers five key tips to facilitate a seamless transition, ensuring minimal disruption and optimal use of the new system.
1. Conduct Thorough Research
Do a detailed assessment of the compatibility between the new event planning software and your existing tools. Identify potential integration points, data exchange requirements, and necessary adjustments to ensure a cohesive operational environment.
2. Plan the Transition in Advance
Switching event management software vendors is not a task that can be done overnight. It requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a smooth transition. Start by creating a timeline for the switch and setting realistic goals and deadlines.
It’s also essential to communicate with your team and any stakeholders involved in the event planning process. Let them know about the switch and how it will affect their roles and responsibilities. This will help avoid any confusion or disruptions during the transition.
3. Backup All Data
Before canceling your current software subscription, export all your data. This includes attendee lists, event details, and any other information you have stored in the software. This data will be needed to set up your new software and ensure a seamless transition.
4. Involve Your Team
Determine who will be directly involved in using the new event software. This could include event planners, registration managers, marketing coordinators, or any other team members interacting with the software regularly. Schedule a meeting with the identified team members to understand their requirements and expectations from the new software. Ask them about the features they find most valuable in their current software and any pain points they would like to address with the switch.
By involving your team members in the decision-making process, you can ensure that the new event software meets their requirements and increases productivity. This will also help foster a sense of ownership and commitment to the new software, making the transition smoother and more successful.
Once you have selected your new vendor, it’s crucial to train your team on how to use the new software. This will help them become familiar with the new features and functionality and ensure they are comfortable using it for future events. You can also consider providing training materials or hosting a training session with the new partner to ensure your team is fully equipped to use the software effectively.
5. Test the New Software Extensively
Before fully committing to the new software, it’s essential to test it out. This will help you identify any potential issues or areas needing improvement before using it for an actual event. You can also use this time to familiarize yourself with the software and its features.
Even if you’ve already completed a demo of the software, book more demo calls and ask pointed questions before making the switch. This will allow you to see the features and functionality and get a feel for the user interface.
After the Switch: Considerations for Ongoing Event Software Success
After successfully switching to new event management software, the journey toward optimizing its use and maximizing its potential begins. This section outlines key considerations for ongoing success with your new software. It guides you through critical post-transition steps to ensure your event management software continues to be a powerful tool in your planning arsenal.
Monitor and Gather Feedback
To ensure a smooth transition, it’s crucial to maintain open lines of communication with your team throughout the entire process. Schedule regular meetings or check-ins to discuss their experience with the new software and address any concerns they may have. This will allow you to gather valuable feedback and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the software meets their needs and expectations.
Furthermore, by keeping yourself informed about the difficulties your team encounters, you can take proactive measures to resolve any problems that emerge. This may involve providing additional training or support, making customizations to the software, or seeking assistance from the vendor. By regularly checking in with your team, you can identify any roadblocks or areas for improvement and take steps to address them.
Stay On Top of Software Updates and Improvements
Regularly check for software updates and new features released by the vendor. By doing so, you can take advantage of any improvements or enhancements that can enhance your event management process. Additionally, staying updated on best practices for using the software can help you optimize its functionality and efficiency.
To stay updated, do the following:
- Subscribe to the vendor’s newsletter or blog: Many companies provide regular updates and tips through customer newsletters or blog articles. By subscribing to these resources, you can receive timely information about new features, updates, and best practices.
- Attend webinars or training sessions: Vendors often organize webinars or training sessions to educate users about their software’s features and functionalities. Participating in these sessions can help you stay updated on the latest developments and learn how to maximize the software’s potential.
- Join user communities or forums: User communities and forums are great platforms for exchanging ideas, discovering best practices, and troubleshooting. By actively participating in these communities, you can learn from other users’ experiences and stay updated on the latest trends and tips.
- Engage with vendor support: If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact the vendor’s support team. They can provide guidance, answer your queries, and keep you informed about any updates or best practices.
By staying updated on the software’s features and best practices, you can ensure that you are using it to its fullest potential and maximizing its benefits for your event management needs.
Maintain a Good Relationship with the Vendor
Finally, it’s essential to maintain a positive relationship with the vendor while transitioning to new software. Keep the lines of communication open and establish a positive working relationship. This will make it easier to address any concerns or issues that may arise and ensure that you receive the support you need throughout the transition.
Build More Events That Matter: Switch to Bizzabo’s Event Experience OS
With a comprehensive suite of features, Bizzabo’s event management platform redefines the landscape of event planning, offering organizers a holistic solution from registration to analytics. The Event Experience OS not only streamlines the planning process but also delivers an immersive and engaging experience for attendees, marking a significant leap forward in the evolution of event technology.
- All-in-one event solution: Bizzabo provides a comprehensive, all-in-one event management solution that covers every aspect of your event lifecycle and every event format. From registration and marketing to networking and analytics, Bizzabo offers a seamless and integrated platform. By making the switch, you consolidate your event management tasks into a single, efficient system, reducing the need for multiple tools and ensuring a smoother organizational process.
- Intuitive user interface and experience: Bizzabo is recognized for its user-friendly interface and intuitive design. Switching to Bizzabo means adopting a platform that prioritizes ease of use, reducing the learning curve for event organizers. The visually appealing and well-organized interface not only enhances productivity but also contributes to a positive user experience for both organizers and attendees, ultimately making event planning more efficient and enjoyable.
- Innovative data capture and analytics: Bizzabo’s Klik SmartBadge™ offers efficient data capture during events. The use of smart badges allows for seamless tracking of attendee interactions, session attendance, and engagement levels. By switching to Bizzabo and incorporating Klik SmartBadges™, organizers gain access to advanced analytics and insights that go beyond traditional event metrics. This powerful combination enables event planners to measure the success of networking initiatives, optimize content based on attendee interests, and make data-driven decisions for future events.
One event organizer in our State of in-person B2B conferences report said they don’t plan on switching software, but the reason got us thinking. Here’s what they said:
“We don’t have any plans on changing event management software unless it is cost effective and can compete with the one we already use.
Challenge accepted! Ready to see how Bizzabo competes with — and outperforms — your legacy solution to ensure your events truly matter and deliver meaningful ROI? Check out our on-demand demo and book a 1:1 chat when you’re ready!