Pros & Cons of Gather: Analysis of a Leading Event Management Software

What are the pros and cons of Gather?
The pros and cons of Gather can be seen in its competitive and comprehensive event management tools that drive customer happiness. With its simple and intuitive tools such as real-time tracking, streamlined workflows, and financial and leads management, you get your hands on a software that will seamlessly manage and sustain growth. It would have been great had it had better email integration, bite-sized and specialized technical support, and a venue layout feature to assist clients. Overall, Gather’s flexibility and user-friendliness are certain to enhance event ROI.

It takes more than just hard work and a good set of suppliers to make every event successful. For every budding event management service provider, it is a must that you exceed customer expectations and provide top-notch service to sustain growth. Customer happiness, after all, is the backbone of every thriving business.

Gather offers a competitive and well-rounded event management software for you to utilize for your bookings and events. It is one of the top event management solutions for venues and restaurants. It offers a booking management module, automatic document generation, financial transactions and sales management, lead management, and reporting features for you to connect and engage with your client base.

In this article, we take a look at the pros and cons of Gather, one of the more prominent event management software in the market, discussing its competitive features and a few areas for improvement. This way, you need not scour the internet sifting through user reviews to find out the pros and cons of Gather. They are all here organized by feature and the only thing left to do is find out if its strengths are what you need.

gather pros and cons

Event management is hard work. You are bombarded with dozens of guest lists, event reschedules, venue changes, budget proposals and quotations, logistics to manage, and more importantly, marketing and promotions. This digital age prompts us to use technology to make our work easier, and this is where event management software can help businesses cope with the ever-increasing demands.

The demands are growing significantly and so is the trend of utilizing event management software. According to a report by Bizzabo, 57% of event organizers in the US are already using event management software. Likewise,62% of marketers who tap email marketing use event management software.

There are a lot of benefits that come with investing in event management software: streamlined workflows, automated document and data management, effective lead generation and management, amplified social media reach, and an efficient financial management system for your business.

While there is a lot to gain from event management technologies, it pays to first consider a number of factors in selecting the right solution for your business. One of these is functionality. Carefully consider what part of the event lifecycle will the platform cover. Will you utilize it more for planning and post-event stages? Or will you use a more comprehensive solution for a larger business? Another thing to consider is integration. This is highly important because the software integrated with the solution may affect your workflows and processes.

Check your expectations, and consult with the vendor to see what integrations are already in place. You should also consider the scalability, technical support, user-friendliness, and flexibility of the solution. Likewise, if you haven’t kept abreast of this software category, it is recommended that you understand the basics of event management software.

Can Gather help you attain all the benefits for successful, efficient, and seamless event management process? Let’s take a closer look at this event management software.

What is Gather?

Gather offers a comprehensive, flexible, and well-rounded solution for managing events and bookings. It offers a wide array of tools for streamlining and centralizing your processes, managing and growing leads, organizing and managing bookings, as well as business reporting and analytics. It harnesses the latest technologies so you and your team can communicate and collaborate anywhere and anytime and provide clear and thorough oversight over your business.

You can try its full features easily when you sign up for Gather demo here.

Gather makes the process of event management seamless, quick, and organic. Its strength lies in its unique offerings that make for greater customer satisfaction and efficient workflows. The interface is overall easy to scan, and the event portals and tabs are easy to follow through. More than the booking management and financial management modules, you get a solution that is supported through Web, Android, and iOS. Its reporting and analytics tools are also among its competitive offerings, as it provides you with an overview of various event success parameters, ranging from sales pipelines to lead generation.

Having said these, it still pays to look at the pros and cons of Gather to see how it matches up with your business expectations. If Gather does not match up to your requirements, you may want to consider other event management solutions for your business. 

Here’s a list of some of Gather’s most notable features:

  1. Event tracking
  2. Real-time event progress
  3. Shared calendar
  4. Direct team communication
  5. Instant updates, alerts and email notifications
  6. Auto-generated documents
  7. Branded templates
  8. Daily Digest
  9. Customizable templates and client portal
  10. Full correspondence history
  11. 24/7 lead inquiry forms
  12. Instant, digital proposals
  13. E-signatures
  14. Online payment
  15. Historical and forecasted reporting

Gather Pros & Cons

Booking Creation and Management 

With Gather, you can create single-day or multi-day bookings while accessing a variety of tools for booking management. Gather offers various ways for you to export your accounts and contacts. It generates an Excel file containing all your leads for you be able to develop more targeted promotions and mailing lists. It also features an intuitive Calendar View that gives you a glimpse of all upcoming events. You can choose how you view this calendar: by Month, Week, 3-Day, and Day Calendar. It arranges events by filters such as Location, Event Owner, and Event Status. Of course, it still lets you have a quick overview of individual events and provides details on date and time, status, location and room, guest count, total charges estimated, as well as the main contact. You get a quick overview of all the events and requirements so can manage your resources more effectively and mitigate any issues that may arise later on.

Its Account and Contacts module also features a team communication functionality where you access an internal notepad for you to take notes of specific details, patterns observed or comments for your team members to see. These notes are hidden from customers.

However, while Gather features a powerful and comprehensive knowledgebase, it is still a different matter to learn everything about a software hands-on. Hopefully, Gather can work on producing more integrated, bite-sized content so its users can easily understand the nitty-gritty of the software.

You can manage event bookings on the go with Gather mobile.

Document Generation 

You will be thrilled at how Gather lets you generate automatic documents for every single booking. Every booking entry lets you generate a Banquet Event Order (BEO) form summarizing event details, customer details, financial walk-downs, and menu information. If you’re looking for an automatic contract generator, then look no further as Gather generates a Contract document outlining basic event details such as client names, event date, guests number, and room/space while summarizing the company’s policies and other related rules. You can also generate other significant documents for your bookings including Chef BEOs, Credit Card Authorization Forms, Invoices, Menus, as well as Proposals. You can download and print all these documents on the go.

Portfolio and Proposal Management

You can access a centralized event portal for you to give your clients and guests an overview of the proposal. It automatically notifies both you and your guests for every payment request or signature requirements for your contracts, and these notifications will display at the top of the portal. The portal also features a branded page, so your clients can have a sense of ownership and elevate the excitement for the upcoming event. What’s more: the portal links the location of the event to Google Maps so guests will have no difficulty looking for the venue come event day.

But two of the more useful tabs in its Event Portal are its Summary of Charges and Approval Process tabs. With the Summary of Choices, your clients see all the estimated items and payables due for the specific event, including taxes and other corresponding fees. These are displayed in an invoice format. The Approval Process module lets guests electronically sign proposals and agreements and policies.

The Event Portal is readily accessible and mobile-friendly, and you can access it on your phones, tablets, or desktop. Clients can respond to requirement emails and sign proposals anytime and anywhere. As such, convenience and quality are of paramount importance, and you get a platform for covering all requirements so your customers keep coming back for more.

Financial and Budget Management 

The software comes with a fully-functional calculator that automatically calculates and lists down all line items, estimates, and percentages for a particular booking. It highlights a Financial Walk-down breaking down Charge Category Totals, Remaining Minimums, Total Charges, Percentage-based fees, Total Taxables, Taxes, Subtotals, Grand Totals, Total Paid, and Amount Due.

Invoicing with a detailed summary as seen on a Gather dashboard.

Communication Tools 

With Gather, you can send email messages through the software itself. Its messaging feature is almost similar to Gmail as you can key in details of the sender, recipients, CC/BCC, subjects, attachments, and body. It also offers customer messaging and team communication modules for you to better delegate, communicate, and engage with your stakeholders.

With the customer messaging module, you get an overview of inbound messages sent by your customers, auto-generated messages, and more nuanced details such as viewing whether a message was from a booking where the logged in user was the owner and more. With the Team Communication module in Gather’s homepage, you see chats from bookings where the user is the owner, from leads where the user has view access to the location attached, or from an account/contact/booking/lead where the user is tagged but is not the owner or author. Truly, Gather offers an efficient and organized system for you to correspond with your team and your client base.

Lead Management 

Implement lead management through Gather’s Lead Form which you can embed on your web pages for clients to inquire and book for your spaces. When leads click this form, they will be directed to a new webpage where they can submit an inquiry. New leads are then tabulated and notified to the concerned officers. Gather’s Lead Form module features a customizable Auto-Responder so they can be notified instantly.

It also offers a Booking Network Listing which connects you with various planning websites around the globe where people search for event venues. Gather has partnered with EVENTup, OpenTable, Yelp, BizBash, and Wedding Spot.

Indeed, Gather offers a comprehensive lead management module so you can proactively convert your leads to actual bookings. It does so by ensuring that you have access to all the tools necessary for lead management: an overview of all leads generated, ownership, messaging and communication, team communication, document management, and archiving.

If your business is considering a focused lead management solution, you may want to try out other lead management solutions.

Gather helps you capture leads and book clients fast in one place.

Integrated Payment Process 

The software displays all the necessary dashboards and tabs for you to continuously monitor and track payments for all your bookings. For every booking, you can edit or remove payments and update payment name, amount, description and due dates. It also displays several payment actions for a particular line item, including: hidden, visible, requested, paid, locked, voided, refunded, or partially refunded.

More important to take note is Gather’s powerful integration with payment processors.  OpenEdge serves as its integrated payment processor. With OpenEdge, you can transact securely and automate all reconciliations and payment posting processes. Open Edge features a Decline Minimizer to track and update expired card information for various card brands as well as a Next Day Funding which lets your clients deposit cash through debit and credit directly to your preferred bank accounts within 24 hours. For Credit Card transactions, Stripe takes care of all processing and posting fees.

All payments are also Level II PCI Compliant, which means every payment acceptance, processing, storing, or transmission through various payment procedures are secured and trusted. Your clients can trust that their card information and data privacy are never compromised.

Reporting and Analytics

Gather offers a premium and comprehensive data consolidation system to generate reports in a snap. You can quickly generate reports to guide decision-making, deploy resources more efficiently, and consolidate necessary data for lead generation. You can also generate reports of sales summaries, leads,  lead conversion, bookings performance, cancellations and booking network summary, outstanding payments, sales projections, commissions, and even a detailed booking report by location, owner, channel, event type, campaign, and lead owner.

Gmail and Communication Integration 

Gather promises effective collaboration and communication through its messaging and team communication modules. However, users and supporters of more popular messaging and email platforms such as Gmail and Yahoo will be disappointed as the vendor does not offer this sort of integration as of yet.

Venue Layout Functionality Soon

Floor plans and layouts are a useful tool for organizing events and laying out program flow. Perhaps, sometime in the near future, Gather can feature a venue layout feature so clients or leads can estimate the suitability of venues for a particular event.

Does a Gather make sense for your business?

Gather gives you all the tools you need to succeed in the booking and event service industry. If you are not yet using an event management technology, now is the time to do so, considering the rapid and ever-changing business landscape. While it could definitely work on its messaging and email integrations and more customized tools for event planning, Gather already comes with a competitive roster of tools to implement a seamless and efficient event management system for your brand. Gather is an enabler of customer happiness and quality lead management, and you will be amazed as to how easy and quick to set it up. If you want a test drive and see its potential for your business, you may sign up for Gather demo here.

Adam Goldberg

By Adam Goldberg

Adam Goldberg is a senior market research analyst and one of the key customer experience technology and CRM pioneers working for the FinancesOnline review team. He has been cooperating with FinancesOnline for over 5 years now. During that time Andrew has analyzed more than 2,000 CRM solutions and he’s well-known for his honest reviews and his unique perspective on challenges and opportunities posed by customer-centric innovation. He’s a strong believer in business process automation and the role it plays in customer data management, conversational intelligence, and customer engagement. His work has been mentioned in many major publications and media sites, including MSN, Springer, TheNextWeb, and CIO.

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