Automation and Integration

There are many technology 'tools', 'systems' and 'platforms' within the events industry, used are various times during the events lifecycle - according to Corbin Ball, over 400. However, the sheer breadth of activities that make up the lifecycle makes it near on impossible to have a single system that can automate the end to end events lifecycle. Plus there is the inherent risk of 'putting all your eggs in one basket', even if there was such a system. 

Fortunately, most modern systems are built on 'open standards' that allow them to talk to other systems via an 'API' - this is a technical term that allows different systems to exchange data between them. This means that rather than having to re-enter data from one system into another, data can pass 'seamlessly' through the API between the two systems. This integration between systems brings automation to the events lifecycle leading to several benefits. 

Event automation - SSO

Integration example - SSO

Single Sign-On (SSO) - this is one of the most common forms of integration that many users may not be familiar with. By signing into their office networks, they are also automatically signed into several different business applications (i.e., Event Management, CRM, HR, Back Office, etc.) via an SSO integration. A distinct advantage of this is to reduce the number of passwords users need to remember to log in to different systems. A less distinct advantage is revoking access to all applications can be done very quickly when the user leaves.

SSO is an example is an excellent example of 'centralisation' - the concept that it is easier to manage activities and actions if they are centralised, rather than dispersed amongst different offices, teams, groups, etc. 

Integration example - CRM and EM

 Integrated CRM with event management system. Although most event management systems allow you to manage event attendees within the system, they also allow you to manage attendee information through an existing or external CRM system which may already have the attendee's information. This avoids having to have the information in 2 places, reducing duplication of data. 

Along with attendee data, the integration may also allow tasks to be managed from within either system or campaigns managed from both systems, etc.  

Event automation - CRM
Event Automation - EM

Integration example - EM and mid office system

Event management and mid-office system. One the most significant gaps in event management systems is a way of tracking all revenues (e.g., ticket sales and client payments) and expenses (e.g. event operating costs and supplier payments), to judge the overall financial health of the event. Integration with a mid-office system can provide a graphical view of the profitability of the event, with associated P&L account and cash flow analysis.

Integration strategies

There are many different strategies to achieve the benefits of integration, each depending on the starting position of the organisation and its long term business objectives. Some strategies include: 

Event automation - integration strategies
Benefits of event automation and integrations

Benefits of integration

 The benefits of automation through integration are manyfold. Some benefits include: 

Smartec can work with the clients' existing development and technology partners, or introduce new development teams to carry out integrations between systems to drive efficiency. Call Smartec on +44 (0)7917 451677 or email for more information