I can remember a time when technology was more of a luxury than a necessity. Most organizations would shy away from it because it was so costly and painful to maintain.
Today’s world is different. Technology is no longer an option. It is a MUST have! To bring in efficiency, provide an interactive experience to users and to speed up processes, technology seems to be the logical answer.
However, choosing the solutions and streamlining processes can be very overwhelming. In this article, I want to answer some questions we often hear from industry associations about technology that may affect your ability to manage your event systems effectively.
- Where should we keep our master records for exhibitors?
Many associations utilize an AMS (Association Management System) or a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system as their master database. a2z then imports data from, or integrates directly with these systems to bring in the master company and contact records that would be used for managing your expo. Exhibitor history from your event can then be extracted and imported into your AMS or CRM to record all history in your main database.
- Why do we need a2zShow rather than building our own system?
Technology today is changing and evolving at a record pace. Most associations are not in the business of technology development. Often we have found that Associations who have invested in building their own systems will be challenged to maintain these and often spend 10 times more than purchasing a specialized solution developed by a team that focuses solely on building innovative technology for events.
- Event managers often work with multiple vendors. How can we provide excellent customer service to our exhibitors when we have to send them to multiple systems with multiple logins?
In early 2014, a2z created an Exhibitor Service Center that is provided complimentary to any client using a2zShow. It has been designed to become the single exhibitor portal that would give them access to everything they need to plan for exhibiting at your event. Within the service center, exhibitors can purchase a booth, submit their online and print profiles, print an invoice, submit a payment, purchase sponsorships, download forms and much more. This service center also sends exhibitors to the event’s General Service Contractor and Registration websites using single sign-on* so exhibitors do not have to remember multiple passwords for each system. This concept has allowed event managers to provide the ultimate “exhibitor concierge”, making it easier than ever to manage your relationships and improve communication with exhibitors.
*Note: Although a2z offers single sign on… this service requires both parties to be compatible. Check with your GSC or Registration company to see if single sign-on is an option.
We hope this information is helpful as you consider what technology you need and how to implement it successfully.
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