In this article, we’re pointing out what you need to consider in order to translate the report into actionable insights you can use to identify the right marketing events management solutions for you.
There’s no doubt about the impact the global pandemic has made on the world of marketing events — and how it has driven the future. It put B2B marketers in a challenging position where they either had to cancel the year’s biggest events, or adapt to the virtual world.
For those who stepped up to the challenge, some marketing events management (MEM) solutions were there to greet them. A new Forrester report, The Forrester Wave™: B2B Marketing Events Management Solutions, Q1 2021, identifies the 14 most significant vendors.
As this marketplace continues to evolve we want to help you and your team understand how best to leverage this report, so you can more easily identify the right software for your specific needs, whether it’s a simple, ongoing webinar series or complex four-day conference.
What Are Marketing Events Management Solutions?
MEMs are here to stay. The pandemic may have pushed professionals to this software out of necessity, but the benefits have remained clear. Forrester’s report revealed that digitally enhancing physical events can:
- Reach larger audiences
- Enrich relationships with customers
- Turn event-specific data into helpful insights
- Give attendees greater access to content they value
Marketing events management solutions allow marketing and events teams to create virtual or hybrid experiences through features such as audience-speaker engagement, virtual registration and check-in, attendee activity statistics, mobile apps, and networking.
According to the report, the best software can seamlessly handle hybrid events, manage content and speakers simultaneously, and allow for equal engagement opportunities for both virtual and in-person guests. But like many things, it’s not one size fits all.
About the Forrester B2B Marketing Events Management Solutions Report
The first report of its kind, Forrester’s report defines and evaluates a category of software designed to help marketing and event teams manage the production, execution, and communication surrounding large scale, enterprise events hosted by the marketing and sales teams targeting customers, partners and prospects with both online and in-person capabilities.
However, we’re sharing a perspective that may help you translate this report into actionable insights since all the features the report outlines (and outlined in this guide) are not yet offered from one source.
There is not one single platform or solution featured in the report that contains all of these features and capabilities. In fact, there are few that even come close.
The key to leveraging this report is understanding how to build your event tech stack, which features need to be consolidated in a single platform, and which point solutions you might need to snap-in to create the technology footprint required to launch a successful event.
Forrester evaluated the following features of these MEMs on a scale of zero, one, three, and five. Zero meant the software offers no capabilities in the specified area, while five meant their version of the feature excelled compared to the other vendors.
Knowing what features exist and what platforms do them best can help you build the most effective tech stack for your events.
|Creative design||What creative support does the provider offer users to enhance the overall look and feel of in-person, virtual, or hybrid events?|
|Event registration and management||What does the software offer in terms of registration, check-in, security, data collection, and attendee FAQs?|
|Agenda management||What apps or technology are available to help attendees search and sign up for certain content?|
|Speaker management||How does the software manage speaker invitations and submissions? How is content published, reviewed, scored, and analyzed?|
|Resource library and briefcase||Does the software allow attendees to download sessions or content? When and how do they access it?|
|Content capture||Can the software natively facilitate livestream, simulive and pre-recorded content? Can you edit videos?|
|Staff, partner, or exhibitor experience||How does the software support partners, sponsors, and exhibitors? What types of capabilities are offered to them?|
|Video or content delivery||How does delivery of simulive or recorded and live video work? How many sessions can be supported at one time, and can content be pulled onto social media?|
|Session engagement||How is attendee-speaker interaction supported and executed? Are engagement features such as polls, Q&A and chat available?|
|Attendee engagement||How are attendee experiences personalized? Are native mobile apps available for engagement purposes?|
|One-on-one or breakout sessions||How are one-on-one meetings or breakout sessions supported? Is the ability native to the software, or from a third party?|
|Networking||How can attendees interact with each other and interact with sponsors outside of sessions?|
|Virtual experiences||How are virtual venue experiences or navigation supported? Can marketers develop these on their own, or must they do it through the native software or a third party?|
|Ability to handle fluctuating attendance volumes||How is peak attendance demand handled within a single event or across many? How quickly can marketers access performance data?|
|Event Analytics||What attendee activity, attendance, and interaction metrics are collected and analyzed? How is this handled across multiple events? To help determine ROI?|
|Lead Management||How does the software support lead generation during and after an event? How can events be integrated into marketing campaigns?|
|Event Communications||Is pre- and post-event communication supported for publicity and feedback? Can organizers send alerts and notifications?|
|Integrations with other useful software solutions||How does the software integrate with marketing automation, ABM platforms, sales enablement automation tools, and customer success solutions?|
|Professional and Support Services||How are customers onboarded, trained, and supported? Are there workshops or training sessions available?|
Questions to Ask Yourself While Evaluating the Best MEMs for Your Event
Faced with an overwhelming amount of quality MEMs available, how are you able to decide what fits best into your event tech stack? Ask your team the following questions to get a better idea of your event goals.
Once you have answers for these established, it’ll be much easier to choose a solution that works based on your specific desired outcomes.
What size is your event?
Targeting your event size is the most important thing to do before choosing MEMs. Hosting a large, multiple-day event such as a conference or trade show will require many tools and features. This could include registration and check-in, agenda management, proper security, and sophisticated analytics tools.
A smaller-scale event, such as a webinar or single-speaker gathering, will require far fewer tools but may require seamless streaming of live video or recorded video, or to connect with the speaker’s video software.
How important is data security?
Depending on your event size, you will need to decide the importance of data security. If you’re allowing thousands of people globally to attend your event, data security is absolutely essential. This is also extremely important depending on the subject matter and content being shared.
You’ll need marketing events management solutions that can handle a large number of registered attendees, and can protect everyone’s information.
How much customization does your event require?
Do you need branded event pages? Do you want creative freedom over the look and feel of your virtual or hybrid events? You’ll need MEMs that provide you with a wider range of customization options, or the ability for marketers to develop these on their own.
You may be looking for a solution that allows you to add your brand and identity to curated templates that can be used for registration, invitations, and the entire digital experience.
Need some help determining what you need to include in your tech stack? Check out our complete 2021 Event Technology Guide
What integrations will you need?
Will you need to integrate your event platform with Salesforce or Adobe? Are there email or other marketing tools that need to be integrated and automated with event registration? Do you have analytics tools you need to work seamlessly with marketing events management solutions? Take note of which platforms you rely on, and match that with MEMs that will support you and integrate with accompanying software.
How much information do you need to capture about your attendees?
For a smaller-scale event, you may only need to know how many people signed up, attended, or viewed invitations, so MEMs with simple analytics tools will do just fine.
However, as we look to blend in-person and virtual experiences, gathering significant data on your attendees will be a crucial component to measuring success. You’ll need MEMs that can track metrics for everything from attendance to interactions, as well as one that supports lead generation during and after an event.
Want to explore more lead generation strategies? Check out the best 23 ideas for your B2B event marketing strategy.
What is your budget and how much do you have to spend on your event tech stack?
Your overall event budget can be a huge determining factor in which MEMs you’re able to choose. You may decide one solution is suitable for your current situation and tech stack, but down the line you’ll need an overhaul to make your software more scalable and sophisticated.
Decide whether you can work with what you have, or whether now is the time to make adjustments and add to your event tech stack.
SpotMe Ranked as a Contender on Forrester’s B2B Marketing Event Management Solutions List
We are proud to have our marketing events management software included in the report, which states, “…event managers find its streamlined, self-explanatory interface simple to use.” We understand the need to connect, and offer a range of engagement features, and intimate networking opportunities to make virtual interaction a reality.
The best way to understand if any platform is the right fit for your team is to give it a spin. Try SpotMe today and discover how it can be the Marketing Events Management Solution for your events.