Before you get all red in the face, let me just start by saying that I love Excel. And what’s not to love, really? For bringing order to big, unruly data sets and laying the groundwork for analysis, Excel is a champ. If you need to do some solid number-crunching, there’s no better option out there.
However, exactly what has made Excel so popular is also its greatest weakness: flexibility. Because it’s a blank slate that can be easily manipulated, it’s been pulled and stretched and twisted into a million different things it was never meant to be. People across nearly every industry routinely turn to Excel in place of specialized programs or tools that could accomplish things more quickly, accurately and effectively simply because Excel is what they know. This is especially true in the events industry where Excel is commonly used in place of event management software. Big mistake. And here’s why:
In addition to the universal reasons for choosing Excel over a tool that’s been purpose-built for the task, event pros also do so to save money. They figure, “Why pay for specialized software when I can just use Excel? It works and it’s free!” But it’s only free if you don’t think of time as money. Even if you don’t count the time it takes to mold and shape your spreadsheet into something you can use to build task lists, track spending and log requests, at the end of the day it’s still a spreadsheet. Every person that needs to see it has to take the time to find and filter the information that applies to them. If you run one, tiny event, maybe that’s acceptable. But, if you’re managing multiple events with a variety of stakeholders at basically any level of complexity, all that time adds up to something significant pretty quickly.
Consider also that every time you need to make a change or an addition to your spreadsheet, the only person that knows you’ve done so is you. When you’re using Excel, notification alerts take the form of an email, phone call or conversation between you and everyone else that needs to know—every single time a change is made. Even by conservative estimates, this alone represents a massive drain on time across your organization. But it doesn’t end there.
If people have to sort through a mountain of irrelevant info just to get to what they need to know, and the only way to know if something has been changed or added is if they’re notified somehow by someone in charge, how often do you think that results in miscommunication and mistakes that have to be cleaned up later? Better yet, come event day, when last-minute requests and changes are flying in at warp speed, is everyone on your team stopping to open the spreadsheet to log each and every one? Is there some process in place that guarantees everyone is even working from the most current version?
Still think Excel is “free?”
All of that is why Excel sucks as an event management tool. With software that has been purpose-built for the events industry, you solve all of these issues instantly. Personalized to suit the unique operations terms and processes of your business, Ungerboeck event management software offers the flexibility you love from Excel on top of the built-in functionality you need to effectively plan, manage and analyze events.
Working from real-time data that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, from any device, everyone in your organization sees only the information they need to see and is automatically notified of changes or additions that affect them. This same easy accessibility, in combination with integration between previously separate systems for CRM, operations management and accounting tools, also means that when you’re using specialized event management software like Ungerboeck, you can say goodbye to lost revenue via mistakes, miscommunication and same-day changes that never make it to the final invoice. No cracks? No leaks!
And, you know, not to kick Excel while it’s already down, but it’s also worth mentioning how much value you lose in your ability to analyze what is and isn’t working about your events over time when you’re just using spreadsheets to manage things.