When Is The Right Time To Get Event Management Software?
Avoid the costly mistake of committing to expensive software you may not need
If you’re at the point where relying on spreadsheets, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and PDFs to manage your events is no longer working, you’ve probably started researching event management or venue management software. Event management software is a great way to streamline all of those different tools into one, making your life a lot easier in the process.
What most event management software offers
- A lead form that integrates with your website
- Central digital calendar
- Integrated email messaging & tracking
- Digital proposals that automatically update
- Secure, online payments for deposits and final balances
- Automatic document generators (BEOs, proposals, etc.)
- Automatic analytics charts & reporting
However, knowing when the right time to get event management software is critical. Committing to an expensive event management software tool before you’re ready can be a costly and frustrating mistake if you aren’t doing that many events yet.
Group 1: “Just getting started venues”
- Average Events Each Month: 1–3
- Best solution: Email, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, and PDFs
If you’re just getting started and receiving a handful of leads each month that convert to only a few events each month, it is probably best to use your existing tools like Google Calendar, Google Sheets/Excel, and Google Docs/Word. If you’re already using a POS system that allows you to send invoices like Square, you can use that to charge guests for deposits.
If you’re in this group of venues and need a Free BEO & Proposal Template, Click here to open the Google Sheet (no email address required). From there, make a copy of the sheet, change out your logo, and you’re good to go!
However, as you start to get more events, this system will start to break down. For example, if a guest changes their date or group size, you then need to go from your email, update the Google Calendar, update the BEO, update the proposal, and make sure that all of the information is correct. If they cancel their event, you have to remove the event from various calendars and make sure that it is all updated. It’s probably not a surprise that this leads to costly mistakes as information slips through the cracks, if not the dreaded double bookings! The hours of managing all of this can add up.
Group 2: “Midsize & growing venues”
- Average Events Each Month: 3–50
- Best solution: Perfect Venue
If you’ve cracked out of doing just a few events each month and are starting to do one each week or four a month, it’s probably time to start looking at a dedicated event management software tool. A dedicated event management tool will allow you to streamline all of the tasks you had been doing all over the place — into one place.
We recommend Perfect Venue for this group of venues because it has all of the key functionality that you need but isn’t overly complicated: A lead form that integrates with your website, a central digital calendar, integrated email messaging & tracking, digital proposals that automatically update, secure online payments for deposits and final balances, automatic document generators (BEOs, proposals, etc.) and automatic analytics charts & reporting.
While other software has subscriptions that are thousands of dollars a year, with Perfect Venue there are plans with subscription fees so there is no risk in trying it out. Perfect Venue doesn’t require a demo either, so you can easily try it out just by going to their website. If Perfect Venue isn’t a good fit, you can easily move on to another option with no money wasted and little time invested.
Group 3: “Large venues with event management teams”
If you have a team of event sales managers and manage 50+ events each month, Tripleseat is worth considering. According to Tripleseat’s website, it was founded in 2008 and has several thousand hotels, unique venues, and larger restaurants as customers. Tripleseat goes a step further than Perfect Venue by making it easy to manage a team of event sales managers with features like tasks, complex reports, and lead tracking analytics.
All of those features don’t come without a cost, though. The added features mean that Tripleseat charges thousands of dollars a year, requires a contract, and charges an additional processing fee on top of their credit card processing rates. However, if you’re doing over 50 events per month and have a team of event sales managers, the investment is probably well worth it.
When you’re first getting started, sticking with the tools you already know and work with like Google Sheets, Excel and PDFs can make a lot of sense. However, as your catering and events business grows, you may quickly discover that you must constantly copy and paste the same information into multiple systems. Once you reach that point, it’s time to start looking at event management tools that can automate the busy work like Perfect Venue, Tripleseat, and Planning Pod.