By: Maria Treskunov, Marketing Analytics Manager, DoubleDutch

So imagine you’re planning an event… you start with the venue, then you need decor, catering, AV, a dedicated website, a registration system, and even an event application to get attendees engaged and manage performance. It takes a lot of logistics to make all of those pieces come together, so wouldn’t it be great if you could get one company to do it all with one point of contact and no hassle? An end-to-end solution! Am I right? Not really. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want my caterer doing my AV, or my swag vendor trying to make crab cakes. They are all great at what they do, but their skills are different so they simply can’t have each others’ jobs as a core competence.  The same is true for event technology – what you need from your registration system is different from what you need from your event app – so it’s important that you evaluate each independently.When it comes to conference and event hosting, pick the providers that are the best at what they do.

SaaS companies have noticed the value of best-of-breed and have built their business models on it. Look at Optimizely – they’ve taken the broad world of digital analytics and carved out the niche where they wanted to make their mark: A/B testing. They’ve stayed close and focused to this core, and they are good at what they do. Just ask the investors that gave them a $57M dollar Series B last May, or droves of happy customers – ourselves included. In the business intelligence (BI) world there is Domo – they focus on making information digestible and actionable for executives. They don’t try and replace your CRM, your financial system or your marketing automation software – they just try and integrate with them and display the data in a way that meets your needs better than any end-to-end tool could.

When it comes to event apps, like any type of software – you need to think about your goals and use those as your criteria for selecting the ideal mobile app provider.  Sit down and make a list of what’s most important to you and then compare that to the offerings of potential vendors. Make sure you are asking the right questions: How long is the event? How many people are coming? Is it an internal company event or an external conference? Do you have speakers? Exhibitors? Multiple tracks? The answers to these questions will determine the features that matter most.Determine the features you want and need in a mobile event app, and choose the developer that fits best.

For example, if you have exhibitors you might want an app that does in-app badge scanning and lead scoring. If you are hosting speakers, you might want attendees to be able to rate sessions afterwards so that you can assess whether whether to bring them back. You may also want an app that includes live polling to give the speakers the ability to interact seamlessly with their audiences. For an internal event, an engaging social platform might help ensure your app reflects your company culture and elicits excitement from your employees. Every event is different, and your app strategy should be tailored to best suit your events’ specific goals.

It’s not that all end-to-end solutions are bad. If you can find an event registration company that makes an app that meets all your needs, go for it. That being said, it’s important not to sacrifice important features for the sake of convenience (if you want to give your customers the best possible experience). Also, it’s worth noting that many best-of-breed providers build countless simple integrations with any other system you may use. Take Optimizely – they have easy integrations with software for analytics, heatmaps, audiences, and call tracking. Anything from Bizible and Google Analytics, to Krux and Delacon.  At DoubleDutch, we’ve built integrations with 50+ registration/event management platforms: etouches, Cvent, A2Z, Attendee Interactive, ASP, Confex, Expeirent, Layon, N200, Socious, EEG and more. Best-of-breed products play well with each other.

So the next time you’re looking for event technology, focus on maximizing your event success rather than minimizing your vendor count. Let the caterer do the catering and evaluate each vendor on its own merit to make your event as successful as possible. Because when it comes to your attendee experience – the tools can make all the difference.