Once upon a time, a hard-working events manager at a small to mid-sized venue got tired of wasting valuable working hours on data entry, trying to coordinate complex scheduling across a scattered collection of spreadsheets and doing damage control for the costly shortcomings of both. Looking for a solution to these professional woes, she came across end-to-end event management software that would store all business-critical details in a single location - uniting people, data and procedures across the entire organization.
Eager to get on with living happily ever after, she began the purchase process and quickly discovered the classic catch-22 of event management software for small to mid-sized venues: Spend big for a OSFA system that might not provide enough ROI to justify the expense or buy small and take the chance that the functionality doesn’t go far enough or have the ability to grow with the organization moving forward.
Not so long ago, this is where the fairy tale came to a screeching halt. And then came SaaS.
The Best of Both Worlds
Over the last several years, the rise of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model has made it possible for managers of small and mid-sized venues to have it both ways when it comes to event management software. Without the need for expensive up-front IT infrastructure investments and on-staff support, the pay-as-you go nature of web-based SaaS systems is a perfect fit for the budget limitations of smaller venues that were often boxed out entirely by the cost of traditional Enterprise software solutions.
Along those same lines, many event-focused SaaS offerings have also eliminated the need for smaller venues to choose between a limited, low-cost solution they may outgrow and overpaying for functionality that will never see the light of day. It starts with a pre-configured solution that has been tailored to focus on the unique needs of a smaller venue. From there, unprecedented flexibility and ala carte pricing structures mean functionality can be scaled up as necessary. This is sometimes otherwise referred to as the kind of situation in which one has their cake and eats it too.
In addition to lower costs and scalability, SaaS event management software has a few more advantages worth writing home about:
The last thing any client wants to hear after they’ve made a buying decision is that it’s going to be a few months before the system is up and running. That’s even truer for smaller venues whose budgets can less easily absorb a longer wait for ROI. Without the infrastructure requirements of traditional solutions, nimble, web-based SaaS offerings can be in a position to produce measurable results much faster.
Ease of Use
For many clients, SaaS offerings also prove to be easier to learn, use and maintain. As pared-down, web-based solutions, the learning curve is typically lower for SaaS event management software as compared to traditional models. Likewise, a simpler system generally requires less intensive training. It is also common among SaaS models to include easily accessible, built-in support information. Our own SaaS product for venues, for example, provides unlimited online training resources, access to an expert and customer driven knowledge base and a responsive customer support team.
Finally, staying up-to-date with the latest software updates and upgrades is significantly easier (and often completed with more regularity) with SaaS software, as the responsibility for maintenance is shifted from clients to providers.