Event Management with Dynamics 365 for Marketing
With the 2017 spring release of Dynamics 365, Microsoft has shipped a completely revamped marketing app that introduces some very interesting solutions, including marketing segments, an intuitive email template designer, email campaign workflows, and lead management. Most interesting of all is a comprehensive event management solution that covers most business needs. Here’s a summary of the solution:
- Seamless contact, registration, and attendance management features in one system
- Business processes that guide users through the essential steps of event planning
- Session, session track, and speaker management
- Managing attendee passes to grant access to specific sessions or tracks
- Venue management for tracking buildings, rooms, and room layouts
- Guest logistics for hotel registration, room allocation, and reservations
- Tracking sponsors and their sponsorships for each event
- Creating webinars and simulcasts with attendance metrics (in partnership with industry-leading webinar provider ON24)
- Reviewing the attendance history of each contact, including events and sessions attended
- Voice of the Customer survey integration
- Publishing a fully functioning event portal with:
- Self-service attendee registration
- Important details about all published events, including event name, venue, passes, session schedule, and speakers
- All information drawn directly from your Dynamics 365 event-planning records, with updates automatically reflected on the portal
The Event Portal
As soon as you publish an event from the marketing module, this information is reflected on the event portal, which is shipped with the marketing app. The event portal allows attendees to register for the event and also lets visitors view the event summary that was set up in the marketing app, which usually includes information about speakers, sessions, and sponsors.
The app has been kept customizable, so that entities such as events, venues, registrations, and speakers all remain open for further enhancement. Event attendees can easily be converted to leads and opportunities, which enables your Sales and Marketing teams to strategically leverage event data for post-event activities.
Unlike other Dynamics 365 modules with their per-user-per-month subscription model, the marketing module’s monthly subscription is based on the number of contacts it manages. In other words, there is not limit on the number of users that can access the marketing module.
So if you go with a standalone Dynamics 365 marketing module, your initial 10,000 contacts are provisioned for $1,500 per month (no limit on the number of users), and additional contacts can be provisioned in buckets of $250 per 5,000 contacts.
Features Anticipated in Future Releases
Despite having introduced so many event management features, the solution leaves out some important functionality. You can expect several additional features in the future, such as:
- Event advertisement management
- Event booth management
- Exhibitor management
- Special agendas for VIPs/Guests of Honour
Microsoft has released a powerful event management solution for Dynamics 365 that includes an impressive set of features for event planners of all stripes. Even so, there is still room for additional features that can further strengthen the standing of this solution.
For more detailed information, please visit https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-engagement/marketing/overview.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Systems Limited, or any other entity related to Systems Limited.