By Paul Kim
When we ask companies how they track their client entertainment— everything from season tickets to company events —we often hear the same response:
Putting it bluntly, this is a terrible idea. When it comes to managing information, spreadsheets have their place. But they were designed to manage information that is not prone to significant change, like a company’s financial results, or a list of supplies needed for the upcoming school year. They can be great for running scenarios to see how results change when the value of a variable increases or decreases.
But client entertainment is a different animal. It’s common for plans to change at the last minute, causing tickets which were considered allocated to suddenly become available once again. And the time sensitivity of live events means that any change in the availability of events must be communicated to the members of an organization while those events can still be used. The communication required when managing live events means that spreadsheets aren’t enough— you’re also going to need a messaging app, like email. Before long, you can find yourself inundated with an Inbox of unread messages, many of which have out-of-sync Excel spreadsheets attached to them showing conflicting information.
This kind of pain is familar to event managers, and it’s just one reason why spreadsheets are a terrible way to manage client events. Another is that spreadsheets are notoriously wrong.
According to a recent study by IBM, 90 percent of all spreadsheets contain at least one error. That may matter little when the impact is trivial, but client entertainment? One company I spoke with compared event tickets to petty cash. Would you track your company’s cash in a tool known to be full of errors? There’s a reason companies use dedicated software for tracking essential activities like developing leads into customers, booking revenue, allocating costs, tracking expense reports, and managing their workforce. These are all examples of complex systems that demand more than Excel can offer, as many of our customers discovered:
“We had nearly 7,000 tickets,” recalls Konica Minolta’s Amelia Hill. “And we were managing them through Excel sheets and email… It was nearly impossible.”
“When I originally came in, we were managing all of our tickets through spreadsheets and email,” said CDW’s Dan Frystak. “And spreadsheets and email just didn’t scale to a business of our size… We needed a more holistic approach.”
TicketManager gives companies a way out of the maze of spreadsheets, email, and manual processes which are too often used to manage their events. There’s a reason thousands of companies— including many Fortune 500s —rely on us to make client entertainment easy.
If you’ve had enough of spreadsheets and email, we’d love to show you a better way.