How to Choose the Best Event Management Software for Your Team

August 28, 2019

The best production teams know that event management software is crucial for organizing the many, many logistics that make great festivals and experiences.

Thankfully, the days of managing events with color-coded binders are long gone. With modern tools and tech designed with event teams in mind, it’s easier than ever for you to centralize all the details, seamlessly collaborate, and run reports with up-to-date data. Saving yourself time, stress, and precious dollars in your budget.

Event management software can be a lifesaver for your team, but how do you pick the best option for your event? It takes time to compare features, prices, look up reviews, and talk with sales teams — so we have a quick guide to save you some time understanding your options with Marcato’s event management software. You can reference it before or after you schedule a software demo too.

How much does event management software cost?

First of all, pricing varies for event management and planning software depending on the scale of your event. With Marcato’s online software platform, there are several different options to fit your needs (and budget). With the Light package, you pay à la carte for only the features you’re planning to use. Standard includes all the essential tools for event planning teams. Enterprise includes all the essentials, plus even more robust tools and integrations for large, world-class events with thousands of attendees.

Good event management software doesn’t come free. (If you have a very small event, you may be able to cobble together your logistics in spreadsheets and free tools.) The specialized software we’ve built for professional event teams is worth the price, saving yourself and your staff hours of work and stress.

Time is money. Software and smart planning can make your budget go farther. A well-run event boosts your event’s reputation with attendees, vendors, talent, and sponsors, raising the chances people will want to come back next year.

We have three software solutions you can compare — here we’ve highlighted the top event planning tools in Marcato Light, Marcato, and Marcato Enterprise. You can consider your options and schedule a demo to talk with us about the best fit for your event.

Comparing 3 options for event management software:

1. Marcato Light: Event Management Software Built to Fit Your Needs

No matter what type of event you have: music, film, food, science, yoga etc., Marcato Light is a great starting place if you only need specific features in our event management software. Build a custom-fit solution for your event’s needs, choosing from our extensive list of features and modules.

  • Event Management
  • Talent Management (Artists, Filmmakers, Guest Speakers, etc,)
  • Website & Mobile App Integration
  • Volunteer Management
  • Vendor Management
  • Project Management
  • Press & Media Management
  • Comprehensive Reporting
  • Customizable Intake Forms w/ Optional PayPal Integration

Easy Talent Management for Events

Perhaps Marcato’s most popular feature of the app, our Talent Management module is used to manage your event’s talent, whether that be artists, filmmakers, guest speakers, bands, performers, athletes, and more. From online applications to final payments, events can utilize Marcato throughout the entire management process. This feature will save you hours of submission headaches, website building, shows/workshops/film screening scheduling, and much, much more. You can read the story on our blog about how the CaperCon event uses Marcato Light.

  • Accept online submissions
  • Easily advance artists right from the app
  • Keep track of all your talent’s travel & accommodations, backline requirements, stage plots, tech riders, and crew information
  • Manage applicable finance details, such as artist fee, deposit, final payment, and contract status

Online Tools for Vendor Management

Streamline your vendor application process and keep them organized using our state-of-the-art vendor module.

  • Accept online applications for all types of vendors, stallholders, conference booths & traders (eg. food, craft, etc.) and collect details such as contact information, menu items, prices, insurance documents, booth photos, booth numbers and stall & utility requirements
  • Process deposit payments using our simple PayPal integration
  • Send out customized approved and declined emails to vendors
  • Advertise your vendor information to the public, using our website and mobile app integration

How to Save Time Managing Your Event Volunteers

Our fully comprehensive volunteer management platforms allows festivals and events to:

  • Host branded forms and applications on their websites and social media sites, attracting volunteers to apply to serve at their events
  • Approve and decline applications
  • Prep for production by scheduling shifts, advancing itineraries, & monitoring scheduling conflicts
  • Check volunteers in and out, and track shift completion
  • Schedule shifts by job or volunteer group
  • Track maximum volunteer hours

2. Marcato: Go Paper-Free with Marcato’s Contracting & Document Builder

“In our first year of using Marcato our team was easily able to adopt the system and it helped reduce stress and stay more organized overall. The reports for passes were incredible and super handy saving us so much time. Not only that but our Volunteer Coordinator reported that using Marcato saved him 2-3 weeks of time in the planning process. We also saved days of time by being able to rollover specific data and all of our settings from one festival year to the next. We are excited to use Marcato again for our 2019 event!” – Jeroen Pede, Graphic Designer, Cactusfestival

Marcato is our standard solution for events of all types. It includes all of the available options in the Light package bundled together at a discount. With features that can help you with planning, during, and post-event it is really an all-in-one solution. With the Contracting & Document Builder included, you can generate and manage all your artist, filmmakers, vendors, & supplier contracts online and completely paper-free.

  • Create customizable contract templates, or import your festival’s existing templates
  • Automatically generate contracts using existing information from each artist’s, filmmaker’s, vendor’s, or supplier’s profile
  • Send and receive contracts online with the ability for artists, filmmaker’s, vendors, or suppliers to sign electronically while also including any notes or amendments
  • Receive email updates about your contract statuses and any progress made along the way

Streamline Pass Management & Check-In

If you are not quite ready for the Enterprise tier, the Pass Management add-on in the Marcato standard tier can help you. Manage all your live event’s passes/credentials using our Pass Management & Check-In Dashboard.

  • Create all pass types your organization offers within Marcato (eg. Media Pass, Meal Voucher, Guest Pass, VIP Pass, etc.)
  • Assign credentials to anyone in Marcato including media, artists, filmmakers, panelists, vendors, and more
  • Use the pass dashboard to view pass totals and see an overview of allocated passes
  • Track who has picked up their pass or arrived at your event using our real-time check-in tools
  • Select which staff members are authorized to allocate and distribute passes within your festival account

3. Marcato Enterprise: Powerful Tools for Large-Scale, Professionally Produced Events

“Marcato has played a crucial role in creating a ‘Festival Hub’ which can be managed and accessed by multiple users allowing careful management of integral processes. From contracting and advancing Artists (which is often quite a mammoth task); to collecting data via the public form builders; to streamlining the issuance of accreditation onsite with the help of the issuance module. Marcato hugely assisted in the day-to-day management of administrative tasks, and helped facilitate yet another successful Festival.” – Hazel Beale, Festival Coordinator, Cambridge Live

Marcato Enterprise is the solution designed to fit any large-scale, world-class event — assisting with major challenges like RFID, or Non-RFID credentials, assets, guest list management, robust reporting, and everything else you need to host an incredible major event. We have a great story on our blog about how Madison House Presents uses Marcato Enterprise to organize amazing experiences for Electric Forest.

Management & Issuance of RFID/Barcode

Take your credential and catering management to the next level using Marcato Enterprise, the industry’s most advanced and comprehensive credential management platform.

  • Request and approve all credentials being used throughout your event, including credentials for your artists, guests, VIPs, sponsors, production staff, vendors, media, and volunteers
  • Easily issue passes at multiple check-in gates with our mobile-friendly onsite apps
  • Sync all credentials with scannable technology, including RFID & barcode tech partners
  • Make onsite changes and requests via mobile-friendly request & authorization tools
  • Pull comprehensive reports at any time on credential requests, approvals, & issuance
  • Choose which staff members are authorized to request and issue credentials

Powerful Asset Management, from Golf Carts to Radios

Allocate and track your event’s assets in detail using the industry’s most advanced asset management platform.

  • Build a list of your production assets, including golf carts, radios, heavy machinery, etc.
  • Request and approve the release of assets to zoned areas and staff
  • Track your asset’s location and the person responsible for it at any given time

Innovative Event Sponsorship Management

Our new sponsorship management module can now be turned on inside any Enterprise account to help any major event with things like sponsorship documentation, fulfillment, and much more.

  • Manage all of your sponsors’ credentials at once
  • Import contacts and information
  • Send legally binding documents
  • Track giveaways, social media commitments, and much more

Intelligent Catering

Use our intelligent catering tool to efficiently manage your onsite catering credentials and meal tickets.

  • Utilize our mobile-friendly, onsite tools to scan in VIPs, Artists, Delegates, etc.
  • Run our system locally on your own private network
  • Add meals and credentials on the fly
  • Review summaries of all of your guests’ catering credentials
  • Pull live reports
  • Search for guests via name, barcode, or meal

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