There are a lot of metrics of success for events: attendance, reviews, marketing leads, social media buzz. But every event prof knows the most important one that will get them their budget for their next event.
If you put on a lot of events and work with an event management platform (like Swoogo), chances are, this is probably a goal that will take more than a single event.
So how long does it generally take you to reach ROI on the cost of this crucial software? If you said one year … we think that’s too long. If you said two years, that’s really too long.
The big question is, how can you ROI faster?
One up-front price
Anyone who has ever tried to throw darts knows it’s way harder to hit a moving target. Same with budgets. One of the biggest problems with platforms that charge you per event and per registration (and per features and per report) is that your budget is constantly changing. It’s easier to hit your budget ROI goals faster if you can write one number in the expense column, and steadily work toward turning it positive. Otherwise, each event has to make up its own event management expenses, and then, only after you get that number positive, can you start working on the yearly number.
Is it possible the total number with all of those extra fees is still lower with combined event and yearly fees? Sure, but when the average Swoogo user hits ROI in six months, and barely half of people get there in a full year at our competitor? We’re gonna guess no.
Avoid fees you have to pass on to attendees
Have you bought any kind of concert ticket lately? (And by lately, I mean in the last couple of decades.) Ever looked at the breakdown of the price? Or worse, not been told the total, only the base price? If so, you were probably unpleasantly surprised.
Concert ticket prices have several taxes and fees tacked on, including—but not necessarily limited to—service fee, processing fee, delivery fee, facility charge, and state and local taxes. Woof! Up to 28% of your ticket could have nothing at all to do with the band you want to see.
No one likes that. I’m pretty confident in saying that. You see the same things on airline tickets, gas prices, and sometimes even restaurants. Now, you might not need to provide a breakdown of the ticket price to your attendees, beyond taxes, but somewhere in your planning there will be a breakdown when you decide where to set the price. It might look like this:
Ten dollars becomes eighteen dollars awfully quickly. And these are only the fees that many event management platforms charge that directly relate to each registrant.
But there are even more fees that might be pushing your ROI goals back.
Don’t pay extra for the tech you need
Integrations. Every event prof needs a couple. Some of the most common event integrations are Salesforce, Zoom, HubSpot, and Marketo, but there are tons more. Nearly every one of our customers uses at least a few integrations—some use dozens. Each of these platforms has their own user fees; we can’t do anything about that. But does your event management company also charge you for connecting these two platforms?
That’s a fee we recommend avoiding. Especially if you have to pay for each integration, every single event. Some companies offer a yearly integration subscription; meaning you pay a yearly subscription for unlimited integrations. This is definitely a step in the right direction, and if you can’t get free integrations … that’s definitely the next best option to ROI faster.
But free is better. Our top recommendation is free.
Spend less time learning and more time doing
You may not think ease-of-use is related to hitting ROI faster, but actually, it super is. How long did it take you to learn your current event management software? Trawling stats and reviews, the answer seems to be about two months.
Not gonna lie, I was pretty shocked by that number. On top of that, we all switch jobs sometimes—it’s not a secret. Who teaches new members of your team how to use your complex software? You? The software company? There are a lot of answers.
What does this have to do with ROI? Well, this one’s all about you. You are the most important resource at any event company. You, the event prof. All of those things that software can’t do for us, rest on your capable shoulders. If you’re spending more time learning event software than preparing for your event, you either have to put in more hours later, or hire help. That’s expensive.
The average event prof spends 1-3 months getting their event live. The average Swoogo user spends half that, with more than 35% being able to go live in just one day. That’s right, one day. Why? Because an easy-to-use, intuitive dashboard just gets you where you need to go faster. That saves you time, and your time is money.
Looking to get to your event ROI faster? Invest in you.
Get the help you need, when you need it
Hold the presses, I have an announcement!
No one’s perfect.
I know, I know, breaking news. But seriously, we forget instructions, we mess up, we put the wrong info in the wrong data fields. Who you gonna call? (And by call we mean email.) Hopefully a robust, in-house support team stocked with experts who are specially trained and have access to every member of the company to get you the answers you need fast! Oh, and hopefully you don’t have to pay extra for them.
Good support is worth its weight in gold, but we certainly hope that’s not what they’re costing you. This section is half about time, and half about fees. A little bird told me recently that one of our competitors won’t guarantee you a first-response from their standard-level support before 48 hours. Oh my goodness. That just feels like too long to us!
Some event management platforms have an advanced-level of support that you can opt into for a fee—we’ve got one too—and this can be necessary, especially if you’re a large, global company with very specific tech needs.
But I’ll tell you a secret: Swoogo’s standard-level support team—the kind that comes with every subscription—is the equivalent of most other platforms’ pay-to-play teams. In-house, platform-trained, 15-minute average first-response time. Not too shabby.
Why does this matter? Let’s say you’re pretty sure you know your event management software and don’t need advanced support … but then you go live on your first big event and find that you actually really do. That’s a big fee right there that you didn’t plan on. Now your goal to ROI faster is even farther away. If you muscle it out and try to get by without extra support, now you’re costing yourself time, energy, and stress. Which has its own monetary costs. Not to mention headaches.
Use fewer platforms
We already talked about your tech stack, but one of the reasons people appreciate an end-to-end event management solution is that it lets you trim a few integrations off of your stack. If you’re looking into getting an event management platform, or thinking about switching your platform, consider the functionality that is included, OR can be added on for less work (and a more streamlined workflow) than adding a separate integration.
Here are some functions you might be looking for within an event management system:
Some of these functions might be deal breakers for you, others might simply be convenient. But the more functions you can use that are included in your event management solution already, the lower your overall event budget expenses are going to be, and the faster you can ROI.
Every little bit helps
We don’t actually know what this coming year is going to bring, but we’re sensing some battening down of the proverbial hatches. If your company is doing so, consider that maybe you need to get rid of something bigger, and exchange it for something better. A new event management platform that lets you do more for less money might be just what you need to sail past your event goals, and impress everyone.