If you’ve ever browsed the Salesforce AppExchange, you know that there’s almost no limit to what your Salesforce CRM can do.
Event management is only one of the many areas your Salesforce system can lend a hand with, but for organizations who often plan events—whether large or small, ticketed or free—the importance of event management software can’t be overstated.
If you’re in the market for the a comprehensive solution to help you streamline your event planning within Salesforce, you might feel overwhelmed when faced with the multitude of available event management apps. And understandably so!
Thankfully, we’re here to walk you through all the standout features you need to have in the event management tool you select. Here’s what we’ll look at:
- Native Salesforce application
- Cloud-based functionality
- Flexible guest management tools
- Custom registration options
- Event website generator
When you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right app and planning phenomenal events.
Before we jump in, let’s make sure you have a grasp on the basics of planning events in Salesforce. Get started by reading our essential guide to the topic—we’ll be here when you get back!
1. Native Salesforce Application
We could spend some serious time delving into the difference between native and non-native Salesforce apps (as we did in this helpful post), but before we get carried away with the pros and cons of each, let’s establish what exactly we mean by “native app.”
A native Salesforce application was built in Salesforce, lives in Salesforce, and inherently works in conjunction with Salesforce. When you’re using a native app, there’s no disconnect between your CRM and your app.
Now let’s look at the other end of the spectrum: the non-native app.
An application that isn’t native to Salesforce isn’t interconnected with your database. For example, Eventbrite is a popular event management tool, but it is not native to Salesforce.
Since the two exist separately, the platforms must be integrated to work together, and any data housed within the two must be transferred back and forth.
So, what does that mean for your event management team?
Essentially, the native vs. non-native conundrum leaves you with a few major takeaways to consider as you select a Salesforce event planning solution:
- Native apps give you access to all your data. To plan strategic events, you need to have access to your guests’ information. If your event management app isn’t synced up seamlessly with your Salesforce CRM, you won’t be able to get a comprehensive view of your constituents in relation to your event.
- Native apps don’t require data migration. When all information is stored in one location, there’s no need to transfer data between the two platforms. To keep non-native apps up to date with your Salesforce data (and vice versa), you’ll have to update each platform, which can require manual data entry on your end.
- Native apps work in tandem with the Salesforce infrastructure. Since native event management apps exist within Salesforce, as long as your CRM is working, your event management app will be too. Both work on the same server and have the same underlying structure, so there are no additional hurdles to jump over to make sure your app stays running smoothly.
While non-native apps can still work well with Salesforce, they’ll never be as efficient or compatible as a native app—they just weren’t built to be!
2. Cloud-Based Functionality
Planning an event is a busy job, so there’s no guaranteeing that you’ll always be in the office.
To make sure you can access important information wherever you are, search for a cloud-based event management solution.
Because cloud-based apps store your information on the internet rather than on a specific device, you don’t need to connect to any hardware to gain access to your software; you simply need an internet connection.
Many of the benefits of cloud-based technology are obvious, but let’s go over a few key advantages to emphasize just how important this feature is in your event management app:
- Multi-user capabilities. Since the software isn’t tied to any one computer, it’s much easier for multiple users to have access to your event management app. Event management isn’t a one-person job, so your event management app shouldn’t be a one-person solution!
- Easy event-day access. When your event day(s) come, you’ll almost definitely be running around the venue, checking in guests, and keeping up with your team’s various responsibilities. If you’re able to have your app on hand on your mobile device, you won’t lose track of tasks along the way!
- Unlimited growth potential. Cloud technology is scalable, so your team can instantly increase storage capacity when needed. And since the cloud offers unlimited availability, you can continue expanding as much as you need without needing to pay for additional hardware or storage space.
Having swift access to your event information isn’t just a priority; it’s a necessity! A cloud-based app will work with you whenever, wherever to make sure you can get the job done while at your desk or on the go.
3. Flexible Guest Management Tools
Your guests are at the center of your event. No matter what other tasks you spend time on, your event management process should really boil down to one thing: creating an event that your guests will love attending.
To make that happen, find a Salesforce event management app that can help you prioritize attendee engagement and maximize guest participation.
For just a few examples of where your event app can play a role in guest management, start with these key features:
- Guest schedules and agendas. If you’re planning multi-day or multi-session events (think: conferences or training courses), you should find an event management app that enables your guests to plan their own schedules and sign up for only the sessions they plan to attend or all events in a series at once.
- Table and seating assignments. You can use your event management app to map out seating charts and table arrangements in an intuitive, hassle-free way. Keep track of groups, seating preferences, and designated VIPs to ensure that all guests are appropriately seated, without the stress of doing it all yourself.
- RSVP management. You should have no problem using your event management app to file all the RSVPs or registrations you receive for your event. Instantly file your guests’ information within your Salesforce database so you can reference it now and for future events.
Keeping your guests happy now will ensure they continue coming back to future events and supporting your organization in other ways, so you should take any measures you can take to improve their experience.
Bonus: For a more complete list of must-have guest management tools, check out the features available on Fonteva Assemble Events.
4. Custom Registration Options
No two events are created equal, which means your registration options should reflect your event specifically.
Before we dive into registration customization, let’s recap with an overview of the different types of events you might need custom registration for:
- Multi-day events, such as conferences.
- Event series, such as courses or classes.
- Single-day events, such as a fundraising auction.
- Multi-track events, with several series options.
With each type of event, your guests will need specialized registration options that allow them to choose exactly what they want and provide your organization with the details you need.
What might your registration options look like? Let’s go over a few examples of what your forms might include:
- Custom ticket levels, including VIP, general admission, or exclusive offers.
- Group or individual registration.
- Seating preferences.
- Additional purchases or donations.
- Meal preferences or dietary restrictions.
- Preferred method of communication.
Just to name a few!
When you give your guests maximum flexibility during registration, you set them up to better enjoy your event. Thanks to your event management app, there doesn’t have to be any guesswork determining what your guests want. Happy guests and a stress-free planning team equals a win-win situation!
5. Event Website Generator
Between your website, email newsletters, and social media profiles, your organization will likely have event information spread across a number of different marketing channels.
While you definitely do want to take a multi-channel promotional approach, there’s also a benefit to creating one central hub for all your event information. That’s why we recommend finding an event management app that can generate dedicated event microsites.
Not only will your guests be able to more easily locate exact event details when they’re all stored on one easy-to-navigate site, but they’ll also be more inclined to share your event with friends when they can send all details via one simple link.
Aside from being the go-to event resource, your microsite can serve other purposes too, including:
- Selling tickets. Simplify the ticket-buying process by offering a user-friendly registration form on your microsite. Make sure to prominently display this page in your site navigation and on the homepage.
- Displaying merchandise. Set up your eStore and allow guests and other supporters to browse and purchase items directly from your event site.
- Recognizing sponsors. Dedicate a page to thanking those individuals and businesses who have generously supported your event!
Your event management app can help you build this page to meet your needs, without having to go through a third-party web designer. See what customization options your app enables to ensure you can brand your page appropriately.
For some organizations, events are a major part of their operations. But just because they’re important doesn’t mean they have to be a hassle!
Streamline all aspects of your event management by finding a platform with all of these key features, plus any other specific needs your organization might have.
For more on managing events in Salesforce, take a look at these great resources:
- 7 Steps to Planning Successful Salesforce Events. If you’re planning an event using your Salesforce CRM, let this post be your road map to success!
- Double the Donation’s List of Top Cvent Competitors. Looking for a Salesforce partner for your next event? These event management apps are the best around, and you can trust that Double the Donation has vetted each and every one!
- Salesforce Event Management Guide. If you’re new to Salesforce or event planning in general, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about planning events using your CRM and the right event management app.