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Choosing an Event Tech Vendor? Look for Transparency

True story: In the midst of my career as an event planner, I needed an event management solution that would satisfy the fanatical data security requirements of my employer at the time. But the tool also needed to be intuitive enough for non tech-focused types (i.e., me) to use. After a multi-month search, we signed with a software company that promised its application would check all the boxes.

It didn’t. While the platform’s security standards made the grade, when it got down to brass tacks the interface was so convoluted that it required a dedicated IT resource to manage.       

Lesson learned? When it comes to choosing event technology, vendor transparency is a crucial consideration.

Defining event tech vendor transparency

Now transparency’s a vague term, so let’s boil it down a bit. The Experts Exchange blog does a good job of summing up the concept when they define it as a “lack of hidden agendas or conditions, accompanied by the availability of full information required for collaboration, cooperation, and collective decision making.”

The fact is that as event technology becomes increasingly commoditized—the marketplace now hosts hundreds of event apps alone—the heat is on for vendors to go beyond product capability when differentiating themselves. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no doubt that features and functionality are (and should be) primary considerations when making a platform selection. However, a brand’s ability to build client relationships based on trust and reliability is what keeps the partnership alive long term. “In the current tech landscape,” Himanshu Sareen, CEO of Icreon Tech writes, “trust is … a high-value currency.”

With that said, what are the key factors to consider when sussing out whether an event tech vendor is going to give you the real deal or a raw deal?

How to gauge vendor transparency

Ratings and reviews are crucial

That’s all well and good, you might be thinking, but why should I simply take the vendor at their word? The good news is, in today’s digital world you don’t have to. Researching existing and former client sentiment through review sites (like G2 Crowd and Capterra), case studies, and testimonials will give you objective feedback about a brand’s high points (and struggles). 

Event professionals learn early on to come up with contingency plans in case things go south. That’s doable for areas directly under their control (last-minute speaker cancellations anyone?), but exponentially harder when it comes to technology hosted by a third party. Making best efforts to assess an event software vendor’s integrity before you sign is going to take some extra time. But the payoffs of having a solid partner in your corner are well worth it.

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