During the last couple of years, people relied on event platforms as a way to get “outside” of their four walls. The shift to virtual events made event tech incredibly important, because without an event platform, there was no event. This will only continue as events move to a hybrid format. An event platform is no longer just technology to level up your virtual, in-person and hybrid events; it’s a fundamental element of modern event planning. 

Event organizers want to focus on event contents, not privacy regulations. They want to nail down logistics, not confidentiality controls. Using an enterprise-grade solution provides peace of mind, so the event organizer can continue to focus on what they do best — providing excellent content and an engaging attendee experience.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of choosing enterprise-grade technology to power your next event.

What does enterprise-grade mean?

When it comes to event technology, I like to describe an enterprise approach as one that prioritizes thoughtfulness. Does your event platform have the necessary thoughtfulness behind it? You depend on the technology, and it needs to rise to the occasion. While they’re not the most glamorous features, a platform’s security, compliance, and availability need to be there. Without them, your event could fail.

Events work better when everyone brings their best to the table. As an event organizer, you need to bring your planning, logistics, understanding of your community, and your ability to attract compelling speakers and develop engaging content.

The event platform must take care of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the events – ones that keep your event data safe. Security, privacy, scalability, and availability must be at the heart of what an event tech provider supports, enabling event professionals to launch successful and secure events.  

4 benefits of an enterprise-grade events platform

1. Security and compliance

GDPR, state privacy laws, cybersecurity laws, StateRAMP — these are just some of the U.S. security and compliance regulations impacting events. Some global security and compliance regulations include: 

  • UK: Cyber Essentials
  • Spain: ENS
  • Japan: ISMAP
  • Australia: IRAP
  • Canada: PIPEDA

If all of these acronyms have your head spinning, it’s OK. Enterprise-grade platforms are designed to support regulation compliance so you don’t have to worry about it. They incorporate specialists from around the globe to ensure those pragmatics are addressed within the platform. 

Regulations constantly evolve. An enterprise-grade platform stays on top of changes and handles all of this in the background, saving your company from regulatory and litigious risk. 

When vetting events platforms, look for the following certifications, which ensure an organization has a baseline security program that aligns with industry standards:

  • ISO 27001
  • SOC 2 Type II
  • CSA STAR

2. Access control and user permissions

“Just in case” is a good risk management strategy, except for when it comes to granting permissions. Businesses require a justification before granting access to protected information, and limit that access to only the necessary information to address the business justification. Intentional access concepts extend to events software.

An enterprise-grade platform should give planners the ability to define different attendee types, each with permissions tailored to deliver the desired experience. 

For example, consider an event in which some attendees purchase tickets for general sessions, and others purchase access to breakout sessions. The event platform needs to maintain robust data flows (diagrams that help you see where data moves throughout the platform), so each attendee only receives access to the information they purchased. 

3. Scalability

Event organizers want a platform that’s feature-rich and highly configurable. And while those components are important, the reality is they’re synonymous with complexity. You inherit a certain amount of technological risk with complexity. And the larger your event grows, the more likely you are to run into scalability issues.

The availability and scalability of your solution is limited to its least scalable component. Think of it as that old chain analogy: a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The same applies here. 

Failure to design for scale can lead to attendees not being able to join or participate. Network latency issues can make an online event unbearable. Worst-case scenario: The platform drops every time it exceeds the user threshold.  

An enterprise system identifies scalability problems before they occur, and your tech provider should have a playbook for how they’ll handle those situations before they affect your event. 

4. Peace of mind

Lastly, I simply cannot state it enough — an enterprise-grade events platform gives you peace of mind. You already go into your events with a certain amount of stress, and having anxiety about your platform shouldn’t be part of the problem. If your event platform isn’t doing something to alleviate your stress and simplify your event management, it’s not doing its job. 

A byproduct of event platform technology is that event organizers often become administrators of the platform. Ultimately, your event platform should be easy and simple to use. 

Vetting enterprise-grade event technology

When vetting platforms, consider the aspects of event management you dislike, and look for providers that ease those burdens. 

For example, if you don’t like to deal with password resets, look for an event platform that supports SAML for integration with your organization’s authentication technology. If you need to define event success in multiple ways, robust reporting capabilities matter.

The security certifications outlined earlier are important, but just as a baseline. Industry standards are effectively the minimum effort necessary to address yesterday’s threats. Your event isn’t going to be disrupted by yesterday’s threats, it’s going to be disrupted by something novel. 

Look for an event platform that goes above and beyond those bare minimum requirements. And how do you know if they do? Ask questions. Do they employ a global security team or one overworked individual? What is their recovery time to get the platform back online after a disaster?

If you work for a large enterprise, your company likely employs its own security team. Invite them to the discussion. Make sure they understand your event concerns, and work with them to formulate a questionnaire for providers. 

Ultimately, there’s a partnership between the event organizer and the event platform provider, and both should be committed to event success in different ways. Event planners should choose a provider they can entrust with event management pragmatics, so they can maximize their talents and host successful events. 

Ryan Eads
Ryan Eads

Ryan is a Security Leader at Webex Events (formerly Socio). He delights in demystifying security, making its concepts accessible to a broad range of audiences.