Planning the Big Event: How a CRM Can Help Keep You Sane

  •    Megan is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com’s platinum membership program helps small businesses grow on the web.

If you’re an event planner, either by trade or by hobby, you know there are numerous details to account for. Whether it’s a small event like a birthday party for a tween, or a large scale business conference with thousands of attendees, it’s all in the details. It’s easy to keep track of things on a sheet of paper in a notebook, until you lose the notebook and run around frantically trying to pull it all together.

You need a reliable tool to keep all the information in one place - and a customer relationship management tool, or CRM can do just that. While it’s traditionally used to manage customer contacts and sales, it can be helpful in the event management realm as well.

Grow the Attendee List with Pre-Event Activity

Each time an attendee signs up, their information will go into your CRM as a contact. Using their email address, you can continue to market to them and keep them up-to-date with the latest event information.

For instance, if you’re running a paid event, you could send current attendees information about an affiliate program, allowing them to earn a portion of the sale for any new paid attendees they send to you. Or, you could alert attendees to a contest you’re running for free accommodations while at your conference.

If you have a separate list of people who are interested in your event but haven’t committed to attend, engage them with news about what will be happening at the event, and offer a limited-time discount code to help increase attendee count.

Manage Attendees, Vendors, and More

With the contact management features, you can easily keep track of everyone who is involved with your event, whether it’s attendees, vendors, or event staff. It’s easy to organize your contacts into groups and keep track of who is who. You can make notes on each contact and share the information with others in your organization, so if multiple people are working to land a sponsor, or have talked with a vendor about providing a service at the event, everyone remains on the same page.

Simplify Your Workflow with Integrations

A robust CRM integrates with tools you’re already using, like your email marketing platform, your accounting program, cloud storage, and more. Send proposals to vendors, track your email marketing campaigns, track and manage expenses, and more, all from your CRM. Once the initial integrations are setup, you can handle everything from the CRM dashboard, meaning you login one place - not in 27, which saves you time and keeps everything easy to find.

Keep Yourself on Track with Task Management

The built-in project management tools allow you to keep a running list of tasks that must be accomplished, along with the deadline. Since event planners rarely go it alone, you can also assign tasks to other staff members and let each other know when things are complete. This ensures no detail falls through the cracks.

Manage it All on the Go

We’ve all been there. We leave the office to grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, and we get the return phone call with vital information we’ve been waiting for. Then, we’ve gotta hustle to get to a point where we can sit and write everything down, and hope we don’t leave the napkin on the table - or lose the piece of paper before we get back to the office. With your CRM’s mobile app, you simply enter the information you need right from your phone or tablet, and it syncs up instantly, so new information is in the system for the rest of your staff - and is ready for you when you get back.

Get Information at a Glance

With reporting features, you can quickly and easily see how many attendees are lined up, how much money you’ve spent or earned, and more. This helps keep your event on budget and shows investors the ROI.

Who needs fancy event management software, when a CRM can do the work for you?