Why Business Transparency Matters When Selecting an Event Tech Supplier
Capital One. Equifax.
The list goes on and on for high-profile data breaches.
If you’re thinking the number and severity of data breaches are getting worse, you’re right. 2019 is shaping up to be the worst year ever for data breaches.
Our goal isn’t to be a Debbie Downer by rehashing these widely-talked about and well-publicized news stories.
Instead, it’s meant to put a spotlight on the increasingly important topic of transparency in business.
Mike Kappel, founder and CEO of a software company, defines business transparency as the “process of being open, honest and straightforward about various company operations. Transparent companies share information relating to performance, small business revenue, internal processes, sourcing, pricing and business values.”
After the initial shock and frustration wore off after the Capital One data breach announcement, headlines quickly moved to the company’s plans to mitigate the hack.
The way Capital One handled the situation is a prime example of the larger trend for organizations to be more open and honest about all aspects of their business – from ingredients used and where products come from to the values and beliefs of a company’s CEO and yes, even to difficult topics like security intrusions.
And this is where #eventprofs and #meetingprofs should take note – including how it relates to working with event technology suppliers.
As called out in an Endless Events #Eventicons podcast, “transparency in the event industry isn’t talked about nearly as much as it should. The issue of transparency is paramount in any business. How else are we expected to generate and cultivate meaningful relationships with clients and vendors alike? This is only possible once we build these relationships based on trust, honesty, and – you guess it – transparency. In a long-term perspective, transparency in the event industry ensures we thrive.”
The Benefits of Business Transparency
As Devon Maloney writes for Slack, transparency and honesty is the best policy when it comes to your company’s long-term health. “In the eyes of customers, transparency in business is synonymous with ethical.” A survey from consulting firm Label Insight found 94 percent of consumers prefer brands that practice transparency.
Kappel explains that in this Information Age, customers demand transparency. “If you don’t provide it, they’ll move on to a business who can.”
The benefits of transparency extend beyond customers too. Maloney states that giving employees access to and ownership of information and insights about the business they work for is a crucial step in earning trust – which can ultimately lead to better business performance.
Kappel agrees. “When employees trust their employers, there’s an increase in advocacy, loyalty, engagement and commitment. If you want employees to trust you, be transparent with them.”
The Issue of Business Transparency When Selecting an Event Technology Supplier
In the fast-paced, high-stress event industry, a healthy supplier relationship is critical to pulling everything off that it takes to achieve your event vision. As referenced in the #Eventicons podcast, transparency is the only way to build trusted relationships.
To determine if an event vendor or event tech supplier embraces the idea of business transparency, here are several questions to ask to vet potential partners:
1. How does your organization embrace transparency?
One way to find out is to ask executive management about their core values.
For instance, our co-founder and CMO, Sandy Hammer, says, “total transparency is one of the most important values at AllSeated. We take transparency very seriously as it’s critical to us that we are open and honest with our community. It’s a topic that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your brand and company stands behind and relies upon everything you say and do!”
2. What tools or processes do you have in place to capture feedback?
As an example, at AllSeated, customer feedback is extremely important to our business. We keep a dialogue open with our users by providing several ways for them to give feedback around their needs and what else would be beneficial to do their jobs.
Some feedback mechanisms we use are:
- Openly addressing feedback – both positive and negative — to create a trusted, two-way dialogue
- Reading and responding to questions and comments shared on our social media channels
- Reviewing and analyzing questions received through our live chat and support centers to determine if there are common trends or requests
- Regularly meeting with customers and simply asking what suggestions they might have
3. How frequently do you communicate with customers?
This question isn’t about how frequently the company sends marketing emails or posts on social media. It’s about how often they solicit input and they use the voice of the customer and prospect to inform business practices and decisions.
This question also extends to a supplier’s customer service team too. Do they respond quickly to questions or concerns?
We take great pride in our customer service response. Mandy Diaz, account executive at AFR Furniture Rentals, says, “AllSeated’s customer service is great and extremely quick, demonstrating their commitment to their product and service to their clients extends all the way to interactions with the customer service team. Because they are always open to addressing questions or an issue if it comes up, we feel valued as a customer and we’ve been able to create an incredible partnership!”
4. Do you have a customer advisory board or another similar channel?
For AllSeated, our customer advisory board and our brand ambassadors have been a critical component to our business since we started.
Our advisory board is made up of some of the best in our industry. We truly value their input and expertise and find they add to our business transparency as they hold us to the highest regard — always helping promote our tools while also providing us with ongoing feedback to help us provide users with the best experience and product.
5. Do you share your product roadmap?
Transparent companies openly share information about changes or updates to their products and solutions.
At AllSeated, we hold regular think tanks to brainstorm ideas with our community on how we can innovate our products and tools. These joint collaborative sessions are extremely valuable. We value what our users and industry partners have to say about what they need from their event planning tools, and use that to shape our product roadmap.
If a new idea comes out of these gatherings that we don’t currently have a solution for, then we work to develop it.
6. How is your pricing structured?
Being open and upfront about pricing is one of the most telling indicators of business transparency. Hidden charges or unexpected surprises not only derails an event budget, but it’s a big turn-off in the quest for transparency.
A transparent event tech supplier knows how important it is to be upfront and truthful with customers and makes pricing readily available. Here at AllSeated, we try to make it very clear what our subscription plans include and all of the relevant costs. We list fees on our website, so it’s clear to anyone what our services include.
In the long run, business transparency is good for you, your business and your end customers. And though choosing and vetting an event technology supplier can be a tough process, taking the time to understand their philosophy around and acceptance of business transparency can build trust that leads to a valued, long-lasting relationship.
Contact us to learn more about AllSeated and our business transparency efforts.