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The impact of event management software on the standards of practice within the event management sector in Cape Town
Event management is a very competitive field; therefore, event managers must work hard to distinguish themselves from other event management companies. One way of doing this is by using event management software to provide a holistic service which allows for better efficiency in the workplace. Technology is constantly changing; therefore it is imperative to keep abreast of trends in technology in order to improve one’s business and services. As an event manager, one should also consider what it takes in order to organise a successful event. The internationally accredited Event Management Body of Knowledge (EMBOK) has identified several areas that are crucial for an event manager to constantly control and manage in order to create an exceptional event, and these domain areas encompass a set of guidelines to ensure successful event projects. However, one should determine if the software is able to assist event managers with all the necessary features and functions required to organise a successful event as per the outline from EMBOK. The research aimed to analyse the software in terms of its capabilities and compare it to the EMBOK guidelines. The aim of the study was to further identify whether the software is able to complete all the tasks outlined by EMBOK and if not, what else would be needed to fill the gaps. The research also reviewed what impact the software has on events, that is, how it assists or improves tasks conducted or how it does not assist or becomes problematic in accomplishing the various phases and tasks. Qualitative research was selected as the appropriate method in order to gain an understanding of the events managers’ point of view with regards to the software. The research required detailed descriptions and narratives of the software as well as the experiences and opinions of the user. For this reason it was determined that qualitative research would best suit the needs of the research. In order to get detailed answers a semi-structured in-depth interview guide was used and the answers transcribed in order to analyse and get results. The software was selected based on its international usability and because of its use by South African government departments such as the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The Cape Town-based individuals from the software’s client list were contacted and selected to participate in the study. The research was conducted with five representatives with previous experience of the software in the events industry in Cape Town. The interview guides were compiled with Likert-scale questions and open-ended questions. The questions were carefully compiled to link the functionality of the software and the criteria as identified by EMBOK. The answers were recorded and transcribed to analyse and determine the opinions of the representatives on the functionality and comprehensiveness of the software to be used for event management. The interviews established that the move towards technology is preferable as it creates efficiency in the workplace. The software assists in alleviating the workload of event managers; however, the interviews also indicated that the software does not always fulfil the requirements for all the tasks. Several tasks required the use of combinations of software; in some instances, the manager preferred to do the task manually. It was concluded that the software does not provide the level of flexibility required in event management, which is a vital criterion, owing to the field’s changing nature.