February 13, 2023   |   Aprilynne Pike

Event Agency Spotlight Part 2: Doing More for Less

When a company that doesn’t specialize in events is getting ready to throw an event, they often seek out an event agency. There are big and small event agencies, and they exist for several different reasons, but they’re a huge player in the events space. This month we’re spotlighting this event industry powerhouse, highlighting how they use event management software, and how Swoogo has developed functionality specifically to help with agency needs.

For many companies, event management software is one big line in their event budget, but once you decide and sign with a company, your software budgeting is done. (Particularly if you’re using a platform with a transparent, user-based, annual subscription pricing model, just saying.) But for event agencies, that selection is only the beginning. Now they have to take the services they’re getting from their event management software, services from other companies, figure in work time, and then create a bid for business for their prospective clients. 

After they win the bid, that’s still not the end. Now they have to deliver what they promised. And if surprise fees pop up in the process, it can be the agency who’s responsible for paying.

So the name of the game for agencies—from event management software demo through delivering services to clients—is finding ways to get more for less.

More software services for less

Ever opened up some sort of kit only to find out that there are no batteries? Or the special glue is sold separately? Or one of the pieces is broken and no one is answering the service phone? 

We feel you.

Don’t let that happen with your event management software. Agencies need particular tools that match their specific business needs. And you really don’t want to have to pay an arm and a leg (and maybe an extra toe!) for them.

So what should you be looking for? What should be included? And what’s worth paying extra for?

Let’s jump right in.

More customization for less

This is a must! Agencies, by nature, need more customization than many single-company event managers, simply because they turn around and serve a bunch of individual customers, each with their own branding, at the very least, but also registration needs, marketing requests, and event site asks.

Customization is king. Every event management platform has different fee structures for customization. From: everything is included and whitelabeling is the default (uh, yes, you guessed it, that’s us!), to: not only do you have to pay for customization, but their tech team has to do every little thing for you. (We’re not going to mention names.)

So before you make the decision to jump in with any event management software, (including us) you should always ask questions. You need to be crystal clear about what types of customization are included, how much any additional customization may cost, and whether or not you can do it yourself. If you don’t, you may find yourself surprised by a bill after winning your bid. One that you can’t pass on to your client, and that substantially shrinks your profit margins.

We’re not saying be cheap, but there are lots of ways that you can get more for less.

More attendees and events for less

This is a big one, and one that’s going to be mostly Swoogo-centric. Want to know the very best way to save yourself and your clients money?

Don’t charge them for every attendee.

Want to know the best way to be able to not charge them per attendee?

Sign up with an event management platform that doesn’t charge YOU per attendee! 

We are huge proponents of user-based pricing over attendee and/or event-based pricing, especially for agencies. It’s a change we would love to see spread to the entire events industry, but until that happens, we’ll keep shouting about how great it is. Here’s what we believe: Your customers should be able to throw as many events as they want, for as many attendees as they can get, without paying more. That’s what I call getting more for less!

Learn how to lock down a stable event budget in an unstable economy

Read all about it →

More event sites for less

Every event needs an event site. Not just a scrawny web address where you can embed your registration, but a robust, designable, brandable site with features that include speakers, maps, ads, sponsors, and more!

And it should be free. Radical, we know. We’re extreme like that.

Okay, just extreme about getting you more for less. An event site is a required tool for any event, and as an agency, you need to be able to offer it to your clients. Preferably without paying extra for every customized element, or massive extra fees just to get it set up. In fact, as an agency employee, you should be able to build event sites for your customers all by yourself … without a computer science degree.

Elements of your event site you should look for and ask about:

  • User-friendly
  • Included with each event
  • Customizable 
  • Bring your own code
  • Whitelabeled 
  • Backed up by a support team

We’re not saying you can’t justify paying a fee for some of those features, but we are saying that at Swoogo, you won’t have to. And those are savings you can pass right on to your own customers.

More marketing automation for less

Who likes doing work you don’t have to do? Just me? Okay, that’s fair.

No! Of course we don’t like doing work we don’t have to do. (It was a trick question.) That’s where automation comes in. We know you’ve been to an event of some sort or another. If you’re here reading this blog, you’ve probably been to many. Consider all of the emails you get, both before and after an event. They’re some combination of helpful, necessary, and annoying. As an event prof, you know there isn’t a person out there hitting send on every single email. At least we hope so.

What you may not know is that it is all managed by a good event marketing software. Or should be. Some degree of automation is usually included in most event management platforms, but which emails, reports, and marketing comms you need will change based on which kind of agency you are. So ask. (We know we say that a lot, but really, if you have questions during any part of the process of signing with an event management platform, ask. If you get push-back … well, that’s a kind of answer, isn’t it?)

Before you begin shopping for event management software, have a list of which types of automations are most important to you and your clients, and find out if you have to pay extra for them. Be especially wary of platforms that want to charge you for each comm, or each type of automation. Better yet, ask the AE which types of automation they think you should have. And how much it will cost. Hopefully, it’s all part of the package.

More analytics and reports for less

So, a little bird told us that at many event management software companies, you have to pay extra for reporting. We told that little bird that reporting and analytics is included in every package at Swoogo and now that bird is a Swoogo customer. (I’ve taken this metaphor too far, haven’t I …?)

Point is, agency customers want numbers. Because of course they do! How else will you be able to prove your ROI? Or create your budget for your next event? 

Enter Swoogo Analytics! With SA, you can create custom reports, send them to whoever you need to, and even create live links so customers can see their data in real time. Best part? It’s included in every level of Swoogo subscriptions. Forget constant emails from customers requesting info about their events. Find out what info they want, create a custom report, and automate it, so your customers get the data they need, at the times that they need it. More data, no extra charge. That’s how we like to do business.

But let’s say your customers, or your agency, have a different software you like to use for analytics. That’s fine. In fact, we’ll let you integrate a different analytics platform for no extra charge, via our native integrations, Outbound Webhooks, or REST API. Which leads directly to our next section.

More integrations for less

Agencies have a tech stack. That’s something we can guarantee 100%. Okay, there’s probably some weird agency out there who doesn’t … but we’re talking 99.9%. A great way for an event management company to squeeze a bunch of extra fees out of you is to charge you for every integration. Or, to have a pricey package add-on for integrations. That’s really tough when you’re trying to win business, because you might have a customer that runs small events with very specific needs, that requires a large number of niche integrations. Can they afford all those extra fees? Can you? 

Integrations are so crucial in events. So it’s just better if your event management company doesn’t charge you for them. At all. Just one more way we’re working to give you more for less. Because the perfect tech stack makes a huge difference.

More everything for less

A huge percentage of the events industry is powered by agencies. In fact, often, you don’t even realize because a great agency fades into the background and lets the customer’s brand shine at their events. But without agencies, the event space would struggle mightily. That’s why we believe that agencies deserve more! For less. 

As you’re exploring which event management software to sign with at your agency—or maybe you even prefer to sign with multiple platforms to offer more choices to your own customers—consider exactly what you’re getting as an agency, and what you can then pass on to your customers. 

Want to win more business? The key will be getting more for less. 

Next up in our Agency Spotlight Series: Why great support is so crucial to agencies and their customers.

Did you miss the first in our Agency Spotlight Series? Check out why cloning is an agency’s MVP.