Excel spreadsheets are a popular go to for many business professionals to do different works. The actual story of spreadsheets can be dated back to the era of 60s and 70s. Academics in that era were in need of a speedier way to calculate financial transactions and spreadsheets were actually the first “killer app” among all computer programs. This can be attributed to their ease of use and power. It quickly caught on and the 80s and 90s saw that the program was being used industry wide by professionals for management of all kinds of data – be it text or numerical.
Although initially the app was exclusively meant for financial and account service professionals, we have been using computer and spreadsheets for long and it seems they have been around since the advent of computers. Thus, similar to other industries, spreadsheets were also adapted by event management professionals to maintain data and records for schedules, event planning, guest lists and budgets and more.
Since long time many event management professionals can be seen using this excel app for business management processes of event organizing and this can primarily be attribute to two reasons. The primary reason is the ease of customization and flexibility provided by spreadsheets for storage of any and all kinds of data. The second reason can be the fact the spreadsheets app is simple to install, is relatively inexpensive and there is no need of much of training to use basic features.
But the event management business processes have evolved over time and this coupled with the advent in newer technology and online event management software, the limitations of spreadsheets and aligned templates are increasingly becoming apparent. Businesses are in need of improved and faster ways for storage, convenient and quicker access and manipulative element of the event data. These new-age needs of event management highlight the limitations of event management spreadsheets. Here we look at the top few drawbacks of using spreadsheets in event management business.
The FIRST drawback is that these spreadsheets require a lot of time to be set up and equally lot of time to be maintained up to date. In a spreadsheet, it is time consuming to chart out an event budget template and also to plan a schedule. Additionally time is also required to add data and feed in information in these templates. Many-a-times, it is required to navigate on the sheet, field by field, or column by column to put in specific data type. This also restricts the ease and speedy bulk changes in selected part of the sheets – making the whole process slow and tedious. The app as such is low cost to purchase and install but as they say time is money and this app takes up a lot of time.
The SECOND drawback that is mostly overlooked is the fact that originally these spreadsheets were designed to cater to the resolution of accounting and financial data and not event details. How can one expect a justified job delivery from an accountant if we ask him to store expenses and revenues by utilizing a room layout program? This tool was inherently designed for accounting and financial purposes and how can one expect it to perform and ease up processes of event management business. These days with online software for event management and specific modules for attendee and guest management, planning schedule, calendaring, email, invites, task managers, one does need spreadsheets. Online event software is any day a better tool to manage an event rather than an excel template.
The THIRD drawback is that these spreadsheets cannot be used to store critical guest data as they can be easily accessed and password hacked, thus compromising a lot of sensitive and confidential data. Thus there is a risk of fraudulent activity. Similarly, there is a problem of accidentally putting in wrong information.
Instead of generic spreadsheets, it is always a safer bet to invest in online event management software that you can custom use as per your needs.