Event planning businesses are faced with some interesting developments these days because of the proliferation of new tech. For example, 44% of all event goers will download an app associated with an event (according to Capterra). As another example, it is estimated that around 26% of events have become virtual or hybridised this year, meaning face-to-face meetings are slowly being edged out in favour of cheap and convenient online meetings!
Amidst all these changes, how can your event planning business aim for success? The answer, of course, is to invest in the technology of your own! Below, we’ll tell you how an event inventory management software can help your event planning venture cut costs, streamline workflows, and take the guesswork out of executing the perfect event! But before we get into all of that, let’s figure out the main challenges of the event management context.
The Top Challenges Of Event Management
All organisations face a few common challenges when it comes to arranging events and conferences. As one survey showed, a poorly managed event was the most common frustration for people attending these types of gatherings. For example, equipment might get lost or misplaced, or the conference might face technical difficulties because of poorly maintained assets.
Budget constraints also seem to be very high up in the list concerns for an event coordinator. It’s hard to manage an event within your target budget, especially when you’re met with unpredictability in the form of fluctuating prices, unconfirmed guest lists, hard to please sponsors or even unreliable catering! Ensuring that you make the most out of your budget in every way can inflate your chances of a successful event. Another issue that these organisations face is that of time management. It can be a tedious task to get everything ready on time without missing out anything important. You have so many on-spot tasks to coordinate, people to manage and items to organise – it’s no wonder that event planners often feel strained on the job!
So, how can your business overcome these challenges?
Event Inventory Management Software: A Simple Solution
To plan a successful event, you need to be on top of your progress from the very beginning. This is especially important when you’re talking about event and conference assets because they will be a huge proportion of your expenditure. This category relates to any item that is essential to pull off a great event. It could be technical equipment like microphones or projectors, catering items such as linens or cutlery, or party decorations such as floral arrangements or fairy lights. If you’re taking it to an event venue, you need to look after it really well!
For example, you must ensure that the necessary equipment is available on the reserved date. Sometimes, you might have to purchase new items or replenish stocks, depending on how many events are coming up. Additionally, if you’re outsourcing a venue for an event, you have to be cautious about all your business possessions, ensuring nothing gets lost in transit or at the venue. A cloud-based event equipment management software allows you to do all this and more.
So, what exactly is an event inventory management software? This simply refers to a system through which you can centralise a lot of crucial activities relating to asset management – such as procuring event-related items, scheduling maintenance activities for them, keeping track of where they are located, and knowing which employees have access to them, etc. You can also use a mobile app to carry out Barcode and QR Code scans, enabling you to check items in and out of an event manager’s possession quickly.
Not just this, but at the end of every event, you can scan these items to do a quick audit. Any items that haven’t been loaded back will show up as missing, and you can chase them back down! The beauty is that you can track pretty much any event and conference asset, all from the same space. A solution such as this enables you to supervise event planning right from your office, be it monitoring business assets, stock depletion after a particular event, and even employee accountability! Let’s explore some ways this can help you execute your next event flawlessly.
1. Give Yourself Some Leeway By Planning Ahead
Say you have to organise a conference next month. A few weeks earlier, you’ll begin mapping out the items you need and might realise that a few of the things have already been promised for another event around the same time. How can you manage this conflict of dates easily, each time? An asset management solution will offer up an availability calendar to help you plan your events more easily.
The availability calendar shows you which items are available, reserved, or under maintenance for a particular set of dates. This way, you can work out a date when all your desired equipment is free for use! This can also be helpful in identifying which items are in high demand. To redress this, you can procure or rent those items well in advance and benefit from those early bird savings!
Other than this, event equipment management software comes with equipment maintenance management, which allows you to keep your assets in good shape. Instead of purchasing a new item or scrabbling for a replacement when faced with equipment downtime, planning ahead and getting all your equipment serviced before the event will help you eliminate inefficiencies and save a great deal of time.
2. Streamline Procurement To Stay Within Your Budget
Like we discussed earlier, staying within budgets can be scary! You already know that event planning equipment can cost a lot, which is why each item that’s lost or broken brings you closer to unprofitability. Of course, a lot of event equipment is also perishable, or has a short shelf life – such as napkins or batteries, or one-off decorations! These have to be ordered afresh each time, which can often leave little room for errors when ordering and restocking.
Using the vendor and procurement management modules that come along with an event asset management software can be a great way to manage costs relating to your events. This feature allows you to go through the price list of items, determine what you need, and reach out to vendors directly. If you pre-plan your items through vendor management, you won’t have to outsource expensive services at the last minute, and you can actually keep detailed vendor histories to cement good working relations with your suppliers. And what’s better than that?!
3. Know Where Your Equipment Is Through Asset Tags
Items that need to be taken to an event can often be hard to replace. You might have some expensive or customised pieces that you really don’t want to be finding substitutes for at the last moment! If you’re traveling to another location for an event, keeping tabs on every piece of equipment becomes an even more stressful task. Your equipment is at the risk of theft and misplacement – whether it’s loaded in your truck or at the site!
What’s really helpful is the ability to assign Barcodes and QR Codes to assets. You can customise the labels to contain information important to your workflows, and then scan these tags whenever you want these details. These labels can be used to keep track of where items are, whose custody they are in, and when they will be unavailable. Due to this, keeping track of your equipment on-the-go becomes much more streamlined. You don’t have to worry about your equipment being misplaced or lost in transit anymore!
4. Stay Updated About Work Progress ‘On The Go’
Holding events or conferences is all about being in control of everything, all the time. Whether you’re going to purchase equipment or check out a venue, keeping up-to-date with your team’s progress is essential. For this, you can use an inventory control app which allows you to stay abreast of event planning on the go! This means you can send out real-time updates from anywhere – whether it’s a new venue, a storage location, or even your own office. This saves you unnecessary trips to the storage area every time you want to check for asset availability, for example, and helps you to keep track of what different teams are doing in different locations.
A mobile app that helps you plan and foresee these activities is, therefore, a must-have tool for event planners, especially since so much of an event is pulled together while on the move. For example, you might be at an event and notice that a light fixture needs to be replaced. Solution? Just create a service ticket at the event, right from your mobile app. This way, you can be sure the item is taken care of as soon as you’re done with the event.
5. Learn From Data Analysis After Each Event
After the event, your next step should always be to get feedback and conduct a performance analysis. This is important as it shows you the bottlenecks in your processes and tells you where to look for improvements for your next event. It could take you a lot of time and effort if you plan to do this manually, but with an event asset management software, you don’t have to! You can check how much stock was used up at an event, find out utilisation and servicing trends, and see which work orders are still pending completion.
Custom reports are also helpful as they present a cost-benefit analysis of the overall performance, which is critical for future business propositions. Such practices boost productivity, allowing you to choose the most effective techniques for event management.
Who Says Event Equipment Management Has To Be Stressful?
Effective event planning involves taking care of the smallest details and not leaving anything to chance. A single mishap can cause your event to go sideways in an instant. Nothing is more important than having all your equipment fixed and ready to go in time for the event. By choosing the right tools for your business, you can plan your events without inconveniences and unpredictability! You can keep track of all your inventory, learn from past events, and most importantly, do all this within your budget. In addition to this, a mobile app can allow you to stay updated on the go, improving your response times and helping you pull off a five-star event each time.
So invest in the right tools and make efficiency a regular event!