Too many companies in the meeting and event industry still rely on outdated technology to run the business under the mistaken belief that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Microsoft Word launched in 1995, while its companion Outlook arrived on the scene in 1997. That means that if your company is using Word for proposal, purchase order and invoice generation, and primarily sending these documents to clients via Outlook or (dare I even mention?) fax, then your current internal business process looks no different than that of an events company from almost 20 years ago.

It’s past time for the industry to embrace cloud computing and more robust technology platforms, but if you still need a nudge into the future, here’s why your business needs more than Microsoft Office to survive and thrive in today’s world:

Centralization of Meeting and Event Program Data

  • Team collaboration is vital in today’s “I need that 5 seconds ago” business climate – no need to remember to CC or BCC, don’t waste time asking and re-asking basic informational questions, just go and grab the data from the cloud.
  • See how past programs have been successful or unsuccessful for other employees without having to wait for their response.
  • New employees have easy access to company info instead of trying to catch up.
  • Out of office and emergency coverage problems are over – have to step in for a colleague who had to miss work due to a family emergency on the day of a key client call? No worries – all the correspondence and program info is in your centralized technology solution.
  • Reconciliation is easy when everyone is agreeing to the same format, version and type.

Easy Executive Management

  • 24/7 access to data and employee activity – see exactly the same version of the proposal that was sent to the client, always pull the most up to date purchase order, pull financial reports at any time, in any time frame, with data you know is real.
  • No more requesting documents from employees and waiting on them – grab what you need, when you need it.
  • Keep employees accountable and get information beyond self reporting – are they using non-preferred/approved suppliers? how are they interacting with key clients? what is their rate of awarded business? Reduce time spent worrying on these key questions by having your business interactions at your fingertips.

Back Up is Automatic

  • Employees come and go. Losing them may mean losing their inbox.
  • Emails get deleted and conversations can be lost – instead all data in the cloud stays in the cloud, always available with the click of a button.

Eliminate Cumbersome Inbox Searching

  • No digging in your inbox for that email from a key client – it’s in the system and tied to the specific program you’ve been working with them on.
  • No possibility of information getting hidden in a spam folder or accidentally being overlooked – use your dashboards to keep an eye on high priority activity.

Cloud Computing is On The Go, Too!

  • Manage on the go just as easily as you would your email.
  • Clients and suppliers have electronically stored information on the web, giving them a point of access at all times to program information.
  • You can still quickly share and send documents to team members.

Are there any reasons I’ve missed?

image credit: Geoff Whiteway

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