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Event software development guide

Robert Strobl
April 11, 2022

What if someone asked you “What’s going on?” and they weren’t looking for small talkHow would you answer? You’d answer with events.

Events are ubiquitous to life on earth. What if we told you that they all follow the same steps, whether people know it or not, and those steps could be streamlined with software?

What are these steps?

  • Invites -You have to know who is going to attend, and they have to know about it.
  • Confirmations - You have to agree on who’s actually attending. There’s usually a registration.
  • Goals - There has to be something in it for you, the event organiser. The content of the event has to be determined.
  • Incentives - There has to be something in it for them, the attendees. Considerations for the attendees should be taken into account.
  • Channels - These are the various, designated ways in which communication takes place between organisers and attendees.

All events follow these five steps, and people naturally intuit them. However, since events are ubiquitous in life, there is an ongoing need to organise and streamline these steps with some kind of tool or solution.  

There is a great opportunity in building systematic means to address ongoing needs.

As a software developer, event management platforms are a valid niche if you deeply understand the core concepts of events and are familiar with how to develop using the appropriate tools for such software. Event management is far more fundamental than what is listed on Wikipedia as event app software.

Beyond that high-level understanding, every other feature will fall into place. Let’s begin!

The ideal event software 

What is the best possible event management software?

Bringing people together for a purpose isn’t something that can ever be fully automated because the software can’t define a purpose for you. However, the logistics of everything else can be automated.

So what can software do for each of the previously mentioned steps?

Invites

Virtual event software can easily take a list of contacts and blast out a text invitation with a registration link. This invitation link can contain an outline of the goals and incentives, the content, and the reason to attend. The when, where, and what of the event can easily be integrated into an invitation template with some personalised variables.

Confirmations

Registrations are fairly straightforward. Either an attendee is or is not coming. Recording and keeping track of this information is essential to the planner. Sending out reminders after confirmation for the attendees is also something that ideal events software would do.

Goals

The content of the event can’t be determined by software. However, facilitating the communication between event organisers and cementing what they agree on into a plan or timeline is something that the ideal hybrid event software would be able to accomplish.

Furthermore, hosting, recording, and providing interactivity for the event’s content is something that ideal live stream events software would crucially do in the most seamless manner. This is the key difference between software that plans events and software that manages events. Event management software is used before, during, and after execution. Planning software is just the first of the three.

There are tons of event planning software out there advertising themselves as management software. There are very few solutions available for actually managing the event all the way through the inception, to the execution, and then the follow-up.

Incentives

The ideal event platform enhances the event experience for the attendees and keeps track of their engagement in the event. Keeping track of feedback and promoting participation through interaction is a crucial feature of providing incentives for the event attendees.

Channels

We live in a complicated world with many different possible modes of communication. There are so many available that it’s difficult to keep track of each. Ideal event management software would be a single source for the event organisers to use and address each individual attendee via that attendee’s unique method of communication. Imagine giving event organisers one source or hub from which they can talk to any attendee through any channel, including email, SMS, voice calls, or any one of various messaging platforms.

Lastly, follow-up

Ideally, an event will be documented for later reference or enjoyment, and that will be made available. Perhaps the participants would like to continue the conversation with each other after the event. Ideal software would facilitate this.

Many of the features of an ideal event platform exist today and are feasible to build. Also, we have to acknowledge that it is the modern age. Any events that take place should and will have a digital element to them.

For those meetings at work, organising when and what the meeting will be about be planned in advance before the meeting takes place. A follow-up about what was discussed in the meeting with a structured communication channel would go next.

For a product launch, wouldn’t it be ideal to have that production saved and instantly embedded anywhere on the web with a CDN or shared with a simple link?

And for birthdays, wouldn’t it be ideal for family members abroad to be able to attend and interact with some level of inclusion and feedback? Wouldn’t it be nice to both make and share those memories?

Must have event software functionality in 2022

What software do event planners use, and what do they really need?

develop event software, event platfom video api samba live digital samba-min-min

  • Multi-channel flexibility

The most important feature for virtual events in 2022 is actually communication channel flexibility. If a tree falls in the forest…the point is, people today communicate across a vast number of different channels. An event platform integrates with as many communication channels as possible through a useful API.

  • Live video

The second most important feature is video calling with interactive features. Event planning is one tiny fraction of what a modern event platform should do. The content of the event should also be hosted—in full or in part—by modern online event software through live video supported by interactive features.

  • Message boards and forums

Follow-up is also crucial. If your event platform doesn’t have message boards and forums integrated with the event, then your participants are going to miss out on both the goals and incentives for them to attend. Without follow-up forums, you are throwing away the most valuable part of the event. Each other.

  • Recording CDN

Recordings. Future reference is very important. Most of the interaction from your audience will not happen live. It will happen afterwards. Being able to record and easily share your recorded event is a key feature that you must have to stay competitive in 2022.

  • User interactivity

This is actually a set of features that keeps users engaged during an event, such as a webinar or meeting. These features can include whiteboards, where participants and hosts draw out their ideas, and breakout rooms, where users split into separate groups for a time to focus on key topics before rejoining to share their findings.

  • User feedback

Collecting measurable data is how hosts can know how they are performing. Live user polling, Q&A sessions, and performance metadata analytics are all important features that modern live event management software should include.

What functionality can be outsourced, and what cannot

Developers are not unfamiliar with the process of duct-taping things together until you have a solution. This can be both very clever, and very bad.

Hosting live video, message boards, and running your own content delivery network is not worth trying to do yourself. These are things that benefit from a massive scale. This kind of functionality can be done with software as a service through an API.

Tying things together to make them look pretty and be accessible to end-users, such as how event organisers visualise a timeline or organising the UI of how an event organiser will keep track of attendees, messages, and so on is worth your investment. 

In short, the back-end can mostly be outsourced with APIs, and the front-end makes sense to do in-house.

Enter Samba Live’s Video API

Keeping track of invites and chat integration across multiple platforms is something that Samba Live’s API can do for you.

Live video is what our API is mostly built to do. Our cloud infrastructure delivers high-quality video without lag at scale. We also store and easily deliver content in a CDN that integrates with any cross-platform application.

Samba Live itself is feature-rich with interactive quirks for attendees to enjoy. All of these features can individually be made available for you to play with through our API, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel…or whiteboard.

Samba Live also has integrated message boards and forums that are session-specific, easy to deploy and centrally managed.

Most of the hard problems that developers would run into when making an event platform has already been solved in Samba Live. These solutions are available through a RESTful API for any developer to glue together into a full-on event management platform software suite.

To see Samba Live in action, you can book a live demo and talk to a technical sales rep to get a personal introduction to Samba Live.

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