Using technology to enhance your events or meetings management program is one of the best things you could do. Yet, what happens when great technology, ends up being the cause of your frustration? Sometimes the technology that is used for programs doesn’t work in the ways that it should. I have been through many iterations of meetings management tools, and have been lucky to help influence some organizations take major strides in their technology. On the other hand, I have also been there when the tools don’t work as planned. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are navigating the rough storms of technology troubles.

Newsflash!
Nothing is perfect. People aren’t perfect. Technology isn’t perfect.

Keep in mind that technology is awesome, but there are always areas that need to be altered or adjusted. The world continuously demands changes to these tools to keep up with evolving technologies. Additionally companies continue to advance their purpose by making the tool better (hopefully) for you. All of these elements can be in the works without your knowing, and the fact that your room block isn’t showing up accurately (for example) can be a result of the internal challenges that are happening with your technology partner.

Partnership
Your event planning technology shouldn’t be just a “technology you use”, they should be your partner. With this mindset, as challenges arise, you both can tackle them together, as a unified team.

Identify the weak spot
If you get the “screen of death” when working with your technology or an area of your website isn’t working correctly, don’t panic. Yes, there is the immediate need to get your task completed, however panic and fingerprinting will only lead to more frustration. When pinpointing a problem, here are some quick tips that can help narrow down problems.

  1. Try your task again
  2. Clear your cache, or power down your device and try again
  3. Take a screen shot of the error (Snagit, or take a pic with phone)
  4. Document what you were doing when the error was received
  5. Call or email you error into the issue resolution team or technology provider with details

Screenshots help the provider immensely in quickly identifying the error on their side, and speeds up the resolution process. Making sure that the error wasn’t on your side is also crucial to not wasting their time, that is why trying the task again and making sure the issue isn’t your device can also be helpful.

Accept the workaround
Usually when the tool isn’t working as it should the technology provider will give you a temporary “work–around” until they can restore the tool. It is understandable that we can despise having to work around an issue. However, if you have an immediate task that needs to be completed, accept the workaround. However, keep tabs on how this issue is resolved and when it is resolved. There comes a time where if the original issue cannot be fixed it must be made known that the work-around is more of a permanent fix.

Get Your own Go-To Techie

If you have a sizable meeting and event planning department it might be best if you consolidate the efforts of the staff by having a subject matter expert designated to issues and resolutions with your technology tool. This might be your tech department or it might be a planner that is tech-savvy. Doing so helps streamline communication and ensures that there is one location that all is the issues are documented and tracked.

Be the Change
If you use the full scope of the product and find that your organization is locating more problems than solutions, then try to help your technology personnel see the change you need. Most tech companies are excited to have others push them to do more, and become a better tool. So, if you have the bandwidth to still get business done, while inspiring your technology partner, go ahead and collaborate.

Know when it’s time to leave
Sometimes the tool just isn’t working and after much partnering and collaboration, it won’t work and does not meet your business demands any longer. You can simply outgrow the tool. No one wants to end a partnership, so try to do so with grace,integrity, and no burned bridges. In this industry, you might be bound to interact your connections again, so be careful.

Summary
Know when you select a tool, it is like starting a relationship. Both the supplier and the planner have a responsibility to invest into each other. Learn your tool, provide feedback always to let your supplier know the best way to service your organization. Technology is bound to have a glitch here and there, but the difference is how you respond and capitalize on those shortcomings.

Photo credit: marsmet473a via Flickr