Florence May, president of Simply Hospitality, an Indianapolis-based event software company, agrees that Web-based technology is the way successful events will be managed in the long term. Her company offers TRS (The Registration System), a program that allows meeting planners to streamline Web registration and electronic communication for meetings, conferences, volunteer activities, ticketed events and more. Her firm also offers online solutions for accommodations, attendee surveys and other needs.
“Software solutions are so frequently built to try and give you a template for how you’ll handle registration,” May says. “But the challenge is, every event is different. Each has its own design requirements, activities and participant profile information that needs to be collected. You want a program that’s very flexible in design.” Both Mackenzie and May say their companies make regular upgrades to their online software systems. Because the programs are Web-based, the updates are automatic and seamless, so clients don’t have to worry about receiving and loading software upgrades themselves.
May says the latest updates to her company’s program include richer e-mail capabilities that allow users to manage the status of their e-mail addresses and communications. “You can see if and when an e-mail was opened, or if it bounced,” she says. “That’s very helpful in keeping up the accuracy of your e-mail database.” The company’s program also now offers the capability to download attendees’ registration data and conference schedule information directly to a PDA, May says.
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