Saturday, July 21, 2012

Event Management software

I've been exploring a number of Event Management products trying to find the best fit for several different projects.

The service that I've found best connects with the needs of our clients and projects is a tool called Amiando from Amiando AG, a company based in Germany.

The criteria that I was looking for in a solution included:

  • Cloud-based or Software As A Service (SAAS) -- the solution needed to be hosted by an organization with expertise in maintaining and managing the event management software; this way, our clients will not have additional servers to administer or software to maintain.
  • Single Sign-On (SSO) with Google Apps -- to make it easy for our clients to dive into their events management solution, we wanted a solution that could either integrate directly with Google Apps or could work with a SSO service
  • Easy to use -- our solution needed to be as easy to use as possible so as to minimize the friction associated with creating events, maintaining and integrating event registration forms, and allowing users to register for events
  • Competitive pricing -- our clients need solutions that work within their budget structures.  Since a chunk of our clients are non-profit organizations, we wanted to avoid solutions that involve large licensing fees with up-front monetary commitments
  • Payment processing -- some of the events our clients host require payment and the lack of a good payment processing system makes it difficult to use some solutions
I found that Amiando meets all of these criteria while providing rich, cool functionality above and beyond the core requirements.  
Some of the "cool" features I found were:
  • Amiando can provide "tickets" and attendee badges for your events, both electronically as well as physically (for a printing, handling, and postage fee)
  • Amiando can integrate with social media outlets to help promote your events through Facebook and Twitter
  • Amiando provides functionality for event affiliates -- you can setup an event and have others promote it for you and share a configurable cut of the registration fees
  • Amiando's pricing model is based on registrations to paid events (e.g. a flat fee per registrant as well as a percentage of each registration fee) and add-on services; for free events, Amiando waives the registration fees (as of July 21st, 2012)
So far, I'm impressed at the possibilities and I'm very pleased to see how well their tools can integrate with a Google Apps environment.  


For more information, visit Amiando's web site.

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Wes Dean, a Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialist and a Google Apps Trusted Tester, is Principal of KDA Web Technologies, a Google Apps Authorized Reseller.  To learn how Wes and KDA Web Technologies can help you, go to http://www.kdaweb.com/.