If you organize and plan events, you’ll often hear the term event management software and event marketing software, and you might think the two terms are synonymous and interchangeable. They’re actually completely different animals and different organizations will need one or the other.
Event management software are products like Cvent and Eventbrite. They let you organize and promote a single event, as well as sell tickets. Event marketing software, like Localist, lets you organize and promote many different events.
Here are six ways to determine which one is right for you:
1. One Event versus Multiple Events
Event management software is better suited for organizing and promoting a single event. You get a single page where you list the event details, sell tickets or registration, and it’s part of a larger system that’s outside your control.
Event marketing software is ideal for organizations that host, sponsor, or manage a large number of events, say a university that has a large number of lectures, concerts, plays, sporting events, and meetings. You want a centralized place that lets you streamline thousands of events.
2. Logistics versus Marketing
Event management software lets you manage the logistics of meeting, but you still need to do all of the marketing yourself. Copy the page’s web address, and share it via your email newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks.
Event marketing software lets you manage the marketing of the meeting, and a lot of it is automated. Events are more likely to be found during Google searches, which helps increase event attendance. Plus, people with profiles can communicate with each other, which can also increase attendance.
3. Back End versus Front End
Event management software is better suited to helping with back end workflow, such as handling ticket sales. It’s the landing page for registration, but does nothing during or after the event. Once the event actually begins, the page is no longer valuable.
Event marketing software helps drive registration, but it also promotes discussion before and during an event, and lets you ask for feedback after the event. You can still benefit from an event, long after its over.
4. Registration-only Events versus All Events
Event management software only works for events that require registration, whether it’s paid or free. If you have an open event that can handle an unlimited number of visitors, such as an open house, event management software doesn’t have an option for “y’all just show up.”
Event marketing software works for all types of events, paid and free, registrations and open attendance. Since you’re focused on event marketing, not logistics,, you can promote any kind of event. If you still need to sell tickets, you can actually use event management software in conjunction with our own.
5. Separate From Your Website versus Part of Your Website
Event management software lives on its own website and is a part of that system, such as Eventbrite.com or Cvent.com. You can link to those pages from your website, but you can’t include them. Thus, there is no SEO benefit. You also don’t control the entire system, which means you can’t change the look and design of your event to match your own branding.
With an event marketing software, the calendar lives on your own website, and each event gets its own page on your website. When it comes to SEO, Google always loves to see more pages on a site. This means, the more events you have, the better Google likes it. And because it’s on your website, you can make your calendar look like everything else.
6. Admin Controlled versus User Participation
Event management software only allows a single person, the event organizer, to manage the event information. This means one point of contact, one person handling the event. If an organization is promoting more than one event, one person will post all of those events themselves.
Event marketing software lets outside users submit their own events. While there is one administrator to oversee the running of the platform, anyone can submit an event (which saves hours of work for the administrator). The administrator has final approval, but it’s up to the organizer to submit all the details correctly.
Bottom line: If you only manage a few events per year, you need an event management system like Cvent or Eventbrite. But if you have to organize dozens, if not hundreds, of events per year (such as a university, CVB, or hospital might do), you’ll need event marketing software like Localist, to keep track of everything.
To learn more about how we can help your event marketing with our event calendar system, please contact us for more information or to get a free demo.