10 Major Flaws with Spreadsheets for Event Ticket & Guest Management

Who doesn’t love a good spreadsheet?

They are quick to set up, cost-free, and easily configurable. For many, they are the go-to tool for managing events and guests.

However, as event sizes and numbers grow, spreadsheets reveal significant shortcomings.

Through insights from our customer event manager panel, we’ve identified the top ten challenges of using spreadsheets for large-scale event management:

  1. Time-intensive to Manage
    Manual data entry in spreadsheets is not only tedious but also prone to errors, demanding constant checks and updates. This labour-intensive process can quickly become overwhelming as event numbers grow, leading to a higher risk of inaccuracies. In contrast, ticket and event management software automates data entry and updates, freeing up valuable time, relieving team stress and significantly reducing the likelihood of errors.

  2. Under-Utilisation Due to Lack of Visibility
    Spreadsheets often fail to provide real-time updates on ticket availability, leading to underused resources and missed opportunities. This lack of visibility can result in last-minute scrambles to fill seats, often unsuccessfully, resulting in wasted budget. Specialist software, however, offers instant access and high visibility, ensuring maximum utilisation of all event tickets.

  3. Data Silos and Reporting Challenges
    Spreadsheets, being file-based, often create data silos where information is not readily accessible across the business. This limitation makes it difficult to generate timely reports, hindering decision-making processes for business leaders. A software platform, with its integrated reporting suite, enables easy access and manipulation of data, providing valuable insights at a glance.

  4. Delegating Workflow Tasks is Problematic
    Delegating tasks such as ticket allocation, updates, or cancellations is cumbersome with spreadsheets, often leading to bottlenecks and inefficiencies. This limitation not only adds to the workload but also increases stress levels within teams. Dedicated ticket and event management software, in contrast, streamlines delegation and workflow management, enhancing team efficiency and harmony.

  5. Excessive Email Queries
    Handling a barrage of email queries becomes a significant task for event managers using spreadsheets, especially as an event date approaches. This communication overload can be extremely time-consuming and may lead to important queries being missed. A comprehensive web-based event portal can drastically reduce these queries by providing guests and hosts with easily accessible information and documentation, such as venue guides, maps, menus, local information and so on.

  6. High Risk of Human Error
    The simplicity of spreadsheets is a double-edged sword, as their ease of use makes them highly susceptible to human error. Mistakes like incorrect formulae or accidental data overwrites can have major consequences, such as ticket over-allocation. Conversely, software solutions maintain accurate inventory records and guard against such errors, ensuring reliability and peace of mind.

  7. Need for Separate Guest Communication Platform
    Using spreadsheets for event management often necessitates a separate system for handling guest communications, such as invitations and RSVPs. This division leads to duplicated data, duplicated efforts and challenges in tracking responses. Integrated ticket and event management software streamlines these processes, enhancing efficiency and providing a more cohesive guest experience.

  8. GDPR Compliance Challenges
    Ensuring GDPR compliance with spreadsheet-based systems is complex and risky, especially when dealing with multiple copies and widespread data distribution. The need to manually delete or anonymise sensitive data post-event adds to the burden. Our ticket and event management software automates the data anonymisation and deletion processes, significantly reducing the risk and simplifying adherence to regulations. (Read more on the top 5 risks in ensuring GPPR compliance)

  9. Lack of Post-Event Evaluation
    The intensive focus required to manage event spreadsheets often leaves no room for post-event evaluation, crucial for improving future events and assessing ROI. This oversight means valuable feedback and data are lost. In contrast, event management software automates evaluation processes, providing insightful reports and dashboards for comprehensive analysis and continual improvement.

  10. Inefficiencies and Errors Escalate as Events Scale
    As event numbers grow, the limitations and inefficiencies of spreadsheets become increasingly pronounced, often requiring additional staff to manage the growing workload. This scaling issue can lead to significantly increased internal costs. Specialist event and ticket management software, however, scale efficiently without the need for proportional increases in staff, maintaining lean operations even as event programs expand.

In conclusion, while spreadsheets might initially seem convenient, their limitations become starkly apparent as event demands escalate. Transitioning to specialised ticket & event management software like Sponsorworks not only addresses these flaws but also enhances overall efficiency and effectiveness.

For a stress-free, scalable, and reliable event management solution, consider leaving spreadsheets behind and embracing the future with us.

Choose Sponsorworks to replace your event and ticket management spreadsheets

The Sponsorworks software platform is widely recognised as the most user-friendly and flexible event, guest and ticket management platform for global brands and rights holders. It is the perfect next step for businesses that have been getting by with a spreadsheet-based process.

Don’t just take our word for it though. Here’s what one of our customers said:

The Sponsorworks platform has enabled us to migrate away for unwieldy spreadsheets and streamline our corporate hospitality management across over 20 business units. It’s easy to use and management takes a fraction of the time and resource it used to take. Of equal value though, is the invaluable data we are able to access after every event. This helps us offer the best experiences to customers and assess the business outcomes too.

Brett Williams, Sponsorship Manager, NatWest Group

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