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Choosing the Right Event Tech

In today’s competitive business landscape, event tech has become indispensable for big retail companies looking to drive growth, engage customers, and strengthen brand presence. Gone are the days when event planning was limited to Excel and Google Forms. With the rise of robust event management platforms, retail companies can now create immersive experiences and host events, gather valuable data, and ensure positive brand-associated memories for attendees and customers.

We can’t ignore the impact of event technology on a retail company’s events strategy. From product launches and trade shows to customer appreciation events and industry conferences, events serve as powerful touchpoints to connect with customers and prospects alike. As big retail companies strive to leverage events strategically, the choice of event tech becomes a critical decision that can shape the success of their efforts.

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Challenges in Selecting the Right Event Tech Solution

As big retail companies explore various event tech options, they encounter a series of challenges and considerations that require careful evaluation. Here are some of them:

→ Scalability

In the pursuit of growth, retail companies need event tech solutions that can scale seamlessly as their event portfolio expands. Scalability refers to the system’s ability to handle increasing demands as the volume of events and attendees grows. Choosing an event tech solution with scalability ensures that retail companies can seamlessly execute events of varying sizes and complexities, from small local pop-up stores to large-scale product launches and international conferences.

Imagine a retail giant planning to roll out a series of product launch events across different regions simultaneously. This undertaking could quickly become a logistical nightmare without a scalable event tech solution. With the right scalable event tech, the company can efficiently manage and coordinate these events, ensuring consistent brand experiences for attendees, regardless of the event’s location.

Scalability extends beyond just the number of events and attendees. It also encompasses handling increased data flow and ensuring customer information, preferences, and feedback are efficiently processed and analyzed. This invaluable data aids retail companies in making informed decisions, enhancing future event strategies, and optimizing customer engagement.

A scalable event tech solution empowers retail companies to adapt swiftly to changing market demands and business needs. Whether launching a new product line or expanding into new markets, scalability ensures that the event tech seamlessly aligns with their events’ evolving scope and magnitude.

→ Integration with Existing Systems

For retail companies, seamless integration with existing internal systems is crucial for efficient event management. Integration ensures data flows seamlessly between platforms and departments, reducing manual work and streamlining processes. When event tech can integrate with existing CRM, marketing, and sales systems, retail companies can access a unified view of customer data and insights.

An event tech solution has to integrate with the CRM system to ensure a holistic understanding of customer engagement through events. This integration allows the company to track event attendance, collect valuable customer feedback, and create personalized marketing strategies based on event insights.

A well-integrated event tech solution enhances data visibility and eliminates the need for duplicate data entry and manual updates across systems. It empowers retail companies to make data-driven decisions and cultivate deeper customer relationships.

→ Cost Considerations

Cost-effectiveness is a significant factor when choosing the right event tech solution. Retail companies must consider the initial investment, ongoing subscription costs, and potential additional customization or premium features fees. It’s crucial to balance the solution’s capabilities and the budget allocated for event management.

A retail company with limited financial resources can’t opt for an expensive event tech solution that might strain its budget.

In such a scenario, a more cost-effective SaaS solution could offer the essential features within their budget constraints. Choosing a cost-effective event tech solution allows retail companies to optimize their return on investment and allocate resources efficiently for other growth initiatives.

→ Data Security and Privacy 

Finding and opting for a secure event tech solution provides peace of mind for retail companies, knowing that customer data is protected and handled responsibly.

Usually, retail companies collect attendee information during a product launch event. This data might include names, contact details, and even payment information for ticketed events. Without adequate data security measures, the company risks data breaches that could damage its reputation and lead to legal consequences.

→ User Friendliness

The event tech solution’s user-friendliness directly impacts event organizers and attendees. A user-friendly interface ensures that event organizers can efficiently manage event logistics, registrations, and communication with attendees. A smooth and intuitive registration process enhances attendees’ overall event experience.

Imagine an event organizer trying to set up an event registration page with a complex and confusing platform. This could lead to delays and errors, resulting in a frustrating experience for both the organizer and potential attendees.

On the other hand, a user-friendly event tech solution simplifies the registration process, making it effortless for attendees to sign up for events and engage with the brand.

Prioritizing user-friendliness in event tech enhances operational efficiency and leaves a positive impression on attendees, increasing the likelihood of them returning for future events.

→ Adaptability and Flexibility

As retail companies evolve and market dynamics change, the event tech solution must be adaptable and flexible to accommodate new requirements and business strategies.

Consider a retail company expanding its events portfolio to include virtual experiences in response to changing consumer preferences. The event tech must be flexible to support virtual events, enabling the company to transition from in-person to virtual experiences seamlessly.

An adaptable event tech solution enables retail companies to stay ahead of the curve, adapting to emerging trends and meet evolving customer expectations.

→ Branding and Customization

Maintaining consistent branding and customizing the event tech platform is essential for retail companies looking to reinforce brand identity and deliver a cohesive brand experience.

Imagine a luxury retail brand hosting an exclusive product launch event. The event tech must be customizable to reflect the brand’s aesthetics and values. That’s the only way it can ensure an immersive brand experience. A generic platform with limited branding options might dilute the brand’s image and fail to resonate with attendees.

A customizable event tech solution allows retail companies to align the event platform with their brand identity, reinforcing their unique value proposition and creating memorable experiences for attendees.

→ Future-proofing

Finally, a forward-looking retail company must select an event tech solution that can adapt to evolving industry trends and technological advancements. A future-proof platform ensures that their events strategy remains relevant and competitive in the long run.

Navigating the challenges of selecting the right event tech solution involves evaluating scalability, integration, cost considerations, data security, user-friendliness, adaptability, branding, and future-proofing. By carefully considering these factors, retail companies can make informed decisions and choose an event tech solution that aligns with their unique requirements and strategic objectives. But that’s not all, as retail companies have to choose between multiple solution types.

Exploring Event Tech Options

As representatives from big retail companies with expertise in various departments, including digital transformation, communication, marketing, innovation, and IT, you are well aware of the immense impact that event technology can have on your company’s events strategy. With the competitive landscape and ever-changing customer expectations, selecting the right event tech solution has become critical for enhancing growth, engagement, and brand presence.

In your roles, you are actively researching and evaluating various event tech options to identify the best fit for your unique requirements. The decision-making process involves carefully analyzing factors such as scalability, integrations, costs, data security, user-friendliness, customization, and future-proofing.

As experts in the technological landscape, you understand that there are three primary event tech options available to big retail companies:

→ Develop In-House Tools

Building an in-house event management platform offers unparalleled customization and control over your events. With the ability to tailor the platform to match your brand identity and specific requirements, you can create a truly unique and immersive event experience for your attendees.

Additionally, in-house solutions allow seamless integration with existing systems, providing valuable data insights and efficient event management processes. However, you must carefully consider the initial investment, ongoing resource allocation, and expertise required for continuous development and maintenance.

→ Use a SaaS Service

Opting for a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) event management solution provides easy implementation and cost-effectiveness. With no need for extensive development, you can quickly get your events up and running. SaaS solutions offer scalability, as the provider handles the infrastructure and resources needed to handle growing event volumes.

While customization options might be more limited than in-house platforms, reputable SaaS providers offer user-friendly interfaces and seamless data integration, ensuring efficient event logistics and attendee engagement.

→ Build with API Services

Integrating an event management platform with API services offers flexibility and customization opportunities. You can seamlessly integrate the platform with your existing systems, gaining real-time data insights and enhanced user experiences.

The adaptability to emerging trends and the ability to transition to virtual events are essential benefits of API-integrated platforms. As you evaluate this option, consider the potential for future-proofing and continuous innovation while weighing the upfront costs and potential vendor dependencies.

Understanding big retail companies’ unique requirements and challenges, we are here to assist you in your decision-making process. In the following sections, we will analyze each event tech option, highlighting the positive aspects and potential drawbacks and how they align with your requirements. This will equip you with the knowledge and insights needed to make an informed and strategic choice for your company’s events strategy.

Create In-house Event Management Tools 

Building in-house event management tools can provide several advantages for retail companies seeking complete control over customization and seamless integration with existing systems.

One of the significant advantages of in-house solutions is the ability to experiment and innovate with new ideas. Retail companies can quickly prototype and test event features, registration processes, and communication channels without being tied to a long-term contract with a third-party SaaS provider. If a new idea proves unsuccessful, they can pivot or discontinue it without the burden of ongoing costs.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge the challenges and drawbacks of building in-house event tech tools. Here are some of them:

→ Limited customization and branding

While building in-house allows for some customization, it may take work to match the level of personalization offered by dedicated event tech providers. Retail companies may need more expertise to create sophisticated user interfaces and seamless branding throughout the platform, resulting in a less immersive and cohesive brand experience for attendees.

→ Complex integration with existing systems

Integrating an in-house platform with existing CRM, marketing, and sales systems can be intricate and time-consuming. Retail companies may face compatibility issues and technical challenges, leading to delays and inefficiencies in data flow and information sharing across departments.

→ Inadequate data security measures

Retail companies may not have the same expertise and resources as specialized event tech providers when implementing data security measures. This can lead to potential vulnerabilities and data breaches, risking the exposure of sensitive attendee information and damaging the company’s reputation.

→ Limited scalability and adaptability

As the company’s event portfolio expands, the in-house platform may struggle to meet growing demands. Retail companies might face difficulties scaling the platform to accommodate increased event volumes and data flow. Additionally, adapting to emerging trends and new event formats might be challenging, hindering the company’s ability to stay ahead of competitors.

→ High development and maintenance costs

Building an in-house event management platform requires significant upfront investment in development, infrastructure, and personnel. Retail companies must allocate dedicated teams and resources for continuous development, updates, and technical support, diverting resources from other essential business activities.

→ Lack of vendor support and expertise

Unlike external event tech providers with dedicated customer support and expert knowledge, retail companies may struggle to provide 24/7 support and timely responses to user inquiries or technical issues. This lack of specialized expertise can lead to prolonged downtime and user dissatisfaction.

→ Limited future-proofing and innovation

Retail companies may need the resources and capacity for continuous innovation to keep pace with technological advancements and industry trends. As the event tech landscape evolves, the in-house platform may need to be updated, hindering the company’s ability to adopt cutting-edge technologies and provide modern event experiences.

While building in-house event management tools offers some advantages, such as customization and control, it also has significant drawbacks. The limitations in customization and branding, complex integration, inadequate data security measures, and limited scalability can hinder the company’s ability to deliver a seamless and innovative event experience.

Additionally, the high development and maintenance costs, lack of vendor support, and challenges in future-proofing may divert valuable resources from core business functions and reduce the company’s competitive edge in the market. Retail companies must carefully weigh these drawbacks against the benefits to make an informed decision that aligns with their long-term event management strategy.

Download White Paper for Actionable Insights

Join the API revolution and learn about the benefits of using an event management platform accessed through API services.

Opting for a SaaS Event Management Solution

Similar to the previous option, choosing a SaaS event management solution has its own benefits and drawbacks for big retail companies. Let’s discuss the advantages first:

→ Ease of implementation

SaaS solutions are typically quick and easy to implement, as they are already developed and hosted by the provider. Retail companies can get up and running with the event tech platform without the need for extensive development or technical expertise.

→ Scalability

SaaS solutions are designed to be scalable, accommodating the growing needs of retail companies as their event portfolio expands. The provider handles the infrastructure and resources required to handle increased event volumes and data flow.

→ Cost considerations

SaaS solutions often operate on a subscription-based model, which can be cost-effective for retail companies. They can choose plans that align with their specific needs and budget, avoiding the high upfront costs of building an in-house platform.

→ Data security and privacy

Reputable SaaS providers prioritize data security and privacy, implementing robust measures to protect customer information. Retail companies can rely on the expertise and resources of the provider to ensure data is handled responsibly.

→ User-friendliness

SaaS event management platforms are designed with user-friendliness in mind. They usually offer intuitive interfaces that simplify event logistics, registration, and communication, enhancing the organizer and attendee experience.

→ Integration and flexibility

While some SaaS solutions might have limitations in integration compared to in-house platforms, many providers offer integration capabilities with common CRM and marketing systems. Retail companies can find SaaS solutions that align with their existing infrastructure.

→ Future-proofing and Innovation

SaaS providers are responsible for updates and improvements, ensuring retail companies benefit from ongoing innovation and new features without additional development efforts.

However, there are certain limitations you must consider when opting for a SaaS event management platform. Here are some of them:

→ Limited customization

SaaS solutions may offer customization options, but they might not match the level of customization available with an in-house platform. Retail companies may have to compromise on certain branding and aesthetic aspects.

→ Vendor dependency

With a SaaS solution, retail companies are dependent on the provider’s infrastructure and support. If the provider faces technical issues or experiences downtime, the company’s event operations could be impacted.

→ Data control

Although SaaS providers prioritize data security, some retail companies may have concerns about data ownership and control, especially when sensitive customer information is involved.

→ Limited adaptability

While SaaS platforms are generally designed to accommodate industry trends, they might not be as flexible as in-house solutions in adapting to unique business strategies or emerging market demands.

→ Vendor lock-in

Migrating from one SaaS provider to another or transitioning to an in-house solution in the future might pose challenges and result in data migration complexities.

Opting for a SaaS event management solution provides ease of implementation, scalability, and cost-effectiveness for retail companies. It also offers the advantages of data security, user-friendliness, and ongoing innovation.

However, retail companies must consider the trade-offs regarding customization, vendor dependency, subscription costs, and data control. Choosing a SaaS solution should align with the company’s specific requirements, budget, and willingness to rely on external vendors for their event technology needs.

Build with API Services

Building an event management ecosystem with API services presents a compelling option for big retail companies seeking flexibility and customization. Here are some of them:

Seamless integration and data insights

APIs allow event management platforms to interact with other software systems, enabling seamless integration with existing CRM, marketing, and sales tools. This integration provides real-time data insights and a comprehensive view of customer engagement through events. Retail companies can leverage this data to create personalized marketing strategies and optimize event logistics for improved attendee experiences.

Flexibility and customization

With API services, retail companies can tailor their event management platform to their requirements. They can build features and functionalities that align precisely with their event strategy and brand identity. This level of customization ensures that the platform reflects the company’s unique value proposition and creates memorable experiences for attendees.

Enhanced user experience

API-integrated platforms offer a cohesive and user-friendly experience for event organizers and attendees. The seamless integration with existing systems streamlines registration processes, communications, and post-event follow-ups, resulting in a smoother and more engaging event experience.

Adaptability to emerging trends

The flexibility of API services allows retail companies to adapt swiftly to emerging industry trends and changing customer preferences. Whether incorporating virtual experiences, hybrid events, or novel engagement techniques, an API-integrated platform can accommodate new requirements and ensure the company stays ahead in the competitive market.

Cost-effectiveness

While building with API services requires upfront investment and expertise, it can be a cost-effective alternative to full in-house development. Retail companies can build on existing platforms or integrate with specialized event tech providers, reducing the need for extensive development from scratch.

Potential for future-proofing

API services provide retail companies with the potential for future-proofing their event management platform. By leveraging the latest technologies and industry standards through APIs, companies can ensure their platform remains up-to-date and adaptable to changing market dynamics.

Enhanced customer engagement

A flexible and customized event tech platform enables retail companies to create immersive and engaging experiences for attendees. Personalized interactions and tailored event content can significantly impact customer engagement and loyalty, leading to increased brand advocacy and positive word-of-mouth.

Reduced technical burden

By leveraging API services, retail companies can access specialized expertise from external event tech providers. This reduces the burden of developing and maintaining the entire platform in-house, allowing the company to focus on its core competencies and strategic objectives.

Innovative partnerships

Building with API services opens potential partnerships with event tech providers and other technology vendors. These collaborations can lead to innovative solutions and enhance the retail company’s event offerings, making them more competitive.

Luckily there are only a few drawbacks when building an event management ecosystem with API services.

Integration complexity

Integrating with various APIs and external systems may introduce technical complexities and dependencies. Retail companies must ensure seamless integration and avoid conflicts or data flow issues.

Vendor reliability

The success of an API-integrated platform relies on the reliability and performance of external vendors providing the APIs. Retail companies must carefully assess vendor reputation and stability to mitigate the risk of service disruptions.

Resource allocation

Building with API services still requires significant development resources and expertise. Retail companies must allocate dedicated teams and manage technical aspects, which may divert focus from other critical business activities.

Ongoing maintenance

As technology evolves and APIs update, retail companies must ensure their platform’s ongoing maintenance and compatibility. Failure to keep up with updates could lead to technical and functionality issues.

Building an event management ecosystem with API services offers significant advantages for big retail companies seeking customization, integration, and adaptability. The seamless data integration, user-friendly experience, and potential for future-proofing make this option highly appealing.

By making an informed decision that aligns with their unique requirements and long-term event strategy, retail companies can maximize the impact of their events and drive growth in the competitive retail landscape.

Download White Paper for Actionable Insights

Join the API revolution and learn about the benefits of using an event management platform accessed through API services.

Key Takeaways 

  • Event technology is crucial for big retail companies to drive growth, engage customers, and strengthen brand presence.
  • The choice of event tech is a critical decision that can shape the success of a retail company’s event strategy.
  • Challenges in selecting the right event tech include scalability, integration with existing systems, cost considerations, data security and privacy, user-friendliness, adaptability, branding, and future-proofing.
  • Three primary event tech options for big retail companies are: a. Develop In-House Tools: Offers customization and control but may be costly and lack scalability. b. Use a SaaS Service: Provides easy implementation, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, but customization and data control may be limited. c. Build with API Services: Allows flexibility, seamless integration, and customization but may have concerns with integration complexity and vendor reliability.
  • In-house event tech solutions offer experimentation and innovation but may need more customization, integration, scalability, and maintenance costs.
  • SaaS event tech solutions offer ease of implementation, scalability, and cost-effectiveness but may lack customization, data control, and future-proofing.
  • Building with API services provides seamless integration, customization, adaptability, and potential for future-proofing but may involve integration complexity and vendor reliability considerations.
  • Retail companies should carefully weigh the advantages and drawbacks of each option to make an informed decision that aligns with their specific requirements and long-term event strategy.
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