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Event Management in Transition: The CRM as Digital Attendee Management



A lot has happened in recent years. Many organizers have had to come up with new solutions to stay afloat. And many changes remain today – digital communication has experienced a forced boom and changed expectations of participants.

But in change there are always many opportunities, and this is exactly the point where many companies and organizations hosting events are today. And since “the focus is on people” also applies to events, CRM solutions offer the perfect conditions to get out of the water and look to a successful future with renewed courage.


How do you benefit from event CRM?

The change in expectations requires new solutions

Advantages of CRM with event management

Does an event CRM always make sense?

When an event CRM is less suitable

All-in-one – Why event data needs a single location

Why is the variety of software in event management a problem?

How to eliminate data chaos in event management

What should the ideal event management platform offer?

How can CRM and event management be combined?


Why an event CRM?

Many people are already familiar with CRM, but what do events and CRM actually have in common? Regardless of whether they are customers, participants or speakers – they all want to be inspired and experience something. This is exactly where CRM comes into play.

A CRM creates digital experiences that inspire and sustainably strengthen customer satisfaction. From personalized communications tailored to individual interests and preferences to customized entertainment offerings.

Accordingly, the customer-centric approach of a CRM also benefits the event industry. Recent years show a change in people’s awareness and new expectations. Attendees are more selective than ever before, thinking more carefully about how they use their time these days.

The change in expectations requires new solutions

In the future, event organizers will therefore have to pay even closer attention to the interests and expectations of their visitors. This includes interacting with participants, knowing their wishes and challenges, and consciously including them in decision-making and planning processes. This enables targeted planning and an event that offers the target group real added value. Win-win!

Those who want to make such well-founded decisions benefit from an event CRM. The system stores all data in a central location that is important for the communication and collaboration of all event participants.

In addition to easy management of attendees as well as speakers and event tasks, it provides insightful insights into all attendee interactions along the customer journey. Use this information to optimize the customer or attendee experience in a targeted way, and you’ll soon see:

Digital attendee management with CRM pays off.

New regulations increase complexity in event management

Not only participants have new digital expectations of event management – there has also been a lot of legal change in recent years: Data protection has been regulated more strictly with the DSGVO and pandemic as well as climate change require the implementation and documentation of new measures.

For event marketing, for example, obtaining and correctly documenting opt-ins is of central importance. This is the only way to target potential participants and get them excited about new events. Free webinars often serve as lead magnets for generating e-mail addresses with advertising consent (opt-in).

With integrated event CRM solutions, these opt-ins can be stored centrally with the participants and are then still available for later e-mail campaigns.

Advantages CRM with Event Management

  • Central system for attendee and speaker management as well as for marketing, sales and customer service
  • Clear management of attendee and speaker data
  • Overview of all tasks of all event participants
  • Historization of event activities and communication per contact
  • Quotation and accounting
  • Reporting (attendance, industries, etc.)
  • Possible connection to an event portal and direct access to own master and event data via self-service area

Does an event CRM always make sense?

In principle, an event CRM makes sense for anyone who regularly organizes events, wants to automate their processes and collect, centralize and use data for later evaluations.

More complex events in particular require a lot of coordination and structure. Here, event software like 1CRM can provide great relief by managing all information centrally. Since event planning usually involves different departments, smooth collaboration between all teams is crucial to event success.

Especially when the entire planning process follows a standardized process, it makes sense to use an event CRM to continuously optimize and automate workflows. This way, organizers don’t start over with every event, no longer forget important steps, and avoid manual, repetitive tasks. And the best part? You reduce administrative efforts, minimize errors and save time and money – a dream come true for everyone in event management!

But how can time and cost savings be controlled? An event CRM offers valuable insights if you continuously feed it with usable information. Consistent data maintenance from all departments is a must to get the most comprehensive picture of attendees and their usage patterns.

With the data collected, it becomes a breeze to create reports, analyze past events, gain new insights, and optimize future event management based on them.

When an event CRM is less suitable

When an event CRM is less suitable depends on the individual goals of the event and your personal requirements. For example, if the focus of your events is more on selling tickets and less on a long-term customer relationship, then pure event ticketing platforms like Ticketmaster may be a better choice.

All-in-One – Why event data needs a single location

Newsletter tool, Excel, Outlook contacts – digital tools are often present in event management. Only they are not connected. Data such as name and email address are often stored twice in different systems. Moreover, each system contains different additional data and sometimes the same information differs. The result: unreliable data and a lack of overview.

If event organizers want to gain an overview of their events, participants, partners and speakers, it is worthwhile to store all information centrally in one place. And CRM is predestined for this.

Why is the variety of software in event management a problem?

The reason why many event organizers and companies are looking for a better digital solution is that they have their own system landscape with different tools and isolated databases in each case. One system doesn’t know what the other system is doing. Copying and duplicating data such as name and email address are normal processes. The overview of the correct data is increasingly lost.

Because the biggest problems in a diverse software landscape are incorrect data and lack of overview: Data such as name and e-mail address are often stored twice in different systems. At first, this is just a bit inefficient. However, as soon as something changes in the data, it can quickly happen that the data is not changed in all systems.

Where is the correct data now? Who can I write to and who not? The data chaos is pre-programmed.

How to eliminate data chaos in event management

With today’s complex digital landscape, companies and organizations will always use multiple systems. There’s no getting around it. There is no such thing as the “eierlegende Wollmilchsau”.

So it’s always a matter of weighing up which software best meets your own requirements and which software may still need to be connected to the system to ensure a clean flow of data in event management.

But what absolutely has to change is this:

  1. There must be a leading database that stores all the important data around event participants, speakers, partners and employees. This is the basis that must always be correct and up-to-date.

2. Additional software must be able to communicate with this central database, for example, to send e- mails to a specific group of recipients or to determine which people attended which event and whether they have consented to e-mail marketing via opt-in.

What should the ideal event management platform offer?

The ideal event management platform should be reliable, flexible and affordable for events of all kinds.

  • Management of all tools in one seamless backend: A system that cleverly connects registration, email marketing, admission management, etc. simplifies the event process and provides a seamless attendee experience along the customer journey.
  • Integration with other systems: For event organizers who already use different systems for marketing automation, for example, and want to facilitate data transfer between systems.
  • Central data management: To keep track of participants, speakers and partners before, during and after an event and to evaluate the data afterwards, all information should be stored centrally.
  • Adaptability and flexibility: Every event differs in size and complexity. An event software should be able to adapt to different requirements and offer the possibility of personalization.
  • Security and reliability: A lot of data, a lot of responsibility. Data security and controlled data access are prerequisites for a secure and reliable system.
  • Scalability: businesses and organizations grow, challenges change. The ideal system is scalable and adapts to meet future needs.
  • Ease of collaboration between teams: each team has different tasks and uses different features depending on the phase of the event. A collaborative event CRM enables shared management and easy collaboration between multiple team members, as well as partners or suppliers.

How can CRM and event management be combined?

There are several ways to combine CRM and event management.

  1. CRM software offers direct integration of event management into CRM.

2. The CRM system provides an interface that allows software, such as a newsletter or event planning tool, to pull the necessary data from the CRM.

3. Some systems also offer only a data export. This allows, for example, a list of recipients to be exported from the CRM and then imported into the newsletter software.


The event industry is becoming increasingly flexible and adaptable. This makes it all the more important to have software that is just as flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing demands of the event industry.

An integrated event CRM makes work easier for everyone involved and saves time and money – two things that are fundamentally lacking in event management. So it’s worth keeping up with change and digitizing event management with the help of a CRM to gain a competitive edge over the competition in today’s world.


Nadine Schuble,

Mara Kasubke,

Christoph Plessner of visual4 GmbH

The Stuttgart-based digital agency is the largest sales partner and implementation partner for 1CRM in the DACH region with numerous customers in the event industry.


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