Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Managing Your Technology

Technology is an excellent addition to any business, but it must be implemented strategically and smartly for it to have a positive effect. Amassing a slew of tech tools without proper training can spell trouble for teams that are trying to get ahead. Careful management of in-house apps and programs can keep the team organized while preventing overwhelm at the sight of a new login.

If you’re looking to include more tech into your business operations, keep these tips in mind as you research and trial the apps that fit your needs.

Transparent technology

While some are resistant to change, it’s important to sell the value of your new technology to the team. Ensure that you’ve provided all of the background information on the technology, including links to the company’s website, articles, webinars, and tutorials discussing the program, and everything they’ll need to login. If there are customer service hotlines or live chat support services available, provide this information from the start as well.

Full training & support

Before funding new technology, a company must already be committed in providing training and support for the team as they adapt to the change. Every person has a different tolerance for change, especially when it involves technology, so it’s important to stay in constant communication with your employees when introducing new tools. For those who struggle with technology, provide them with extra support and even one-on-one training if needed.

Training itself can take place in a number of different ways. For some, an in-person meeting or a virtual conference call is all it takes. Schedule some time to go over the new tech in full detail, allowing ample opportunity for questions from the team. In other cases, it might make sense to provide instructional tutorial videos and written materials for employees to consult later on if they have questions. 

Avoid going overboard

When you find a tech tool that has a positive impact on your business, it can be tempting to scour the Internet to find all of the other highly-touted apps and programs to supplement your company. However, this can be detrimental in several ways.

While it’s hard to pinpoint a specific number of apps and programs to use or not use, it’s important to include what is working for you. Just because an app has great reviews from other users does not mean that it’s a fit for your business structure.

Use the apps and programs which provide efficiency and that you can lean on to assist with daily tasks and collaboration with your team. You will find the programs which are working for you fairly naturally as they become second nature to getting work done, automatically weeding out those that aren’t really helping.

Keep your team in the loop

Your employees are likely the ones who interact with new tech programs on a regular basis, as they handle most of the ‘on the ground’ work. If that’s the case, their feedback about a tool’s usefulness is invaluable—listen to them if they say an app isn’t cutting it, or if another program is great but could really benefit from investing in the paid version. Always consult your team as you evaluate current tech needs.

Evaluate the opportunity cost of each tool

Many of the best apps are not free and those fees can quickly add up and endanger a business rather than help. Therefore, a fee-based service must provide more value than it costs. Evaluate whether it alleviates your identified pain points and helps you organize and streamline your business in the ways you expected.

It can help to establish a way to track and monitor ROI so you can decide whether or not to continue using fee-based services with the help of actual data rather than just instinct. Again, this is where your team can be invaluable as they can tell you which tools are game-changers and which have room for improvement.

As you explore different options for event tech, consider the hurdles you typically face in day-to-day operations. You need to ensure that each tool you introduce is an asset, as opposed to a frill. Whether it’s virtual reality floorplans for selling to clients or a streamlined platform for internal communications, only you can decide what your company needs and identify the best fit.

Sandy Hammer

CMO, AllSeated, New York City, NY

With over 20 years of experience in the international events industry, Sandy Hammer is the co-founder and CMO of AllSeated, a collaborative network for planning events that offers tools including floorplans, 3D view, Guest List, RSVP, Seating, Timelines, Mobile Check-In and more.