Research: Data Integration Saves Event Planners Time and Money
60% of event planners have integrated their event data with back-end business systems – CRM, corporate websites and finance solutions come up top (https://www.festamagica.com/)
London, UK – 8th November 2016 – Organisations are increasingly integrating their event management and back end business systems in an effort to save time, improve data accuracy and productivity around their events – according to a new study by Event Industry News and Eventsforce. Of the 200 senior event planners surveyed, 60% have already integrated their event data with systems like CRM, marketing and finance solutions but the cost and time of managing integration projects of this scale may be limiting efforts.
The research findings are based on the views of event professionals based in the U.S. and the UK and represent corporates, associations, government and educational institutions, PCOs and event management agencies.
Event Planners Who Want To Integrate Their Event Data
The study also found that despite the overwhelming 75% of event planners who want to integrate their event data, a third felt uncertain of where to start. However, Event Industry News and Eventsforce have created a new eBook which provides a comprehensive easy-to-read guide on event data integration – a concept that is set to become one of the most important technology trends in the events and meetings industry over the next five years.
“Event planners deal with so many different systems to capture and manage information around their events – from their event management and ticketing systems to marketing, sales, finance, membership and so on. Putting all this data together where all the different systems automatically talk to each other is where integration comes in,” said Adam Parry, editor, Event Industry News. “Having this kind of data ecosystem saves event planners an enormous amount of time around data entry and other admin tasks. It also makes sure that people have real-time access to critical and accurate event information at all times.”
The study looks at the current uptake of data integration in the industry and what it means for event planners today. According to the results, 74% of respondents understand the importance of the concept with 37% having had some experience in managing integration projects in the past. The top systems that organisations are currently integrating their event solutions with are CRMs and corporate websites at 60% each, followed by finance (21%), marketing automation (15%), travel and accommodation booking (14%) and membership (7%).
Time savings, data accuracy and improved productivity were seen as the top three benefits of data integration. Three in four event planners said integration had a significant impact on the hours spent doing admin work like data entry, reporting and chasing departments for relevant information. Other benefits include better data sharing (44%), increased revenue (16%) and improved data security (14%).
The study also found that factors such as cost, time and the challenges of managing multiple IT suppliers were seen as the top barriers to integration. Yet despite these challenges, only 25% of respondents felt integration was not a priority for them moving forwards. When asked which systems they would like to integrate their event data with, 40% of event planners chose CRM systems, followed by marketing automation (28%), finance (27%), membership (24%) and corporate websites with travel and accommodation booking systems jointly at 20%.
“As the significance of events continues to grow for organisations, so does the importance of managing the data around these events. We’ve seen event planners doing some great things by integrating their data with check-in systems, payment gateways and event apps and now we’re seeing this same concept of data sharing being applied with big back-end business systems,” said George Sirius, CEO, Eventsforce. “We’ve seen a 40% increase in the number of customers working on integration projects over the last year and we expect this trend to grow significantly as event planners try to automate processes and make better use of their event data.”
For a full comprehensive look at the results of the Event Industry News and Eventsforce, please download the infographic here.