A recent survey conducted by a leading provider of event management software asked UK based event managers that which was their preferred tool for managing and planning their events. The most common tool by far was event store with 67% in the votes. Coming second and third were spreadsheets and ‘other’ respectively.

Spreadsheets really are a surefire means of managing events - they can track budgets, monitor resources and could be a good way of producing and managing lists. The advantage of spreadsheets being an event management tool will be the low priced related to them. The majority of event managers have access to spreadsheets plus they are a widely accepted document format.

However, you can find a large sum of drawbacks if event managers choose to use spreadsheets for their top level management tool. Common issues include:

Poor efficiency: Using spreadsheets is not an very effective technique of managing each of the aspects of an event. It is likely that event managers will likely be using numerous spreadsheets, with a large number of tabs, holding a lot of data. Managing pretty much everything data within spreadsheets might be confusing with an outsider, and frustrating for those users.

Lost data: Spreadsheets are just as safe because the server/system they take a seat on. When they are kept on a computer hard disk drive, you will find there’s risk that most the info will likely be lost contrary transpires with that computer or laptop. Spreadsheets are also prone to freezing/stalling and unless the event manager is used to saving on regularly, there is a risky that data and work is going to be lost.

Trouble keeping data current: Many events have multiple event managers, all with similar spreadsheets to organise and plan various areas. Problems arise when managers update spreadsheets without informing the opposite event mangers that this spreadsheet is different. If event managers require a copy with the master spreadsheet and develop that, the actual soon becomes out of date. There are also issues when more than one event manger needs to connect to the spreadsheet as well. Just one editable copy could be opened, causing the others being ‘read only’ - removing the capacity to make updates.

Difficult to create reports to determine success: A key a part of event management will be the ability to analyse event success. It is important to offer the ability to know what makes a particular event successful and what has to be measured to be able to analyse event performance. Using spreadsheets makes vid difficult job. Although creating graphs and charts could be easy on spreadsheets, the amalgamation and sorting with the data can be an extremely complicated and time intensive task. It’s very often the case that after using spreadsheets, the activity of measuring event performance is forgotten or dismissed.

Deficiency of management information: Much like the difficulty in creating reports to analyse performance, gleam lack of management information overall. For businesses organising many events per year it’s important to be able to use a clear picture of the events in general; understanding delegate numbers, budgets and also other KPI’s across all events will help shape event strategy in the future.

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