Functionality is a big word.
The fact of the matter is, it can be nearly impossible to get the truth about whether or not a piece of event technology will work for your needs, and if it'll have the features that you want.
In a previous life, I've been the person on sales calls who was taught to steer the conversation away from talking about specific features in the pursuit of "qualifying the customer better" which is essentially Sales Code for "getting dirt you can pull them up on when it comes time for them to push back."
And it sucks. As a customer, that sucks.
In that scenario a) the seller is usually being condescending and assuming that you've never bought anything in your life and b) you've probably done your research ahead of time, meaning that you just want the person on the other end of the phone to answer the damn question, because you get the gist.
The thing is that we, as purchasers, have a lot to choose from when it comes to our event stack. Not only are there multiple companies that make the same kind of solution, but so too are there multiple different solutions you'll potentially need to consider in order to pull off the event you're envisioning.
Thankfully, we've had over a decade of being able to use the internet effectively to dig up info on previous customers' experiences with the software we're considering. That said, that too can lead to information overload.
Off the back of that, here are two quick resources to help you make faster, more informed choices when it's decision time and you need to commit to an event technology vendor:
1) Tech Commitment Checklist:
Too often we get excited about the possibilities of conference tech that we could use for our businesses without realising that they often also require us to put in time and effort to get the returns we've been promised. This resource is here to cut out some of the noise.
What is This?: This checklist is a 2 minute exercise to help you remain realistic about what tech you and your event can feasibly use.
Use This When: You've found a vendor or vendors you want to evaluate to see if the software will fit into the ecosystem of your event.
2) Vendor Comparison Matrix:
Rarely, but on wonderful occasions, you'll find a couple of suppliers that give you the answers to the questions above exactly as you wanted to hear them. The problem there is that you're then spoiled for choice.
Once you've shortlisted your event technology vendors, it can be tempting to ask a colleague or a stranger on LinkedIn who's used the tech before to give you their feedback on how they found the system. The issue here is bias.
Bias can be a good thing when buying event tech, because ultimately only the person running the event knows the ins-and-outs of what is best suited to the specific set up. With that in mind, we've made another resource to help you systematically figure out what will work for your event in particular.
What is This?: We made a matrix for you to see how each vendor you've shortlisted stands up to its competitors.
Use This When: You need to make a decision at the end of your evaluation process.
- Score each vendor on their features out of 10. 10 being the best.
- Add all the scores up for each column and the one with the highest score fits your functionality needs most closely.
- If one or more field is irrelevant for you, feel free to leave that field blank.
We certainly hope that at least one of these helps you to focus your buying energies and helps you to get the event tech stack that you've always dreamed of (or at least the one you have the budget for.)