A current survey conducted by a leading provider of event management software asked UK based event managers what was their preferred tool for managing and planning their events. The most common tool by far was event management software with 67% from the votes. Coming second and third were spreadsheets and ‘other’ respectively.

Spreadsheets are a tried and tested strategy for managing events - they’re able to track budgets, monitor resources and could be an ideal way of making and managing lists. The main benefit of spreadsheets just as one event management tool will be the low priced associated with them. Many event managers gain access to spreadsheets and they are a widely accepted document format.

However, there is a large number of drawbacks if event managers choose to use spreadsheets as their top level management tool. Common issues include:

Poor efficiency: Using spreadsheets is not a very effective approach to managing each of the areas of an event. It is likely that event managers will probably be using numerous spreadsheets, by having dozens of tabs, holding a huge amount of data. Managing pretty much everything data within spreadsheets may be confusing to a outsider, and time intensive for all users.

Lost data: Spreadsheets are only as safe because server/system they sit down on. Should they be maintained on some type of computer hard disk drive, there is a risk that every the data will probably be lost contrary transpires with that computer or laptop. Spreadsheets may also be at risk of freezing/stalling and unless case manager is accustomed to conserving a regular basis, you will find there’s dangerous that data and work will probably be lost.

Trouble keeping data current: Many events have multiple event managers, all utilizing the same spreadsheets to organise and plan various areas. Problems arise when managers update spreadsheets without informing another event mangers the spreadsheet has changed. If event managers please take a copy from the master spreadsheet and work on that, the actual soon becomes outdated. In addition there are issues when multiple event manger has to connect to the spreadsheet as well. Only one editable copy might be opened, resulting in the others to be ‘read only’ - removing the power to make updates.

Challenging to create reports to determine success: An important part of event management could be the capability to analyse event success. It is essential to get the ability to know what constitutes a particular event successful along with what should be measured so that you can analyse event performance. Using spreadsheets makes this a struggle. Although creating graphs and charts might be easy on spreadsheets, the amalgamation and sorting in the data is usually an extremely complicated and time consuming task. It is often the case that when using spreadsheets, the experience of measuring event performance is forgotten or dismissed.

Lack of management information: Similarly to the problem in creating reports to analyse performance, there is also a deficiency of management information overall. For companies organising many events 12 months it is critical to be capable of possess a clear picture of the events all together; understanding delegate numbers, budgets and other KPI’s across all events might help shape event strategy later on.

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