How to Choose an Event Marketing Agency, Part 1: From Partner to Platform

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Division of Labor. It’s a timeless concept when it comes to event marketing. For example, when it comes to choosing an agency, you’ll want to pay special attention to how they divide the stuff they thrive on from technology headaches that can hold them back.

Put another way, choosing the best agency partner for your buck has a great deal to do with the technology platform that supports them.


From People to Platform

Event marketing is all about bringing people together to make commerce happen. Years ago, people were in the driver’s seat when it came to planning events - along with their paper, pencils, big calendars and personal opinions about what to do and when.

While people - and by definition - agencies still drive the business forward, most of the labor has been automated (tip: avoid any agency that still insists on doing it “by hand” if any still exist). As technology accelerates however, a great deal of the intelligence, number-crunching and administration can and should be automated as well.

Finally, while smart people will always customize technologies to meet their client’s needs, consider whether the time that an agency spends on its own “captive” technology is the most efficient division of labor - and intelligence - for your needs.

Today robust enterprise planning and administrative technology platforms can already tackle the time-consuming minutiae and data crunching required for almost any task. Here are a few more reasons why a cloud-based event marketing platform makes sense.


It’s Hard to Outsource “Easy”

There is no such thing as cheap software when it comes to sensible enterprise solutions. Why trust your event planning function to kluge off-shored “point solutions” that run the risk of being obsoleted every time your ERP is upgraded? Or worse yet, malfunctioning in the field resulting in the loss of valuable proprietary data? That’s when an “easy fix” becomes hard to justify.


Keep It Solid, Scalable and Seamless

When your agency uses a strong technology platform your system also scales to meet new challenges (unlike an off-shored kluge). Your plans can also be seamlessly integrated with your Salesforce and/or other CRM to provide immediately actionable data before, during and after your events.


Nothing to Hack

A strong technology platform protects data. This is critically important when you have people around the world where the safeguards against mobile data might be a little lose. With a strong technology platform, you’ll never lose a lead or worry about comprised data.


Capture More Leads

Speaking of leads, a strong technology platform virtually assures your events marketing firm will generate a steady stream of qualified leads across hundreds of events (combined with their “big ideas.) Strong platforms also enable you to standardize programs and performance measures across multiple agency vendors, all while managing those vendors and improving your internal business processes.

There is simply no need to “reinvent the wheel” for each show when it comes to lead capture and “evidence based” data that can be tired directly to enterprise goals - from demographic to psychographic data and beyond.


Conclusion:  The Benefits of Thinking Big

While there are many variables to consider when choose an agency partner - remember that you are choosing the best people for the task. If you are only managing a few events, it might not make sense to have your agency wield a powerful technology platform like EventCENTRAL or others.

What’s more, event marketing is factoring more prominently in the marketing mix is because it allows companies to capture a human relationship - not just a data point. A good platform must be harnessed by smart people to turn raw data into intelligence.

A good agency on the right platform will apply an ideal “division of labor” as they get to work on really big ideas. Which, after all, is what you should be hiring them for.

This post is part of a 2-part series. Check out part 2 here

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