The Secret To Finding the Right Software System Is Not So Secret

Psst did you know that all software systems are not created equal and that is what makes finding the right software system a challenge especially for conference and event professionals.  However, if you follow some simple rules the experience of searching for a system should be more productive and, even better, you will eventually get a system that is going to fit your specific business needs.  Here are some important things to consider as you set off on the journey to find a software system:

  • Create a cross-functional team and do an internal assessment of what systems you are currently using and list the good, the bad and the ugly about a particular system
  • Survey your staff to find out what things related to their jobs they feel could be improved or streamlined and identify what content and processes you want to manage more efficiently
  • Create a wish list of features and functionality and categorize them as requirements, desirable, or nice to haves
  • Investigate whether or not there is a special requisition process when it comes to making an investment in software ie need to go through a bid or RFP
  • Meet with in-house IT resources (if you are lucky to have this type of resource) and identify any potential limitations that might exist with the current infrastructure
  • Call up a few colleagues within your professional circle and find out what system they use and what they like about it
  • After researching via a vendor website narrow a target list of no more than 3 possible vendors to be considered
  • Schedule a time that works for your team to participate in a product demo – Be sure to provide the vendor with a few specific scenarios to follow making it more relevant to your day to day operations
  • Choose a solution that has the most potential for your short and long term business goals
  • Finally, work together with the vendor to create a realistic schedule for the implementation making sure it does not conflict with other previously scheduled projects as you will need resources to dedicate to this phase of the project

If you follow these few basic steps it will help to make for a positive experience for you and maybe get you some brownie points with your boss.