Business Of Fashion 3Rd Edition Designing Manufacturing And Marketing Event Management and the Cloud

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Event Management and the Cloud

Cloud computing is the provision of shared resources, software and information over the Internet. It is a relatively new delivery model for IT services and offers users a completely different way of using and managing their IT software and platforms. A common way to use cloud computing is to subscribe or pay a monthly fee to use a particular software solution. Instead of the software being installed directly on a user’s computer, the user accesses the software remotely through their web browser.

Some of the generic benefits of cloud computing include:

  • Cost: Costs can be significantly reduced as capital expenditure is converted into operating expenditure, lowering barriers to entry
  • Local independence: Users can access systems using a web browser, regardless of their location or device they are using
  • Scalability and peak load capacity: Using software in the cloud means that businesses can easily handle peaks in demand
  • Reliability: Reliability is improved, making it a safer option in terms of disaster recovery
  • Maintenance: This is easier on cloud computing as the software is not installed on the user’s computer; which means that support and upgrades are managed and taken over by the provider itself.

Event managers are able to take advantage of cloud computing and use it to improve the efficiency and reduce costs of their events.

Two of the most popular cloud software solutions for event managers are:

Google Docs

Google Docs is a great example of cloud computing. Traditionally, working with a master document on a conventional server or a conventional network can cause many problems, such as:

  • Don’t know if you are working on the latest version
  • Only one person at a time can gain access
  • Only those working on the server/network will be able to access the document
  • Problems with duplication

However, hosting documents in the cloud means that key members of the event team (and external partners and suppliers) can access documents at any time from any location (internet connection pending). There is no limit to the number of people who can view the document at any one time, updates are made in real time, and there are no problems with document duplication. Additionally, hosting documents in the cloud is also more secure as they are not dependent on the security of the network or server they would normally be kept on.

Event Management Software

Event software is starting to play a key role in the organization and management of events. Comprehensive incident management software includes features such as:

Website integration: event software should seamlessly integrate with your existing website without the need to re-design or re-brand

Online registration: event management software should allow event managers to create a fully customizable online booking form that captures the most relevant information from your delegates

Event communication: Clear and targeted communication to your delegate audience is essential, the event system should include integrated event communication tools such as email marketing, invitations and surveys

Event Tags: One of the most time-consuming jobs for an event manager is the production of delegate badges. Event software makes it easy and quick to create personalized badges before or during the event

Event Resource Management: Simply manage and allocate all resources through a comprehensive calendar function that provides total control over all aspects of the event management process

Event economy: The technology enables event managers to offer a range of options for delegates to securely pay online with confidence, providing ease of use through automation

Incident reporting: Determining the true ROI from events can be determined and managed through a powerful reporting and analytics package

Event planner: Manage and schedule multi-faceted one-on-one meetings for your delegates and suppliers simply and efficiently

Venue Management Softwareare: Flexible venue planning and scheduling tools that manage the event facility regardless of the type of events being held

Document handlingnt: An easy way to publish and manage speaking abstracts and biographies

Event software can help event managers create more efficient and successful events. Research has shown that during the current economic downturn, many event businesses are beginning to take advantage of automation and event technology to help stay afloat. Increasing the efficiency and reducing the costs of hosting events helps to increase the return on investment for both the event company and the delegates who attend.

A cloud-based event management solution allows event managers to manage event teams and service delegates and booker requests, from anywhere at any time. At the same time, event promotions, reservations, cancellations and updates can also be done using the Internet as the key delivery vehicle.

From the event manager’s point of view, cloud event management software will handle large volumes of outbound transactions (email newsletters, invitations, etc.) and inbound transactions (event bookings, changes, cancellations, etc.), saving time and money while providing delegates with a smoother and improved experience.

From a management point of view, a cloud-based event management solution provides the mechanism to be in real-time control of all event activities – event managers are able to get a precise overview of the status of active events, what stage certain event marketing campaigns are in, and the feedback that that is received on your ongoing event program. Third-party partners – trainers, speakers, sponsors, caterers, venue managers, etc. – can also easily access, in a secure manner, the event-related details that they need access to, and can respond to any event changes that affect them again on a real-time basis.

Having a cloud-based event management solution in place opens up significant opportunities to integrate the solution with free applications and solutions both internally and externally. E.g:

Internally

  • Funding applications
  • Customer and contact management solutions

Exterior

  • Partner websites
  • Third-party online payment providers
  • Social networking environments

With a cloud-based event management solution, the management of events becomes entirely a business problem, with the IT issues handled by the cloud application provider. The availability of the incident management solution, data backup and security, and the scalability of the solution during periods of peak activity are all managed, transparently, by the cloud application provider.

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