Purchasing an all-in-one meetings management platform can be an intimidating process. Not all companies have a procurement department or in-house event technology experts to steer the purchase process and identify the best-fitting technology for the M&E Program. To help guide the process, the experts of Intent Strategy Group (ISG), a division of M&IW, share five tips to finding the best event technology platform for your organization.
1. Use the Goldilocks Principle
To ensure the right questions are being asked during the sales process, start with stakeholder discovery. Ask an array of stakeholders, from end users to executives, what the perfect product looks like to them. Such discovery can be facilitated through conversations, workshops, or surveys. By fully understanding the business requirements and prioritizing features, you are better equipped to find the solution that is “just right” for your organization.
2. Perform a Side-by-side Comparison
Once you’ve identified the business requirements, build a side-by-side comparison of tools and include prioritization weights. You can even use it as the basis of a Request for Information (RFI). Soliciting RFIs from multiple technology companies will enable standardized side-by-side comparisons and help filter down the available option.
Remember that while technical features are important, they’re not the only thing you should consider. Ask about the company background to find one that aligns with your organization’s ideals. Also, be sure to ask only questions relevant to the planned use of the technology and cut out all the noise.
3. Phase Your Feature Purchases
Launching an all-encompassing, enterprise-wide technology is an ambitious goal. You may want to consider breaking up the implementation into digestible phases for your users. After all, technology comes with a learning curve. By phasing the implementation, you can avoid overwhelming users from the start and achieve a higher rate of adoption.
When it comes to purchasing your technology, you can delay the purchase of some of those more complex features for a later contract year. Phased feature rollouts allow time for each module to be properly implemented and for your team to be trained, building more trust in your technology solution.
4. Engage the Experts
Internal and external experts on event platform technologies will help you pinpoint the right solution for your organization. Whether these subject-matter experts (SMEs) are from your organization or a third-party partner like ISG, they should understand your priorities and sit in on sales demos to make sure the right questions are asked.
The SME acts as a translator for all parties. They ensure that you understand the technology capabilities and feature sets and that the technology provider understands your real-world use case and the implications of your questions. In the long term, the SME will save you money by making sure you are purchasing the solution that best fits your needs.
5. Don’t Expect Your Technology to Make French Fries, Too
Setting realistic expectations of what the system will be used for is important. An event technology platform, while robust, should not replace technologies performing other non-event functions. It also should not be repurposed as a project management, financial, HR, time tracking, meeting resume, or CRM system. Event planning platforms have been developed by the experts to facilitate professional events, not to do everything under the sun. Setting realistic expectations about what the platform can and cannot do is essential for selecting and adopting the right platform.
Event Technology Success
As you navigate the ever-evolving landscape of event technology, these tips will serve as your compass, guiding you toward the right choice for your organization. With careful planning, thorough evaluation, and a clear understanding of your unique needs, you’ll not only find the right event technology platform but also set the stage for successful and seamless meetings and events in the future.
Want to learn more? Ready to implement a new event technology platform but need help getting started? ISG’s award-winning team of consultants are ready to partner with you. Click here to learn more or schedule a free consultation.
Intent Strategy Group