A La Carte NACE Blog
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Software Shopping for Event Professionals

Choosing smart technology to run your business is essential. However, shopping for the best choice can be totally overwhelming (especially if you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy!)

Never fear! We have a step-by-step guide to shopping like a pro and walking away with the best software to fit your specific event business needs.

Step One: Lots of Lists

First, create a list of all the current tools you use. Don’t forget things like Google Calendar or Slack, because these are a part of your operations. This list will help you start noodling on what types of programs you like, what frustrates you in a platform, and what you’re hoping to hold on to (perhaps via an integration?) vs. what you’re hoping to drop.

You also want to think about what processes and pain points aren’t being solved with your current tool set. Many folks just look to replace their current tools, but you may find that there are programs out there that will help automate daily tasks you never thought possible.

Finally, create a list of your business goals. Once you start the hunt, it’s easy to get lost. You want to have a clear list of your top desires (More time? More transparency in communication? More professional look to your brand?) so you can use this as your guiding light in navigating through the noise.

Step Two: Research

Always start by looking for things specifically built for your industry. It’s possible for a rental company to piece together tools to automate their processes, but a rental-specific tool is likely to already know their processes and built their feature set around those. You can find software for your company type by joining industry associations (like NACE), polling facebook groups, and attending networking events.

Take advantage of the power of Google, reading up on the companies who own these platforms, their user testimonials, and reviews. Capterra is like the “Yelp” of the software industry, and a great place to start. Keep in mind, though, there will be good and bad reviews for just about anything and you’ll want to go in with your personal priority list in hand.

Step Three: Kick the Tires

Schedule demos of a few frontrunners and ask the sales representative your toughest questions: How responsive is customer service? What are the hidden fees? How regularly do they update the program and build new features?

Once you’ve narrowed down your top couple choices, you should trial the programs and walk through real-life scenarios. Be careful not to get caught up in the excitement of the bells and whistles, but instead

regularly reference the business goals you set: Will this save you time? Build your brand?

Finally, trust your gut. If you feel comfortable with a specific software or even the people from the company who you’ll be dealing with, it’s okay to go with that feeling. There isn’t one program that fits all, and that’s because each business and business owner is different. Choose what makes the most sense for you and your team.

 

Karen Gordon is the VP of Growth at Goodshuffle Pro where she combines her experience in both events and tech to help empower event professionals via modern, sleek software.

This is a sponsored post by Goodshuffle Pro. Curious if Goodshuffle Pro might be the software for your event business? Book a free demo today.

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Karen Gordon

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