How Events Management Software Can Benefit Your Nonprofit

What is the value of events management software for nonprofits

Have a monstrosity of an event you have to support? If so, Event Management Software may be one tool you will want to use if you want to plan your event without pulling all of your hair out. In this article, I discuss some of the benefits you should consider with Events Management Software.

Events Management Software for Nonprofits

Overview of Events Management Software

With event management software you are able to empower your staff with the option of scheduling, preparing, promoting and bringing everything related to an event together so you can pull off your nonprofit event with ease. In addition, it allows nonprofits to easily throw events, track registrations and more. Many solutions today (Best of breed or All in One) have a wide array of features that let you customize how your events are conducted, including letting you manage event sponsorships, speakers, sessions, event planning, logistics, exhibitors, and mobile applications.

Event Organization 

Organization is a significant key to successful events such as meetings, seminars, trade shows and fundraisers. Event planning software lowers dangers and streamline efficiency. Efficacy is frequently undermined when using spreadsheets. The overflow of data is not always easy for organizations to handle. The threat of data loss is always a possibility and can cause quite the headache for you and everyone else involved.

Event Planning 

Another benefit to using this type of software is you can allow more than one person to help with the planning. With the software, you won’t have to worry about overstepping someone or them overstepping you because you will see what has been completed or done by taking a look at the software.

Abstract Management Features (Call for Papers) 

When you’re planning an event, you know it’s a whole process to figure out what sessions are going to be run and how. Event small nonprofits have to choose from sometimes hundreds of people who are submitting abstracts and want to present. You need to select the best abstracts – sometimes through multiple rounds of judging – and track their scores throughout each round and in the final selection process. And once sessions are chosen, they need the get scheduled, rooms need to get booked, and speakers need to be notified. Using a manual system to do this is a nightmare, and using event planning software that doesn’t integrate with the rest of your system is daunting still. Abstract Management should at a minimum be able to be integrated with most Event Management Software solutions.

Logistics Management with Events Management Software 

Have you ever had logistics change for your events?  It’s what they do. And it seems like they change at the worst of times. With event management software, you can track rooms, speakers, sessions and any equipment you might need along the way. If you have a session that’s in a particular room at a particular time, that session might need AV, a projector, a stage, certain setup and breakdown, food, or any other requirement. If you have got 100 rooms being used 9 to 5 in a six-day period, this can get pretty complicated – event management software can handle that too.

Floor Plan Management 

Do you have exhibitors who need help with booth sales and space management ? In addition to managing logistics for the show, many event management software platforms offer an interactive floor plan which is easily accessible on the web and through a mobile app. With various solutions, attendees can quickly search for and locate vendors by category, name or booth. In fact, some mobile event applications go so far as to allow you the ability to click on a booth which may yield a display of the exhibitor’s details. Very cool stuff!

Attendance Tracking and Guest List Management 

By using events management software, you will have complete control over your guest list. It is often easy to add someone to the guest list if you are using paper and have a long guess list. With this software, you can simply search up the name to ensure you haven’t added it already. It will also prevent others in your organization from adding names you have already added. Ticketing is also possible in most solutions today.

Integration with Membership Software or Donor Database

As with most nonprofits, it’s imperative to keep everything in one place to make life a little less stressful. That noted, it’s likely wise to have your event management software “integrate”  with your membership software or CRM software? We know how frustrating this can be. Many nonprofit donor databases too have designed their databases from the ground up which can sync across all functions with a full 360° view. Depending on the size and focus of your organization, this benefit is a necessity!

These are just several areas ways in which Events Management Software may help a nonprofit handle the events process better. The bottom line is you really should consider using some form of events software to keep things in order. It is a great way to organize and plan events and eliminate some of the stress that comes with doing so. It is a way to work with others and not overstep what they have already done.

Not sure if you need an “All in One” solution or “Best of Need” Events Management Software, please feel free to contact us. Until then keep SmartThoughts in mind.

 

Let the games begin! Gamification for Engagement in Nonprofits

 

Gamification is awesome for Associations..

Engagement, participation, & remaining relevant is paramount for nonprofit associations today. And, many forward thinking association executives are already looking to Gamification to increase awareness and engage their constituents. We believe the discipline of Gamification will continue to be thrust very quickly into the forefront of conversation in years to come in the nonprofit community which we serve.

Let the Games Begin: Gamification in Nonprofits

What is Gamification? Gamification is not a new idea, it is a proven discipline that has been in the workforce for quite some time. Ultimately, gamification allows organizations the ability to encourage and engage their employees, members, donors, & customers in a desired behavior by creating opportunities of problem solving, learning, loyalty, and communication.

Why should Nonprofit Executives care? If you are a bit skeptical think about the following items:

Higher Engagement

Organizations found to deploy elements of  Gamification into their systems tend to have higher employee engagement numbers as recently shared in a Gallup Report

Increased Web-Site Traffic

In a study by M2 Research, vendors claim that Gamification can lead to a 100% to 150% pickup in engagement metrics including unique views, page views, community activities, and time on site.

Adoption Trends

Gartner reported more than 70% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies are expected to have deployed at least one gamified application by year-end 2014.

Software Market Demand

The overall market for gamification tools, services, and applications is projected to be $5.5 billion by 2018 (M2 Research).

Millennials

Millennials are taking over. They are the future of your association and they have grown up on Gaming.

Your association may have already used the principles of Gamification at many conference you attended and didn’t even know it. At a recent association event, TSAE’s Southwest Showcase, the forward thinking staff implemented a gaming element in their conference application to engage the attendees with the exhibitors.

With sponsors taking part in the activities, not only did exhibitors get brand recognition through the app developed by Gather Digital, the attendees achieved valuable face-time with participants too. Driving foot traffic to booths has never been this easy – your sponsors will love you forever if you can increase participation.

Advanced Gaming Principles

Advanced gamification makes it easy to create custom missions, competitions, badges and rewards to maximize participation, engagement and productivity. For example, a rewards program can include implementing a badge system, leveling-up programs or a points system to reward members for reading articles, community involvement, watching videos or sharing association content with others. 

CRM Software and Gaming 

There are enterprise systems like Zurmo, an open source platform, already leading the pack in the for-profit area. This particular company is clearly looking to take this concept to the execution stage in their Customer Relationship Management solution. Badgeville, another forerunner in this area, brings together the industry’s leading enterprise gamification platform, design expertise, and a very rich customer community to help you build a world-class engagement program.

Badgeville

In the years to come, Gamification certainly will become a mainstream aspect of all Customer and Member Engagement Systems for nonprofits. Beyond the “Fun” aspect of Gamification, you will find a tremendous amount of tangible benefits to this trend in software applications and hopefully a concerted effort to include this methodology into the various vendors focused on Association Management Software. 

Gamification could be that game changer for your organization. In our opinion, it is certainly one of the most important trends in technology for associations to embrace in order to remain relevant for years to come.

If you would like to learn more about various software tools available today utilizing this methodology and approach to engagement, please contact us now to discuss.

Free Software Advice for nonprofits

 

Why You Need Conference Kiosk Software?

Why You May need Conference Kiosk Management Software?

 

So it feels like you have attended a million conferences—and if you have been in the association industry long, you have likely run half of those conferences. After all, each professional association has at least two events every year, right? In this article, we discuss the value of solution designed to help the flow of traffic at large conferences today.

The Value of Kiosk Conference Software 

After a while, all the hotel ballrooms begin to blur together (and why are those rooms always designed for dances, not meetings?!).But, you still need to have your ducks in a row, don’t you?

When you think back over what stands out in your memory, out of all those conferences, chances are that it’s not the good times. While you might remember the most entertaining speaker you heard—or overheard, if you were in charge of the event—you probably, at this point, can’t recall who was the headliner at the event you ran last month, much less who was the keynote speaker the year before.

So what stands out? We bet that it’s those times when things just didn’t go right. Perhaps it was the event where they ran out of food at the banquet, or the IT conference where the nearby transformer blew and there was no electricity to run all those fabulously crafted IT presentations.

Or maybe it was the lines. Unfortunately, whenever something does not go right, the end result is usually a loooooong line of unhappy people, who don’t seem to know how to take advantage of the opportunity to network while they stand in line, and spend the time griping instead.

You have to have your ducks in a row, don’t you. Literally!

This is why you need walk up kiosk software to handle registration at your large events. As long as there is electricity available(!), you can ensure a quick and efficient registration process, with no long lines, regardless of whether you have 2500 or 25,000 people attending your event. Kiosk EventXpress handles pre-registration, walk-up, and onsite registration, as well as payments and printing of both badges and receipts. With a well-honed computer program handling all the registration details, there will be no confused volunteers slowing things down and creating long lines at registration.

To help avoid creating those long-line memories in the minds of your conference attendees—and yourself!—contact us today to learn more about our kiosk software and other conference solutions available to nonprofits today.