Every event prof knows that the actual, day-of event isn’t even close to the first deadline they face. But one really crucial step is your event going live, usually with your registration opening. Now, a lot of planning and work goes into even that deadline, but that’s the point of no return, so to speak, and it’s kind of a make or break moment. Especially if you’ve made time commitments.
Here’s the problem. A lot of the platforms out there are super-techy, and not very user-friendly. Even event profs who are happy with their platform often cite how long it took to learn it in the beginning.
We think there’s a better way. Certainly a faster way. And it’s pretty simple: We think event management software should be easy to learn, and easy to use. Not too mindblowing, is it?
We also think it’s really important to have an easy-to-learn, easy-to-use platform, because when it comes to the most effective event planning resources, your number one resource is … you. You, the event prof. And, well, we don’t want to waste a ton of that fantastic resource on learning a clunky, complicated dashboard, and then having to slog through using it for every single event going live.
Maybe you don’t think it really takes that much time, or maybe you don’t think your hours make that much of a difference. Let’s break down why we think you deserve better.
Easy-to-learn reg dashboard
Want a stat that’ll blow your mind? (It blew mine.) Almost 40% of Swoogo users report that they get their events up and running in less than a day. Broaden that to less than a month and that number jumps to 72%. Other platforms don’t hit 70% until you expand out to three months. And six months isn’t unheard of.
Why does this matter? Well, time is money. But time is also a limited resource that you have to prioritize. Spending more than a month just learning your new event dashboard is time you don’t get to put into venue sourcing, drafting marketing emails, liaising with your vendors and sponsors, ordering merch, and a hundred other tasks that all have to come after your event goes live.
Beyond time, an easy-to-learn (and easy-to-use) registration dashboard means fewer mistakes. We all make mistakes, of course, but a complex registration builder certainly makes it more likely. And once your event goes live with a mistake, now you have to spend more hours fixing that mistake, sometimes dealing with unhappy registrants, and worst case, taking down the whole site and going live another day.
The more complicated and counter-intuitive any piece of software is, the more likely mistakes are to happen. That certainly includes event management software.
People to teach it to you
I’m not the most technical person around, and I’m more than happy to be the first one to admit it. When I started at Swoogo, I had to do what everyone else had to do: learn the platform. So I was sent to spend a week with the Learning and Development team to learn the Swoogo dashboard and then I had homework—to create my own mock-event website, complete with specific registration, speaker, and location assignments. All in my first five days.
I can make you a very firm promise—if I can do it, you definitely can do it.
And I did! Why? Because I had a teacher. (Actually, one of our L&D specialists is a former teacher.) They’re not IT profs, they’re teaching profs. Their entire job is teaching customers how to use our platform (or use it better) and to continually analyze their teaching methods in order to be more effective. I had no idea tech companies had teaching departments.
A big part of their job is covering different learning styles. Do you like a live teacher? Excellent. You can take our live Swoogo 101 and 102 classes as many times as you want. Videos more your thing? We’ve got a learning library full of them. Are you a reading learner? Our (newly-revamped) Help Center Experience is there for you with hundreds of searchable articles on every little thing. Or maybe you’re that person who just likes to go in and mess around and learn by breaking stuff. Er … I mean, doing stuff. No problem. Make a fake event and dig in with both hands!
A platform that doesn’t teach you how to use their product—I mean really teach you until you’re confident in yourself—isn’t selling you a partnership, they’re just selling you a product. And well, we think you deserve better.
Clones, clones, clones
This one is certainly not a Swoogo exclusive, but please, oh please, before you sign on the dotted line, make sure your event management platform has cloning capabilities. This might be the biggest time saver of them all; especially if you’re an event prof who throws multiple, similar types of events every year. This is also huge for agencies, field marketers, and internal events that occur on a schedule.
Obviously, not starting from scratch saves you absolutely oodles and gobs of time, but in addition—like with an easy-to-use dashboard—it cuts down on mistakes. It also helps save all of your customization, like custom registrant types, written-from-scratch reg form questions, and a perfectly designed event site.
Even if your second event doesn’t have a ton of similarity to your first one, you might find it easier to clone the first event, and keep your specific customizations in place, and then change all of the other bits. As much as I love baking from scratch … no one’s going to argue that a box mix isn’t faster.
Again, it comes down to time, and the irreplaceable resource of the event prof. Your time and your expertise is so valuable. An event management platform that saves you time lets you focus on other priorities. And that can be as good as a stack of cash.
Support every step of the way
Here’s the biggie.
Don’t settle for an event management company that doesn’t have an easy-to-access support team with a reasonable response time. (48 hours is not reasonable—just sayin’.)
Picture this: you have your event site all set up, your reg form is perfect, you’ve worked so hard on your sponsor pages and your venue has their hotel block ready. You are 16 hours away from your event going live!
And something goes wrong. It could be anything, and it could be really small. Your early-bird pricing isn’t showing, or one of your content tracks should be available to everyone, but looks like you need to pay extra. Or your speaker carousel pictures are suddenly messed up. (I wouldn’t know anything about that last one …) What do you do? Your platform already warned you that support needs at least 24 hours to respond.
Disaster. For all you know it might even be a bug on your platform’s side. But now what? Delay your event going live? Call the hotel and change their block dates? Deal with (and potentially lose) unhappy registrants?
Even if you have done everything right (or hey, 95% right, because no event management platform should expect you to be perfect) a snag like this can throw everything into a lurch.
Instead, change the picture. Your early bird pricing is all messed up and you don’t know how to fix it. So you submit a ticket, via email. Twelve minutes later you get an email back, letting you know that your support superstar has looked at your event and knows that the problem is one of two things. She’s going to contact someone on the engineering team and you’ll have an update within the hour. Three hours later, your problem is fixed and you’re back on schedule for your event going live.
Are you relaxing already? That’s how support works at Swoogo. In-house, well-trained, fast, and with access to every employee in the company; if they don’t have the answer you need (and let’s face it, they’re amazing, they usually do) they’ll find the person who does.
Sooner = Savings
Your event going live sooner isn’t about bragging rights; it’s about your bottom line. An event management platform that saves you time, is inevitably saving you money. An event management platform that saves you stress and headaches is making every aspect of your job smoother and easier. That’s what we value here at Swoogo: Empowering anyone to bring people together through events. Easier, sooner, and with fewer headaches. And one of the big ways we do that is by joining forces, across teams like Learning and Development, Support, and Account Management, to make it possible for you to go live sooner—a LOT sooner. Every time.