The Role of Technology in Event Management for Associations

Event Management

February 8, 2024

Nicole Catatao

This guide explores the role technology plays in association events.

Using event technology to its full potential allows associations to provide enriching, personalized experiences to members. The right tools can track and consolidate event data, adapt to members’ needs and preferences, and use automation to eliminate administrative tasks.

CRMs, association management software, and event planning platforms go beyond managing member data and event planning. These tools empower your association to fulfill the commitments and value promised in its membership offerings without increasing staff workloads. 

In this guide, we’ll explore how your association can leverage technology when planning and promoting events. 

What technology do associations need for events?

Associations rely on software for effective membership management, data collection and tracking, financial record-keeping, and much more. These tools also assist in the event planning process to optimize promotion and facilitate smooth interactions with attendees.

The following systems and tools work together to support successful events:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) system: This tool stores information about your members, identifies prospects, records interactions, and nurtures relationships with current and potential members. Track event metrics such as total attendance and attendee feedback using your CRM. Integrate your event management and marketing tools with your CRM to ensure this data is visible across every system your association uses.
  • Association management software (AMS): Your AMS platform may be used to facilitate attendee registrations, process payments for tickets, manage event promotions and other communications, and leverage data from your CRM to personalize the event to each member. 
  • Event planning and management tools: Event planning software is designed with specialized tools to simplify event management. Streamline event schedules, set up various ticketing options, and quickly access reports to track your association’s progress. 

Because each system has different capabilities, integrating your technology framework allows you to maximize the impact of each tool. You may need to contact your technology consultant to set up integrations and explore ways to optimize event management processes.

How does technology improve event data management?

To host successful events, associations must understand their members. Carefully tracking event data enables associations to adapt future events to fit members’ preferences and interests, making each event better than the last.

Over time, analyzing the following metrics will enable your association to organize events that draw qualified prospects to its events:

These are four kinds of event metrics associations can track using technology, listed in the text below.
  • Attendance rate: This is the percentage of registrants who attend the event. Measuring attendance rate can reveal gaps in event communications and pinpoint disengaged members. Using attendance rates from multiple events, your association can track how many attendees who attended your previous event also attended the next one (i.e., retention rate).
  • Engagement data: Understand the number of attendees per session or workshop, the average time attendees spend at the event, interactions during Q&A sessions, and more. These specific data points provide more granular insights into members’ interests. Leverage these insights in future campaigns to create personalized marketing messages.
  • Content metrics: See how many times certain pieces of content, like videos or presentations, were downloaded or viewed. Those downloaded many times or viewed after the event are likely the most valuable to members—keep this in mind when planning future events or creating training courses and workshops.
  • Revenue: Track total income from a variety of sources, including ticket and merchandise sales, sponsorships, and exhibitors. Easily reference data about each payment, including time of sale, payment method, and more, to learn and adapt to members’ preferences. For example, if many attendees waited until the last minute to purchase tickets, offer an early bird discount for your next event.

Measure and analyze metrics that align with your goals for the event. If your association holds a webinar to introduce more members to an exclusive course, track how many attendees sign up for the course to measure event success.

What are the benefits of integrating event systems?

When your association can easily access and analyze event data, it can recognize opportunities to effectively engage members, personalize sessions and benefits to their preferences, and identify new event ideas.

Some key advantages of integrating the tools and systems your association uses include:

  • Eliminating data silos. Data silos occur when information is isolated in two or more separate systems, reducing your data’s timeliness and accuracy. Fíonta’s website integration guide echoes this point, explaining that a key benefit of integrating your website with your CRM is that it makes data analysis more manageable by removing the need to duplicate data manually between systems.
  • Identifying trends sooner. Data that is up-to-date reflects current trends in member behaviors, enabling associations to take advantage of opportunities quickly. Recognizing and adapting to trends early gives associations a competitive advantage and opens the door to innovative events and other offerings that attract new members.
  • Expediting decision-making. With real-time access to data, associations can make research-driven decisions about their events on a faster timeline. Over time, this can optimize resource allocation, improve member engagement and retention, and foster continuous improvement.
  • Improving scalability. Integrated systems can accommodate association growth and adapt to evolving needs. In event management, this flexibility makes it possible to process larger volumes of ticket sales, offer events in different formats, and customize forms and workflows accordingly.

These integrations significantly reduce your staff members’ workloads by automating administrative tasks like enrollment and post-event follow-up. This maximizes staff members’ impact by giving them more time to innovate and interact with members.

Before planning your association’s next event, evaluate technology’s role and whether there are any gaps. Are you unable to quickly assess event analytics due to data silos? Or do you need a specialized tool to manage specific needs? Integrate your tools and prioritize scalable solutions so your association can seamlessly track event metrics, cultivate personalized experiences, and optimize future events.

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